A $7.5 million-plus value assigned to onetime Kimball Art Center site | ParkRecord.com

A $7.5 million-plus value assigned to onetime Kimball Art Center site

The Kimball Art Center lettering has been removed from the Old Town building where the not-for-profit organization once was located. A developer acquired the site from the Kimball Art Center, prompting the Summit County Assessors Office to put the building and land on the property-tax rolls. The property was not taxed while it was under the ownership of a not-for-profit organization.

The sale of the building along Main Street where the Kimball Art Center once was located added millions of dollars to the property-tax rolls.

And that is even before the firm that acquired the property redevelops the building and patio, a project that would be expected to add even more value.

The County Courthouse recently assigned a dollar figure to the property, pegging the number at $7,570,000. The Summit County Assessor's Office, which is responsible for figuring property values, indicated the building itself is valued at $2,996,250 while the land accounts for the remaining $4,573,750. The Assessor's Office says the estimated property tax owed on the parcel for 2016 is $64,193.60. Commercial properties are taxed at 100 percent of their assessed value.

The numbers are notable since the property shifted from the not-for-profit Kimball Art Center to a private-sector developer, called Columbus Pacific Properties. Under the ownership of the Kimball Art Center, the site for decades was not on the tax rolls since not-for-profit land holdings are exempt from property taxes. The assessed value had been zero. Once the property was sold to a privately held firm, though, it was moved onto the tax rolls.

Properties in Park City only occasionally are transferred from government or not-for-profit ownership to the private sector like the case of the former site of the Kimball Art Center. The property that now houses High West Distillery in Old Town is another example, having been sold by City Hall to a whiskey entrepreneur.

It is even rarer for a property as high profile as the former site of the Kimball Art Center to move from a government or not-for-profit organization to the private sector. The site, 638 Park Ave., is located at one of the corners of the busy Main Street-Heber Avenue intersection, long one of the most sought spots in Park City.

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The owner plans to redevelop the property with commercial spaces and event space. City Hall recently approved the designs for a project at the site.

The Assessor's Office considers a variety of factors as it crafts a value for a property like the former Kimball Art Center site. They include sales of similar properties, the prospects of a property generating revenue through retail or office uses as well as the projected price of developing a parcel. Jeremy Manning, the commercial-property appraiser in the Assessor's Office for the past two years, drafted the $7,570,000 figure for the office. Manning said he is not aware of the sale price of the property. It was put on the market for $8 million. The sale price was not made public.

"It's a brand-new value. I was starting from scratch," Manning said, referring to the ownership shift from a not-for-profit organization to a privately held firm.

He acknowledged there were few comparable sales to the transaction involving the Kimball Art Center property that were useful as the assessed value was determined. Although there has been a string of Main Street buildings sold in the years since the deepest part of the recession, the other properties were generally not seen as being as attractive as the former Kimball Art Center site based on its size and the redevelopment opportunities.

Manning said lease rates along Main Street were also important in setting a value since they can be used to set a projected dollar figure for the income that the property could bring in if the space was leased.

"All we can do is rely on whatever evidence we can pick up," he said.

The Kimball Art Center put the property on the market after it was unable to win an approval for what was envisioned as a major expansion onto the patio space just off the intersection. City Hall and some Parkites were worried about the designs fitting along the Main Street streetscape.

The property sold to Columbus Pacific Properties, a Santa Monica, Calif., firm. Columbus Pacific Properties has since won the approval for the commercial and event space. The historic building will be redeveloped while an addition on the patio will be built. The project involves seven commercial spaces on the street level and event space on a second story. A Columbus Pacific Properties representative did not return a phone message seeking comment about the valuation assigned to the property.

The real estate agent who listed the property on behalf of the Kimball Art Center, Jan Wilking, declined to discuss the details of the sale price. He said, however, the $7,570,000 figure the Assessor's Office generated appears reasonable based on the location and the size of the property.

"I think that's probably an appropriate appraised value for it," Wilking said, adding, "I can see how they got to that value."