Developer anticipates closing on Kimball Art Center deal in March | ParkRecord.com

Developer anticipates closing on Kimball Art Center deal in March

by Jay Hamburger, THE PARK RECORD

The California developer that intends to acquire the Kimball Art Center and redevelop the historic property said on Thursday it has released the deposit on the deal to the seller and anticipates closing on the transaction in March.

David Luber, the key figure in LCC Properties Group, said in an interview he wants to commence work on the project in the summer, subject to securing the necessary approvals from City Hall.

He said he anticipates the Kimball Art Center will remain in the space through the late summer or fall. Luber said the developer could start work on the Kimball Art Center patio prior to the not-for-profit organization vacating the building.

Kimball Art Center officials have not said publicly where they plan to relocate. Luber said the impending closing on the sale will provide the Kimball Art Center funds to acquire another property. Financial terms of the acquisition have not been publicized. The Kimball Art Center was on the market with an asking price of $8 million.

LCC Properties Group’s work in Park City has included Deer Crest and King Road Estate. It also secured the development permit for a project at 692 Main St.

The firm earlier submitted paperwork at City Hall outlining an ambitious redevelopment of the Kimball Art Center property. The project is called the Kimball Residences and Shops. It envisions turning the historic Kimball Art Center building into commercial space with a 2,500-square-foot addition on the roof.

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A new building, connected to the historic one in some fashion, would be put up on what is now the Kimball Art Center patio. It would involve commercial space on the lower levels and residences on the upper floors.

City Hall on Thursday said it deemed the application complete, meaning that Luber’s firm is able to continue through the municipal government’s planning process. A hearing in front of City Hall staffers is scheduled on Feb. 27. It is expected to focus on whether the proposed designs meet City Hall’s strict Old Town guidelines. Staffers this week posted a notice of the hearing at the Kimball Art Center and sent letters to nearby property owners informing them of the hearing.

The Kimball Art Center unsuccessfully pursued an ambitious expansion onto the patio, hiring a renowned Danish architectural firm for the designs. A first idea was widely criticized for not fitting in along Main Street’s historic streetscape. A second proposal, scaled back from the first one, was rejected by City Hall in August. Staffers determined the designs did not meet the Old Town guidelines. The Kimball Art Center put the property on the market after the rejection.

The LCC Properties Group’s proposal involves designs that are more characteristic of projects that have been approved along Main Street since the 1990s than the ones the Danish architects drafted.

The Kimball Art Center on Friday issued a prepared statement from Robin Marrouche, the executive director: "The Kimball Art Center is currently under contract with a potential buyer and in the meantime our plans remain clear: to focus on finding a temporary location for the Kimball Art Center that will let us expand our community engagement while we review sites for a permanent location. The staff, board and patrons are excited for the new chapter in the great history of the Kimball and its focus to elevate the visual art offerings within our community."