Park City-area housing projects draw 99 potential buyers |

Park City-area housing projects draw 99 potential buyers

The interest in Old Town development is especially strong

by Jay Hamburger

City Hall is building eight houses at 1450-1460 Park Ave. as part of an aggressive program meant to greatly expand the stock of work force or otherwise affordable units. The application window recently closed for people hoping to acquire one of the houses or a unit in other restricted developments. The Park Avenue project was listed as the first choice on 69 of the 99 applications, according to Mountainlands Community Housing Trust.

Ninety-nine people submitted paperwork hoping to purchase a unit in one of four work force or otherwise restricted housing projects in Park City or the Snyderville Basin, a number that far exceeds the availability and one that illustrates the broad demand for a place on the West Side of Summit County.

Mountainlands Community Housing Trust collected applications on behalf of City Hall, which is readying two projects inside Park City, as well as applications for two developments in the Snyderville Basin. The City Hall projects are located at 1450-1460 Park Ave., where eight houses are under construction, and the unfinished 11-unit Central Park Condominiums on Prospector Avenue, which the municipal government acquired with the intention to sell the units as restricted housing.

Scott Loomis, the executive director of the not-for-profit Mountainlands Community Housing Trust, said 33 of the applications were filed on the deadline day of June 30. According to Mountainlands Community Housing Trust, 69 of the applications listed the Park Avenue project as the first choice and another 11 listed it as the second choice. Eight people indicated the Central Park Condominiums was their first choice and 43 identified it as their second choice, the organization said.

Mountainlands Community Housing Trust said approximately 80 percent of the people who submitted applications listed one of the two projects inside Park City as their first choice.

Park City leaders and Mountainlands Community Housing Trust anticipated there would be significant interest in the two Park City projects, but it was not clear until the closing of the application window what sort of numbers would seek one of the units. Both the projects inside Park City proved attractive as potential buyers weighed the details of the units as well as the addresses. The Park Avenue project is especially well situated close to City Park and Main Street.

"It's location, primarily, and a reasonable price, affordable price," Loomis said.

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The prospective buyers need to live or work within the boundaries of the Park City School District. Retirees seeking one of the units must have worked within the boundaries of the School District.

City Hall officials will be heavily involved as the units in the two Park City projects are sold. Rhoda Stauffer, the affordable housing program manager for City Hall, said a team of budget, human resources and other staffers will review the applications over the next several weeks to ensure the prospective buyers meet the criteria for sales.

An internal team will also design a lottery that will be employed to select buyers since there were more applications submitted than available units. Stauffer said Park City potentially plans to hold a four-tier lottery. Each of the tiers involves an income ceiling. The first tier will involve senior citizens, who will be given preference for two units in the Park Avenue project. The second tier will cover people determined to be essential employees, such as municipal staffers and people who work in the emergency services. The third tier will involve income-qualifying members of the general population.

The qualifying income range in the first three tiers runs between $43,418 annually for a one-person household and $83,754 a year for a three-person household. A fourth tier includes people who earn $72,380 for a one-person household and $93,060 for a three-person household. The income benchmarks rise as the size of the families increase.

The houses in the Park Avenue project are expected to cost between $192,153 and $280,291 while the units in the Prospector Avenue development are forecast to run between $168,136 and $288,300. The prices are below market rates, particularly at the Park Avenue project.

Stauffer said she anticipates the lottery will be held in late July or early August, at the earliest. It will likely be a public event, she said.

The projects on Park Avenue and Prospector Avenue are a part of City Hall's aggressive housing program, meant to create opportunities in the most expensive real estate market in the state. Leaders see the program as having benefits like ensuring socioeconomic diversity and reducing commuter traffic.