Sundance seen as potential Bonanza Park tenant |

Sundance seen as potential Bonanza Park tenant

Kimball Art Center also mentioned as project wins preliminary vote

by Jay Hamburger
The Sundance Institute keeps its Utah headquarters at Silver Star on the edge of Thaynes Canyon. The Bonanza Park developers on Wednesday told the Park City Planning Commission there is a possibility Sundance could have a presence in the district someday. Neither the Bonanza Park developers nor Sundance provided details, though.
Tanzi Propst/Park Record

The Bonanza Park team on Wednesday night indicated the Sundance Institute could have a presence in the project someday, a revelation that was made shortly before the development secured a preliminary vote in favor of an ambitious redo of the district.

The statement regarding Sundance, offered during a Park City Planning Commission meeting, was brief. Rory Murphy, who is a Bonanza Park consultant, mentioned Sundance as a potential tenant during his comments to the Planning Commission. He also said the Kimball Art Center could be a part of Bonanza Park when it is redeveloped.

The Bonanza Park side did not provide details about the prospects of the institute eventually occupying space. A high-ranking Sundance official, Managing Director Sarah Pearce, was in attendance but did not address the Planning Commission.

The idea of the Kimball Art Center being a part of the project has been seen as possible, perhaps even probable, since the organization is currently residing in temporary quarters in Bonanza Park as it considers its plans for a permanent facility. The development would also appear to offer the space and design latitudes to build a standalone art center.

The Sundance mention, though, was highly unexpected. The Sundance Institute keeps its Utah headquarters at Silver Star on the edge of Thaynes Canyon. It has a long-term lease on the Silver Star space, through late 2022.

In an interview afterward, Pearce said Sundance has not negotiated an agreement with the Bonanza Park developers. She said the institute would like more room, but it was not clear whether Sundance would continue to lease space in Silver Star in addition to securing a spot in Bonanza Park. The Sundance space at Silver Star covers approximately 10,900 square feet.

“We’re talking about some more office space because we’re outgrowing Silver Star. We’re looking at lots of options,” Pearce said.

Kimball Art Center leadership was also in attendance on Wednesday. Kathy Kennedy, the managing director, said afterward the art center and the Bonanza Park partnership have not reached an agreement to locate the organization in the development. She said the Kimball Art Center is researching several undisclosed locations in Park City and Summit County for a permanent facility of between 25,000 and 30,000 square feet.

Kennedy said the Kimball Art Center would fit in well in Bonanza Park, noting the district is centrally located to Main Street and schools. She said the not-for-profit’s leadership likes the idea of remaining in the district on a long-term basis.

It would be a significant accomplishment for the Bonanza Park partnership – consisting of Mark J. Fischer and John Paul DeJoria — to secure two of Park City’s top-tier arts organizations as tenants in the early stages of the project. Doing so could set a tone as the developers eventually seek to create a hip district that offers a mix of residences, commercial spaces and offices.

The partnership wants to redevelop a patchwork of properties along Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive. It acquired the land over the years intending to pursue an overall development blueprint. The parcels include buildings housing of variety of businesses, including a clinic, a gas station, a car wash and coffee drive thru. Much of the development now standing would be razed as Bonanza Park is built. The partnership, though, has said it would like the existing businesses to open in the new buildings.

The Planning Commission on Wednesday cast a unanimous preliminary vote in favor of the Bonanza Park redevelopment, envisioned as seven buildings totaling approximately 276,494 square feet.

The panel found the proposal in compliance with City Hall’s General Plan, an overarching document that guides growth. The developers must return to the Planning Commission to secure approvals for the project itself. The Planning Commission discussions at that point will be much more detailed than those that were held prior to the vote on Wednesday.

The Planning Commission starting in the spring discussed Bonanza Park issues like the height of the proposed buildings, the overall design of the project and whether residential units in the district will be available for rent on a nightly basis.

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