Park City Film Studios once saw Kimball Art Center as a marquee tenant |

Park City Film Studios once saw Kimball Art Center as a marquee tenant

by Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

The developer of the Park City Film Studios at one time contemplated the possibility of the Kimball Art Center relocating from Main Street to the Quinn’s Junction development, court documents show, an intriguing bit of information that likely would have been kept guarded if not for a lawsuit involving the studios.

The Kimball Art Center is mentioned at least three times in material supporting the lawsuit, which was filed in 3rd District Court at Silver Summit. A firm that provided financial backing to the developer brought the lawsuit and is seeking control of Park City Film Studios. The Kimball Art Center is not a party in the case, but the mentions of the not-for-profit organization are noteworthy nonetheless.

The Kimball Art Center sold its property along Main Street to a separate developer earlier in 2015 as a result of City Hall’s rejection of a planned expansion onto the art center’s patio at the intersection of Main Street and Heber Avenue. The Kimball Art Center plans to relocate temporarily to a site along Kearns Boulevard. The organization has not finalized plans for a permanent site.

The decision by the Kimball Art Center to sell the property and move to a new location was one of the dramatic moments in a lengthy process involving the organization and the municipal government. City Hall last August rejected the designs for the expansion at the location along Main Street, finding that they did not fit on the Main Street streetscape. The leadership of the art center shortly afterward signaled their intentions to move the organization.

The Kimball Art Center has not secured a spot for a permanent facility, leading to chatter in development and real estate circles about the ultimate location for the organization. It intends to operate in rented space along Kearns Boulevard on a temporary basis as a new location is secured and a new building is developed.

There has been speculation about the possibilities for a permanent location. Somewhere in the Bonanza Park district, which is where the temporary location will be situated, and, perhaps, a spot at Canyons Resort have been mentioned since the Kimball Art Center declared its intentions to move.

The Park City Film Studios has not been mentioned in the same manner even though it would seem there would be space available on the property. City Hall’s rules governing building designs are not nearly as strict there as they are at the Kimball Art Center site in Old Town and broad development rights have already been secured at Park City Film Studios.

Two of the Kimball Art Center mentions in the lawsuit’s supporting material are within the same letter. It is an Oct. 13, 2014 correspondence from Greg Ericksen, who leads a firm called Quinn’s Junction Properties, to Gary Crandall from Quinn Capital Partners. Ericksen is the Park City Film Studios developer while the Crandall-led firm provided financial backing for the project. The five-page letter covers numerous topics related to Crandall’s financial support. The letter in one section outlines a desire to obtain approximately $17 million in financing.

"As part of that effort we are meeting with Kimball Arts Center and other potential tenants over the next few days," the Ericksen letter says.

The other Kimball Art Center reference in the letter is made in a section discussing milestones in the project. One of the milestones is Quinn’s Junction Properties "or a subsidiary secures the Kimball Art Center or similar tenant lease and/or building site . . ." The section also discusses cash flow that does not appear to involve any agreement with the Kimball Art Center.

The Kimball Art Center, meanwhile, is also mentioned in what is labeled as a long-form draft of a 20-page letter of intent. It was written for discussion purposes. It is dated Nov. 21, 2014 and from the Quinn Capital Partners side to Ericksen-led firm. In a section addressing the conduct of business, the correspondence refers to "the offer made to Kimball Arts Center . . ." It does not provide details, though.

Ericksen declined to comment about the Kimball Art Center mentions, saying the lawsuit is continuing. Robin Marrouche, the executive director of the Kimball Art Center, released a brief prepared statement in response to a Park Record request for comment.

"We visited the Film Studios while looking at all space options. We are moving to the Bonanza Park location this fall. Beyond that we have not made any further plans for the permanent location at this time," Marrouche said.

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