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Tech Center business OKed

After a real estate company struck a deal with the Park City Tech Center (PCTC) to exclusively market the selling and leasing of offices in the entire park for 14 months, the Summit County Council voted on Wednesday, Sept. 26 to allow Commerce CRG to move a satellite office into the park.

The council also determined there would be a change in the development agreement before any other tenants are admitted to the park.

The real estate company, Commerce CRG, negotiated the deal after last week’s meeting, at which the council expressed concern about having a real estate office at a technology and research park that only marketed building A and conducted business outside the park, as well.

The tech park development agreement does allow incidental uses besides technology and research if they support the park’s intended uses. The agreement specifically listed restaurants, private clubs, retail, banks, financial services, recreation facilities and health care facilities as allowable incidental uses, if principally located at the park.

But in last week’s meeting, County Planner Kimber Gabryszak clarified that the list was not inclusive.

"The argument is that Commerce CRG is a leasing office for the project. If that were the case, staff would agree that it would fall under ‘incidental use’ because it would be directly related to the service needs of the research park," Gabryszak had said.

The company had gone to the County Council for an appeal after county staff denied Commerce CRG’s building permit, based on three findings, according to the staff report:

1. The Commerce CRG proposed use is not simply a leasing office, but is instead a relocation of the entire office and is therefore not incidental.

2. The Commerce CRG proposed use does not primarily represent the research park, but is instead conducting business throughout the county and therefore would not be located there to support other permitted and approved conditional uses in the PCTC Park.

3. The Commerce CRG proposal has not yet been shown to be for the entire research park, but is instead only addressing the leasing and sales for the park’s building A.

"I think this [decision] solves a lot of the concerns you had last week," Commerce CRG representative Tim Anker said. "Is Commerce CRG principally there to support the park? Absolutely. Are we exclusively there for that reason? No, we’re not. We do business throughout the county. But the development agreement very clearly states that we are principally there, not exclusively there."

Anker also contended they were an incidental use.

"In fact, I would argue that we are one of the more critical support uses, especially at this stage of development. As for the other incidental uses listed, you won’t really need them until more tenants are within the park," Anker said.

Councilmember John Hanrahan said he was inclined to think differently with the new information about Commerce CRG now marketing the entire development.

"And if it really is, in fact, eight people at the office, our engineers said it’s going to be minimal compared to other potential uses," Hanrahan said. "My intent in interpreting the language is to minimize traffic congestion and impact on the community. Frankly, this seems to do that much better than the other actual listed uses."

Councilmember Claudia McMullin said that findings 2 and 3 were now moot, so the remaining question was whether or not the council says no to allowing the real estate office in the park because it is not just a leasing office.

"I think you addressed that last week when you said you aren’t relocating your entire business up here, so I think all three concerns with staff have been addressed by the applicant," McMullin said.

With concerns about the real estate office use addressed, Councilmember Chris Robinson asked Tech Center Project Manager Dave Allen if he was OK with the current development agreement language for future uses.

Allen responded that while they were able to move forward with the current issue concerning the real estate office, he didn’t think it solved long-term problems.

"Our first preference would be to define the language broad enough that we’re clearly covered," Allen said. "With these narrow findings, I think we still need to amend this development agreement to avoid these problems in the future."

Allen said he’s had calls from tenants worried they would be impacted by the concerns raised by the county about the real estate office.

"Of course I said, ‘No.’ But they asked, ‘How do we know?’" Allen said. "So that is a real issue for us. We either need to come to an agreement that this language is intended to be very broad, or do an amendment to clarify this."

The council agreed that the development agreement needed to be modified for future tenants.

"I think both sides are looking forward to ironing out our differences before another tenant comes on board," Council Chair Dave Ure told the Park Record on Thursday.

The development agreement will be modified by a committee made up of staff, McMullin, Allen and Roger Boyer, founder of the Boyer Company, which developed the park.

After modification, the development agreement will go before the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission and the County Council in separate public hearings.


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