Redevelopment starts at onetime art center site along Main Street |

Redevelopment starts at onetime art center site along Main Street

Crews prepare site as extensive work is expected in the coming weeks

Metal poles have been placed along the perimeter of part of the former Kimball Art Center property, signaling that work on the redevelopment of the building is quickly approaching. The poles will be part of a construction fence.

Crews early in the week started to prepare the former site of the Kimball Art Center for a major redevelopment, an important moment in a long-running, hotly contested process that ultimately led the not-for-profit to sell the property and then the new owner to make significant concessions to win an approval for the project.

The workers installed metal poles at the site that will be part of a chain-link construction fence. The poles stretched the length of the building on Heber Avenue and Main Street. Smaller orange caution poles were also placed at the site. The poles offer an early look at what will be the perimeter of the construction site. Main Street did not appear to be busy early in the week, but the holiday shopping crowds that are expected to arrive on Friday will undoubtedly notice.

Large construction projects along Main Street like the one that will occur at the former Kimball Art Center site have long been challenging. Projects typically have significant impacts, sometimes including sidewalk closures and rerouting, temporary traffic delays and noise that can be heard well outside the work zone itself.

The project is situated at one of the corners of the high-profile Main Street-Heber Avenue intersection, a location that is critical to traffic and pedestrian routes along Main Street. City Hall will place restrictions on the work meant to ensure traffic and pedestrians will continue to flow through the intersection largely unhindered.

The site is under the ownership umbrella of a California firm called Columbus Pacific Properties. The owner won a City Hall approval to put up a new building where a patio is now located. The new building will be connected to the historic one with a glass breezeway. The project involves an undetermined number of retail spaces and space designed for events.

"This is the first step of the process for us," said Tony Tyler, a member of the development team based in Park City, adding, "You're going to see quite a bit of work."

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Tyler said images will be put on the outside of the chain-link fence for decoration. They will show historic photos and renderings of the development, he said.

He said crews want to start to demolish the interior of the building shortly. Some interior walls will come down, and bathrooms, floors and light fixtures will also be demolished. It will take between two and three weeks to complete the interior demolition, Tyler said. The crews afterward, probably starting in the middle of December, will demolish the deck at the Main Street-Heber Avenue intersection and the nearby parking lot.

Tyler said the developer hopes the project will be substantially complete before Christmas of 2017.

The Park City Building Department anticipates it could issue a permit for the demolition of the interior by Dec. 1. A building permit that would allow the broader construction will take longer to approve. Michelle Downard, the deputy chief building official, said processing the building permit could take until early February. She said the Building Department will scrutinize any work that would impact the pedestrian flow of sidewalks or involve temporary road closures.

The Building Department will eventually craft what is known as a construction-mitigation plan for the project. The plan will include a detailed rundown of procedures and restrictions for the construction.