Sundance moves Park City offices, leaving Silver Star for Kearns Boulevard |

Sundance moves Park City offices, leaving Silver Star for Kearns Boulevard

The Sundance Institute kept its Utah headquarters at the Silver Star development on the edge of Thaynes Canyon, shown, for longer than a decade. The institute will relocate the Utah headquarters to a building on Kearns Boulevard. The opening of the new space is planned on Tuesday.
Park Record file photo

The Sundance Institute will relocate its Utah headquarters from the Silver Star development on the edge of Thaynes Canyon to a building along Kearns Boulevard, leaving a historic property after more than a decade of occupancy for a nondescript office building.

The new location in a building at 1500 Kearns Blvd. is expected to open on Tuesday with the entire staff of Sundance’s Utah headquarters in the space at that time. The moving process is ongoing. Sundance said it has signed a multiyear lease for the space on Kearns Boulevard, but officials did not provide details about the terms.

Sundance said nearly 80 people work at the Utah headquarters on a year-round basis. The activity, though, swells as the Sundance Film Festival annually in January approaches. The institute also maintains a headquarters in Los Angeles.

Betsy Wallace, the managing director of the institute and the top-ranking staffer based in Utah, said the lease at the Kearns Boulevard property covers just more than 16,000 usable square feet, significantly more than the approximately 10,000 square feet Sundance occupied at Silver Star. She said Sundance is pleased with the time it spent at Silver Star, saying the space was “a great home for us.” Wallace said, though, Sundance’s operations in Utah outgrew the space at Silver Star. Wallace said Sundance became “very space-constrained” at the Silver Star location.

Sundance moved into the Silver Star space in 2006, agreeing to relocate the Utah offices from downtown Salt Lake City to Park City as part of a landmark deal negotiated primarily between City Hall and Sundance. The deal ensured the festival remained in Park City on a long-term basis and called for the relocation of the Utah offices to the community. The Silver Star developer and Sundance reached a separate agreement for the lease of the space.

The move puts the Sundance offices in a location that is more central to the festival. Although inside the Park City limits, Silver Star is in a remote location for the festival operations. The new building, though, is in a crucial spot for the festival. The Kearns Boulevard corridor over time has become critical to Sundance. There are a series of important venues along Kearns Boulevard or within a few blocks of the road, including screening rooms at the Eccles Center and Holiday Village and the festival headquarters in Prospector. Kearns Boulevard has essentially become a spine for the festival operations outside the hubbub of the Main Street core.

“It allows us more convenience to the festival,” Wallace said.

The Kearns Boulevard location, meanwhile, is nearly kitty-corner to the land where City Hall plans to develop an arts and culture district. The Kimball Art Center and the Utah headquarters of Sundance are seen as the anchors to the district. The development timeline remains unclear, but the occupancy of the space at 1500 Kearns Blvd. will acclimate Sundance to the busy corridor as it awaits the debut of the arts and culture district.

The timing ensures Sundance will be finished with the move prior to the frenetic period before the festival in January. Sundance staffing and festival-related preparations increase substantially in the fall and early winter as the organization readies the opening. Work is required across Park City as the festival nears. The headquarters is a hub for the staffers during that stretch.

The Utah headquarters Sundance is leaving operated inside three buildings at Silver Star. Two of them are historic. One once was a machine shop and the other once was a sawmill. The restoration was lauded at the time as being among the community’s most ambitious preservation projects.

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