Park City envisions largest-ever housing effort |

Park City envisions largest-ever housing effort

City Hall holds significant land along the lower Park Avenue corridor and is considering options to develop housing, a priority of the Park City Council. Courtesy of Park City Municipal Corp.

City Hall over the years acquired a patchwork of properties stretching between the edge of the Park City Mountain Resort parking lots and City Park, realizing there would be an opportunity to influence development along what could someday become an important corridor.

Though the first groundbreaking could be a year or more away, Park City officials are continuing the efforts to remake what has long been referred to as the lower Park Avenue corridor even though the municipal government’s holdings extend beyond Park Avenue itself.

Park City recently took a procedural step regarding the lower Park Avenue corridor, posting a document called a request for proposals seeking a consulting team to assist with the work. The consultants will help as Park City devises architectural and development plans. They will also be involved in an analysis of the financials. Proposals are due later in April. The Park City Council is anticipated to authorize the hiring of a consulting team later in the spring.

The work will involve properties owned by the municipal government. They are:

  • a piece of Park Avenue ground where a fire station once was located. It covers approximately one-half of an acre between the 1300 blocks of Park Avenue and Woodside Avenue.
  • the .56-acre piece of ground fronting Woodside Avenue where the Park City Senior Citizens Center is located.
  • a parcel along Empire Avenue. It covers .37 of an acre and is referred to as the Knudson parcel after a former owner.
  • vacant parcels at 1321 Woodside Ave. and 1323 Woodside Ave.

    The parcels do not represent a significant amount of land, but the placement has long been seen as critical by City Hall. They have been considered as being the likely route of a connection of some sort between City Park and PCMR. But officials also see the parcels as important holdings as Park City pursues a housing strategy that has broadened from stressing the work force to other segments of the population like senior citizens.

    "It will be the biggest project we’ve ever done," said Jonathan Weidenhamer, who manages City Hall’s economic development programs and is one of the staffers with an important role in the discussions about the lower Park Avenue corridor.

    The document seeking a consultant says City Hall’s goals include a housing mix that ranges from studios to three-bedroom units in multifamily projects to houses. The units would be designed for households with incomes between $42,500 and $109,300, putting sales prices at between $200,000 and $435,000, according to the document. Rents are envisioned to be between $1,062 and $1,800 per month for units that are leased instead of sold. The document says Park City "is aggressively looking at building affordable housing on City owned property."

    Weidenhamer said there is a possibility a minimum of 40 units of housing could be developed between the parcels. In comparison, the Snow Creek Cottages, an ambitious housing project developed by City Hall close to the Park Avenue police station, has 13 units.

    He said the parcel where the fire station once was located is the top priority for a housing project. City Hall intends to develop the parcel on its own with a groundbreaking as early as the spring of 2017, he said. The details have not been finalized, but Weidenhamer described a possibility of houses on the Park Avenue side of the land and multifamily units on the Woodside Avenue side. He said the ground is seen as holding seven or eight units of housing.

    At the site of the Senior Citizens Center, Weidenhamer said, housing is also a priority. He anticipates a project could be a mix of market-rate units and restricted affordable ones. The consultants will be asked to consider options for the future of City Hall’s senior citizens services. The document seeking a consultant requests research be conducted into the possibility of building a senior and community center in the vicinity of lower Park Avenue, perhaps at the location of the recreation building at City Park or a parking lot across Park Avenue from the Park City Library.

    City Hall would recoup a portion of the cost of the development by selling the units, similar to the Snow Creek Cottages scenario, or renting them.

    The hiring of a consulting firm will be a milestone, but City Hall will also need to proceed through the municipal government’s own development process as it forwards plans for the individual properties. Weidenhamer said the consultant’s work could be presented to Mayor Jack Thomas and the City Council in the fall followed by development applications and review by the Park City Planning Commission in the winter and into the spring of 2017.

    There has been public interest over the past year as it became clearer what sort of timeline City Hall could pursue. Officials held an event focused on lower Park Avenue last summer that drew a crowd interested in the development prospects of the neighborhood. Some of the discussion at that time dwelled on a widely criticized concept to develop housing on the field outside the Park City Library. That concept was quickly scrapped. Others at the time were interested in the possibilities involving work force and senior housing.

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