In Yard deal, $60,000 of City Hall money becomes nonrefundable
Officials anticipate the $6 million acquisition will close in February
Sixty-thousand dollars in earnest money posted by City Hall as it prepares to acquire approximately half of The Yard became nonrefundable on Friday, an important step for the municipal government with another key deadline in the deal fast approaching.
A title company is holding the $60,000 in escrow. City Hall had until Friday to scrap the deal without financial penalty. It was expected that the municipal government would allow the money to become nonrefundable. Officials earlier secured an extension on the $60,000 becoming nonrefundable, from Nov. 1 until Friday, to allow additional study. The land is located at 1251 Kearns Blvd. It is one of the crucial parcels in the Bonanza Park district.
If the acquisition is not finalized, City Hall would forfeit the $60,000 to the Bonanza Park partnership that is selling the land. The earnest money would be applied to the purchase price of just under $6 million if the municipal government acquires the land.
The due diligence period, which is when a prospective buyer delves into a detailed review of a property, ended on Friday as well. The due diligence period had also been extended until that day.
“There weren’t any fatal flaws in our due diligence,” said Jonathan Weidenhamer, the economic development manager at City Hall, adding, “There were no red flags in our research.”
Weidenhamer said officials studied the environmental conditions at the site, considered preliminary road alignments and looked at rights of way as it was researching the land. City Hall also held stakeholder meetings.
City Hall and the Bonanza Park partnership, consisting of Mark J. Fischer and John Paul DeJoria, reached the deal in the spring. The municipal government has been studying the land and considering possibilities for a development there since then. Park City leaders see The Yard as offering an opportunity for some sort of work force or otherwise restricted housing, transit infrastructure and parking. A design, though, has not been finalized, and it is not clear what sort of project will eventually be pursued. A timeline is also not known.
Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council see the acquisition as a chance to control the development of a prime parcel of land in Bonanza Park, an area that is envisioned as someday becoming a hip district of residences, retailers, restaurants and offices. City Hall would heavily influence any development at The Yard if the deal is finalized. The approximately 50 percent of The Yard sought by City Hall covers 2.29 acres of land on the southern part of the property. The parcel is in back of The Boneyard Saloon & Kitchen. It borders Homestake Road, a Rocky Mountain Power substation, the Recycling Center and a storage-unit business.
The acquisition is scheduled to close on Feb. 1. Weidenhamer said he anticipates the closing will be completed as planned. He said City Hall staffers on Jan. 26 expect to discuss the closing with the mayor and City Council to confirm their intent to finalize the deal. The elected officials have supported the acquisition throughout the buying process.
Fischer said he also anticipates a closing on Feb. 1. He said City Hall has been “very professional” in its dealings with the partnership during the transaction.
The Yard at one time was seen as perhaps the critical parcel in the broader redevelopment of Bonanza Park. The partnership once considered a project at the site entailing 36 residential units. The partnership in recent months, though, has pursued a project involving other parcels in Bonanza Park.
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