Provo developer presents concept for PCMR project, drawing criticism for ‘Manhattan-style’ design
A Provo firm that plans to acquire the Park City Mountain Resort parking lots for a major development presented the blueprints to the public for the first time on Monday evening, drawing an inquisitive crowd that included some with early concerns about the proposal.
It was an important gathering and the first of three open houses designed to introduce the concept crafted by PEG Companies for the PCMR lots. Up to 60 people attended the event, held at the Hyatt Place on S.R. 224, poring over visuals and talking to members of the project team. The visuals were the first presented in a public setting. They were not detailed renderings like the ones that could emerge later, but they provided at least an initial visual aid as people begin to learn about what is expected to be one of the largest projects left to be built within the Park City limits.
Representatives from PEG Companies spoke briefly before spending most of the time talking individually with people in the crowd or with small groups of people. It was not clear how detailed the discussions became as the crowd learned of the concept. It seems likely the talks will be much more detailed once PEG Companies launches the formal discussions with the Park City Planning Commission.
Still, though, some of the people at the event said in interviews they have initial concerns about the concepts for the lots. The talks with the Planning Commission will likely draw intense interest from people who live nearby or have properties in the vicinity of PCMR, such as those on Lowell Avenue and Empire Avenue.
Nancy Lazenby, who lives on Empire Avenue close to PCMR, attended on Monday as she started to learn about the concepts. She has lived in Park City since 2005 and owned the residence on Empire Avenue since 2012.
Lazenby expressed initial concern about the project, including the possibility of tall buildings at the PCMR base. She said tall buildings would contrast with the smaller ones of Old Town.
“What they’re proposing is creating a Manhattan-style, eight-story building,” she said, adding, “What they’re proposing doesn’t fit.”
Lazenby said she prefers the developers pursue a project with buildings rising to a maximum of four stories. She sees the PCMR lots as the “last piece” of Old Town.
“It’s going to get developed, and it should … but it has to be done right,” Lazenby said.
She criticized the design as it is now as “generic.”
“It’s so boring,” she said, adding, “There’s nothing Old Town or charming about it.”
Another person who attended, Prospector resident Tom Horton, in an interview expressed concern about the plans to address the flow of traffic related to the development. He urged a “bolder vision to serve Empire and Lowell.” Horton questioned whether the designs fit with the community’s ideas for Park City’s long-term future, which were outlined in a recent visioning exercise. He said the parking considered as a part of the PEG Companies plans does not jibe with the ideas from the community.
“If you’re going to understand the visioning process, you’re going to understand the citizens expect a reduction of base-of-the-lift, day-skier parking,” Horton said.
He also said the ideas to build workforce housing as part of the project better fit the vision for the community.
PCMR owner Vail Resorts reached an agreement to sell the lots to PEG Companies for an undisclosed price. The deal would not be finalized until later. A former owner of PCMR in the 1990s secured an overall development approval for the base area. Marriott’s Mountainside and the Legacy Lodge were also developed as part of the overall 1990s approval, but significant rights remain on the lots.
PEG Companies is expected to engage the Planning Commission in coming months with the 10-acre development proposal encompassing a hotel, retailers, restaurants and condominiums. Garages would be built to offset the parking spots that are lost as the lots are developed. The Planning Commission could begin its talks about the project as early as the spring.
PEG Companies has scheduled two more events. One is set for March 18 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at The Rockwell Room on Main Street while the other is scheduled March 24 from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Place.
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It was an important decision since the rest of the talks will be heavily influenced by the processing option selected by the Planning Commission on Wednesday.