Utah Film Studios in Park City put on market, hoping for a blockbuster deal
The owner of Utah Film Studios, the Park City moviemaking facility, recently put the property on the market, hoping for a blockbuster deal less than two years after taking control of the facility amid litigation between the onetime developer and the financial backer.
Cushman & Wakefield has listed the property without an asking price. The Gary Crandall-controlled Quinn Capital Partners, LLC is the seller. The firm acquired the property in 2017 in an agreement that resolved a lawsuit between the Crandall family side, which financed the project, and the initial developer. It has been unclear since then whether the Crandall-controlled firm intended to hold the development on a long-term basis.
The listing includes the existing facilities as well as the undeveloped land, covering approximately 30 acres. There are significant City Hall development rights attached to the land. The existing facilities total approximately 90,000 square feet of development. The City Hall approval involves 374,000 square feet, meaning less than 25 percent of the project is built. The approval contemplated a hotel, an entertainment center, a film school and a digital media center in addition to the soundstage and other spaces needed at a working film studio.
Tim Anker, the listing broker, said on Monday there has been “quite a bit of interest” in the several weeks since the property was put on the market. He did not provide details about the parties that are interested. He said there is a possibility that a deal could be reached by the end of 2019, but he also acknowledged that sales involving larger commercial properties like the Utah Film Studios typically take longer than the four-plus months left in the year.
“This is an opportunity for someone to really define Park City’s eastern entrance,” Anker said, referring to the land’s location along the S.R. 248 entryway.
The listing notes there is not a sunset clause on the development rights and the property is “positioned for immediate development.” The Utah Film Studios generates what the listing describes as “substantial income” even with less than 25 percent of the development rights built.
The Utah Film Studios are situated on one corner of Quinn’s Junction, in a highly visible spot across the state highway from the Park City Ice Arena, the municipal fields complex and Park City Hospital. The Utah Film Studios land was annexed into Park City amid resistance from officials who were leery of the development proposal, and only after a difficult process that involved at various points the County Courthouse and the Statehouse.
The initial developer and the Crandall family-led firm later became embroiled in litigation centered on the financing of the project. The family acquired the property but it has not appeared to aggressively pursue development in the time since.
The Utah Film Studios indicates it offers 45,000 square feet of sound stages and production offices cover 25,000 square feet. There are 36 private offices, changing rooms, break rooms, conference rooms and a suite for casts to have hair and makeup done, according to the Utah Film Studios. Marketing materials from the Utah Film Studios describe it as “the state’s largest and most technologically advanced facility.” The television series “Yellowstone” tapes at the Utah Film Studios.
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The planning committee and the newly formed task forces will continue to work on the master planning priorities and will present to the Board of Education at its meeting Dec. 17.