Park City has opportunity to nurture NoMA’s rising economic potential
First a disclosure: The Park Record building is located smack dab in the middle of the North of Main district, sometimes known as NoMa. So, yes, there is conflict of interest and a whole office full of personal agendas. Still, we would argue that the rest of Park City should be just as excited about the prospects of a revitalized district.
As any government agency will attest, commercial development is the engine that provides services for the rest of a community. Schools, neighborhoods and even parks and trails benefit from the taxes generated by a healthy local economy.
Over the last three decades, Park City has seen steady growth in both the commercial and residential sectors, but increasingly new businesses are looking to set up shop outside the city’s boundaries. That represents lost sales and property tax revenues.
Enter Rodman Jordan, a developer with a keen eye for underdeveloped potential. He refurbished an old building on Bonanza Drive, a purely utilitarian eyesore, and turned it into a handsome landmark, complete with a clock tower and a bronze statue. The old warehouse-like structure that once housed plumbing supplies and various property management facilities now anchors a busy commercial center.
In the process of renovating the Rail Central building, Jordan has also motivated neighboring retailers, north and south, along Bonanza Drive, eastward on Sidewinder Drive and westward on Kearns Boulevard to think of themselves as an emerging commercial magnet. That may make some retailers on Park City’s historic Main Street nervous, but it bodes well for the community at large.
If the city plans carefully, Main Street and NoMa will complement each other rather than compete. Those discussions, some of which have been heated, are taking place now at City Hall and the public is invited to join in. Details need to be hashed out building heights, square footage, types of allowed businesses. That debate will be lengthy and ongoing. But the essence of the discussion is extremely positive.
Jordan and many of the pioneering merchants in Prospector, as most of NoMa is still called, have championed the district’s potential with everything from decorative banners to a community Christmas party. Now they are asking the city to create a comprehensive plan to ensure its future.
As the negotiations over the details progress, we hope that everyone involved keeps the big picture in focus. NoMa has the potential to significantly expand Park City’s tax base and its founder’s enthusiasm is enlivening the entire city’s landscape.
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“So, gone is the mountain lion, the fox, the beavers, the grouse and so many others. We have made Park City into the city left behind,” writes Ann Kruse in a letter to the editor. “No wildlife, only empty mansions.”