Park City’s Main & Sky seen as example for Treasure
Building along Main Street fits in Old Town, developer says
October 27, 2017
Critics of the proposed Treasure development have long contended the project would loom over Old Town with bigger, taller buildings than those in the neighborhood.
A Treasure partnership figure on Wednesday pointed to one of the largest buildings along Main Street, Main & Sky, as an example of the sort of building Treasure itself could use as a concept model.
The mention of Main & Sky, located at one corner of the busy Main Street-Heber Avenue intersection and once known as the Sky Lodge, was one of the intriguing moments during a Park City Planning Commission meeting about Treasure. The meeting covered a range of issues such as the forecasted economic impact of Treasure, work force housing and the excavation the project will require. The Main & Sky comparison, though, provided the audience a well-known visual guide.
The Treasure partnership, consisting of the Sweeney family and a firm called Park City II, LLC, is locked in difficult discussions with the Planning Commission about the project. The Sweeney family in the 1980s secured an overall development approval for the Treasure land, located on a hillside overlooking Old Town along the route of the Town Lift, and nearby parcels. Another permit is needed for the approximately 1 million-square-foot Treasure project itself.
Treasure is designed to appear as if it is a series of buildings. They would be connected with an underground garage, though. Planning Commissioners and project critics in the neighborhood have long expressed concern about the look of the project as the western backdrop for Old Town. Neither the Planning Commission nor the Treasure partnership on Wednesday spent extensive time comparing the Treasure designs with Main & Sky.
Pat Sweeney, who represents his family in the discussions, told the Planning Commission Main & Sky, conceptually, was tapped for the designs for Treasure. The project would not mimic the building at the Main Street-Heber Avenue intersection, Sweeney said. He said, as an example, the Treasure developers would not be able to use heavy timber as a material based on the location and the design.
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"Reflect but don't replicate," Sweeney said.
He also said a building at 205 Main St. could influence the design of a section of Treasure.
In an interview after the meeting, Sweeney described that the largest sections of Treasure would be similar in size to Main & Sky. He said the project is an "example of a building that was well executed."
"That is a good example of a big building, tall building . . . that fits in Old Town," Sweeney said, adding, "We think it's a good example of what we tried to do."
He said Treasure, though, would not appear as it was a series of buildings designed to resemble Main & Sky. There would be different styles throughout the project, he said.
"They're not 13 Sky Lodges. There's a variety of things," Sweeney said.
Main & Sky is among the largest buildings in Park City, and its design and construction a decade ago were closely watched as a result of the highly visible location. There have not been sustained complaints about the look of Main & Sky in the years since. A statewide architectural group honored the project in 2010.
But critics could eventually counter the Treasure side's interest in Main & Sky with an argument comparing the two locations. Main & Sky, they may say, is situated on heavily developed Main Street and is surrounded by buildings. Main & Sky is also set slightly below street level. They may say Treasure is different since it would be situated on a hillside without surrounding buildings.
The Planning Commission on Wednesday touched on issues like which set of City Hall development rules were in place when various Treasure submittals were made, the plans to use explosives during the excavation and concerns about the possibility the project would halt construction midway through the work.
People who testified on Wednesday broached topics like the noise of the excavation blasting, the time needed for the excavation and whether the project has changed too much from what was contemplated in the 1980s overall approval.
Arnie Rusten, a Lowell Avenue resident, said the project would not have a "sense of community." He said explosives that would be used in the excavation would send ground waves outside the Treasure property's borders.
"It is called blasting for a reason," Rusten said.
Nikki Deforge, an attorney who represents the Treasure opposition group Treasure Hill Impact Neighborhood Coalition, argued there have been material changes to the project through the years that should require a new approval process. She also claimed Treasure does not meet affordable- or employee-housing requirements since the project has grown in square footage over time. Deforge also questioned the Treasure architecture.
"Is there anything comparable to this in Old Town?" she said.
The Planning Commission is scheduled to continue the Treasure discussions on Nov. 8.