Newpark lot could eyed for townhome project
Eight-unit building proposed near amphitheater
One of the last developable lots in Newpark, adjacent to the amphitheater, is being eyed for an eight-unit townhome building.
In an interview with The Park Record, brothers Ryan and Matthew Crandall, partners of Crandall Capital and owners of the parcel, said they want to build a four-story building with three-bedroom units, including one affordable unit, to attract full-time residents. The space – south of Maxwell’s East Coast Eatery in the Newpark Town Center — is currently occupied by a parking lot.
“We are just developing the pad that we have that ability to develop. We feel it will bookend the amphitheater and it’s in our best long term interest to build something to benefit the community,” Ryan Crandall said. “We are not trying to make a quick buck. We are trying to make a legacy project.”
The Snyderville Basin Planning Commission is scheduled to host a public hearing on the matter at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 22, in the Sheldon Richins Building. The item is set for a discussion. Action will not likely be taken.
Ryan Crandall said Crandall Capital owns all of the property south of the Newpark Hotel, including the amphitheater, obelisk and surrounding property.
“Unfortunately, we are the last piece of the puzzle in Newpark. All of this construction has gone on since Newpark was first approved in the early 2000s,” Matthew Crandall said. “People will make the argument that the site or location or building is inappropriate. But, it’s the timing and the fact that we are the last piece. It’s just a growing thing and we understand that and we are sympathetic to it.”
He said Crandall Capital has committed to increasing connectivity in the area with more sidewalks, adding built-in seating, vegetation and redesign of the amphitheater. Construction could start as soon as summer of 2018.
“We just ask that people come with an open mind,” said Ryan Crandall. “Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook. Have an open mind to hear our side of the story and what we are doing and what we are proposing before making any judgements.”
Amir Caus, a Summit County planner, said the development agreement allows several uses on the property, including residential.
“As far as staff is concerned, we are looking at the applicability of the development agreement,” Caus said. “It’s not subjective or whether a use can be there or not. That is a developable parcel. They are not coming in for any new entitlements. We want the public to know that it is not discretionary and we rely solely on the code and development agreement.”
Caus said staff is seeking input from the planning commission regarding the final subdivision plat and site plan for the project, referred to as The Commons. County Manager Tom Fisher will make the final decision after receiving a recommendation from the commission. He said the public hearing was scheduled based on the public’s interest in the project.
As of Thursday, a website urging officials to reject the application includes a petition with 921 signatures opposing the project. A similar page on Facebook has 168 likes.
The website claims the development would have “devastating consequences for Summit County residents and visitors who come together in this special, public space, by eroding pedestrian connectivity, blocking sunlight and views, and limiting access to the plaza.”
“They are building a building that is too tall. It encroaches on the community space and will cast shadows,” said Chris Eggleton, managing director of Destination Hotels Utah. “The way this project is designed it creates a private dead end and seems counterintuitive to a thoughtful retail town center.”
Eggleton said the project lacks community benefits. He added, “If you are going to ask for a change, it should get better and we believe, strongly, it doesn’t.”
“We understand this developer has a right to some square footage. We are not anti-development,” Eggleton said. “But, the reality is, the development should afford some win-wins and should enhance the community. That’s been Newpark’s motto and we have been doing that for a long time.”
To view the staff report when it becomes available, go to http://summitcounty.org/agendacenter under Snyderville Basin Planning Commission. To view the website opposing the project, go to https://www.preservenewpark.com/.
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.