The Park Record editorial, March 12-15, 2011 |

The Park Record editorial, March 12-15, 2011

Bonanza Park is back on the radar

About eight years ago, Mark J. Fischer coaxed a loosely knit group of business owners on or near Kearns Boulevard and Bonanza Drive to think of themselves as a distinct demographic within the city. He also began talking to City Hall about a vast overhaul of the area that would convert a hodgepodge of warehouses and storage areas into an upscale urban neighborhood.

But that was before the economic collapse of 2008.

The subsequent recession put Fischer’s grand plans for a transportation hub surrounded by upscale boutiques, restaurants and housing units on hold while existing businesses scrambled to stay alive.

But this week Fischer’s team was back at the Marsac Building with a new set of plans and a new partner Park City Mountain Resort.

The two entities own several parcels within the area roughly bordered by Bonanza Drive, Homestake Road, Iron Horse Drive and Kearns Boulevard that for many years was largely defined by the lumberyard, that has since shut down. Much of the area still feels like an industrial zone, which was appropriate when the town was smaller and Prospector was considered the outskirts of town.

As undeveloped land within the city limits becomes scarcer, it makes sense to consider redeveloping this centrally located and underutilized property. If, in the same process, the city can work with the developers of Treasure to move some density off the environmentally sensitive mountainside above Old Town and into the Bonanza Park district, the city as a whole could reap some extraordinary benefits.

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We would encourage the city, along with the developers of Bonanza and Treasure to work together. Granted, negotiations are complicated enough without adding precedent-setting concepts like transferring development rights from one parcel to another. But this is exactly the kind of sophisticated, forward-thinking planning that is needed to accommodate growth without compromising the environment or residents’ quality of life.