Housing group seeks more time for real estate deal with City Hall | ParkRecord.com

Housing group seeks more time for real estate deal with City Hall

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Greenpark Cohousing, LLC, the group that intends to purchase two old houses and the accompanying land from City Hall, late last week requested it be given more time to finalize the deal.

The group asked for an extension in an unsigned letter to Matt Dias, the assistant Park City manager. It was also sent to City Manager Diane Foster. City Hall released the letter early in the week in anticipation of a Thursday meeting of the Park City Council.

Greenpark Cohousing, LLC asks City Hall to extend the settlement deadline on the purchase from March 1 until Sept. 1, giving the group another six months. The March 1 settlement deadline is itself the second extension. Greenpark Cohousing, LLC and City Hall had initially agreed to a timeline putting the settlement deadline on June 15, 2013. That was pushed back to Oct. 1, 2013 and then to March 1, 2014.

The group, meanwhile, wants officials to extend other deadlines related to the deal, including one outlining the time for due diligence and one putting a date on the financing and appraisal.

In the one-page letter to Dias, Greenpark Cohousing, LLC indicated the delay is based on the amount of time it has taken to secure the necessary planning-related approvals. The group earlier in February won a key vote from the Park City Planning Commission. Additional approvals are needed — a procedural zoning decision and a finding that the project designs meet City Hall’s tight Old Town guidelines.

"As such we have not finalized or loan application with our bank because the loan approval is contingent upon final approval of our plans by the city," the letter says, noting that it took 117 days between the time the development application was submitted and the Planning Commission vote.

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Dias authored a report in support of the extension. The assistant city manager, though, recommends that Greenpark Cohousing, LLC not be granted the extension to the due diligence and financing-appraisal deadlines. Those were requested retroactively since the deadlines already passed, according to the report. The Dias report indicates Greenpark Cohousing, LLC would accept the real estate as is and escrow money of more than $20,000 turns nonrefundable as a result of the deadlines passing.

"We’re working with them. We’re very, very hopeful . . . that it comes to fruition for the community," Dias said in an interview.

Mayor Jack Thomas and the City Council are scheduled to discuss granting the extension and cast a vote at a meeting on Thursday starting at 6 p.m. at the Marsac Building. A hearing is not required, but public input is often accepted anyway.

Greenpark Cohousing, LLC wants to purchase from City Hall two old houses and land at 1450 Park Ave. and 1460 Park Ave. The group earlier reached a $400,000 agreement with Park City leaders for the deal.

The project would be the first cohousing development in Park City. The overarching ideals of cohousing hold that the people who will live in a development have great influence in the designs a project.

The Greenpark Cohousing, LLC project will entail a new eight-unit building and the refurbishment of the two old houses on the land. Seven of the units will be sold with income restrictions and the other three will be sold at market rates, the group has said.

A Greenpark Cohousing, LLC representative did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.