A summer blockbuster: Park City Film Studios expected to open shortly
The Park City Film Studios, a closely watched project that promises a touch of Tinseltown, is expected to open soon in what will be Park City’s own summer blockbuster.
The facility, under construction at Quinn’s Junction along the Park City entryway, is among the largest building sites in the area. It is also one of the most visible. Drivers, cyclists and hikers have watched the project slowly morph from a skeleton, to a box-like shell and, finally, to a nearly complete building. It was beset by delays and financing issues earlier, but the progress has been apparent in recent months.
Chad Root, the building official at City Hall, said on Monday the Park City Building Department by mid-July will consider allowing the studio complex to be occupied, saying the department could issue a partial certificate of occupancy. Such a certificate is needed prior to an opening. It would be the first certificate of occupancy at the site.
"The amount of contractors on the job site has shown they’re serious about moving forward and trying to wrap the project up," Root said, noting the contrast from the minimal number of workers at the site at some points in the past.
Root said a certificate of occupancy would involve the biggest building at the site. It houses three studios and is the building that has come to symbolize the project thus far. Office space in the building is not expected to be covered under the initial certificate of occupancy, he said. Building Department officials are scheduled to visit the site on Wednesday to study the progress and receive a status report, Root said.
"It’s going to be a great step, I think, for the film studio," Root said.
The Wednesday visit will focus on the mechanical system, the fire-sprinkler system and other parts of the building critical to ensuring safety, he said.
Root said people involved in the project have indicated they want to secure the partial certificate of occupancy so film crews can start working. He said the ABC television network is interested in shooting at the location.
The Building Department in May of 2014 issued a high-dollar permit for the project, which is located off the southwest corner of Quinn’s Junction. It was among the permits that pushed Park City’s construction industry to one of its best years in 2014. The developers said at various points the first facilities at the studio complex would open in late 2014 or early 2015, perhaps by the start of the Sundance Film Festival in January. Delays, though, mounted as the date was pushed well into 2015.
Greg Ericksen, the chairman of the firm developing the film studio, declined to provide details on Monday. In an email response to a Park Record inquiry, Ericksen said Park City Film Studios intends to issue a statement to the media soon. He said the development and the Park City Film Studios’ business plan are proceeding. He said the upcoming media statement will include information about potential clients.
The Park City Film Studios is expected to anchor a broader development at the site tied to the studio complex. The developers have listed a hotel, an entertainment center, an international film school and a digital media center as elements in the overall project.
A critic of a Park City workforce or otherwise affordable housing project in Old Town said he is considering an appeal of the Park City Planning Commission’s approval of the development.