Park City reaches deal to acquire Peace House property
Old Town location will become living quarters for transit workers
City Hall on Thursday reached an agreement to acquire a house in Old Town and a small piece of associated land from the Peace House, a deal that officials say will continue to advance the municipal government’s wide-ranging housing efforts.
The Park City Council approved the $1,250,000 acquisition on a 4-0 vote with City Councilor Becca Gerber absent. There was no public input prior to the vote. Mayor Jack Thomas and the City Council did not discuss the purchase in any detail at the meeting. It is likely the elected officials addressed the details during closed-door sessions. State law allows a government body to discuss property acquisitions in closed sessions given the competitive nature of real estate transactions. A City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the meeting on Thursday says a September appraisal valued the property at the $1,250,000 selling price.
Jane Patten, the facility project director of the Peace House and the not-for-profit’s executive director for 12 years ending earlier this month, thanked the elected officials. The Peace House has owned the property since 2007.
The sale is expected to close on Feb. 15. City Hall agreed to lease the property to the Peace House from the closing date until Sept. 18, 2018. The lease rate is $1 annually.
The deal was reached as the Peace House continues its efforts to develop an ambitious campus close to Quinn’s Junction.
The project is anticipated to cost $11 million. The Peace House wants to break ground in the early summer. The campus will include an emergency shelter, transitional housing, office space and support space. Patten said a fundraising campaign will be launched.
“It’s a very nice amount that goes toward some of the other assets and toward our fundraising,” she said.
Park City leaders want to acquire the property for housing purposes. The City Hall report indicated the Old Town property will be used to house transit workers. Park City expands the transit staff by nearly 50 people during the ski season. Most of the positions are bus drivers.
The City Hall report indicates the property has communal kitchens as well as living area. There is already a restriction on the deed that requires the property be used for transitional or otherwise affordable housing, the report says.
The property has living quarters for five people and “the structure is already conducive to the proposed use,” according to the City Hall report.
Park City leaders are pursuing an aggressive housing program that involves developing restricted units and, in the acquisition of the Peace House property, buying places. Park City’s real estate market is the most expensive in the state, pricing many rank-and-file workers out of the market. Officials say the City Hall housing program provides benefits like ensuring socioeconomic diversity in Park City and reducing commuter traffic.
The acquisition of the Old Town property will follow the municipal government’s construction of a building designed to house transit staffers outside the Public Works Building. Park City sees the ability to offer housing as an attractive recruiting tool as it seeks to hire bus drivers.
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