Kimball Junction affordable housing complex dedicated
When Bob Richer moved to Park City more than 35 years ago, finding a safe and affordable home wasn’t a challenge.
The community welcomed young people looking for a place to live, Richer said, adding that it was a very inclusive atmosphere at the time.
Richer eventually became president of the Egyptian Theatre Board, president of the Park City Board of Realtors and president of the Park City Rotary Club. He served on the Park City Council and the Summit County Commission, helping to shape the community’s affordable-housing agenda. He is also now the namesake of a new affordable housing apartment complex at Kimball Junction.
The Sellers Group hosted an open house and dedication of the Richer Place Apartments on Wednesday. More than 50 people attended, including some future tenants and Park City Mayor Jack Thomas, among other government leaders.
“The reason I am involved in this is because all the people that really lack the housing are also the soul of our city and they are the next generation,” Richer said in an interview with The Park Record.
The 28-unit apartment complex will provide affordable housing to qualified applicants who earn between 25 to 51 percent of the area’s median income. The housing project is part of a requirement for the developers of the Village at Kimball Junction, which includes Del Taco, Five Guys Burgers, Café Zupas, Jimmy John’s and Freebirds World Burrito. The development was approved in 2012.
“We must keep welcoming and nurturing all segments of our society so they, too, can grow to love Park City as much as I have,” Richer said. “My hope is that the Richer Place Apartments serves as a welcoming and nurturing environment.”
Myles Rademan, who was unable to attend the ceremony, referred to Richer in a statement as “one of Summit County’s unsung civic heroes.”
“His fingerprints are on virtually everything we hold dear and take for granted today,” the statement read. “The tenacity and spirit with which Bob work, service and life is an inspiration to us all, and the Richer place affordable housing complex is but a concrete tribute to his untiring efforts.”
The three-story building will include two studio, 18 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom units. Eight of the ground-floor units will be ADA accessible, while two units are set aside for veterans, two units for victims of domestic violence and five units for temporarily homeless individuals and families. Rent is going to range in price from $425 to $980 per month.
Scott Loomis, executive director of Mountainlands Community Housing Trust, said all of the units have been leased, adding that more than 300 people were on the wait list. Tenants are scheduled to move in on Saturday and Sunday, he said.
“There really hasn’t been anything for sale or rent since about 2009 in Kimball Junction,” Loomis said. “The last project was Liberty Peak Apartments. While there has been a fair amount approved, nothing has been built. We are happy to have this available for at least 28 households.”
Richer said the recognition is an honor not only for himself, but the community as well.
“But, it’s not about me,” Richer said. “It’s about our community and how does someone become part of a community? The first step is you have to live there.”
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.