The 2018 mid-term elections are over and although the national balance of power between the Republicans and Democrats was on the forefront of national news, in Park City the future of a large scale development was the talk of the town.
For nearly three decades there has been concern and uncertainty of a massive, large-scale development that would loom over Old Town and historic Main Street. Throughout the years, many of us doubted if the construction of this project was even financially feasible. With out-of-state developers recently coming into Park City and Deer Valley, equipped with deep pockets and strong financial backing, the possibility or even certainty of the land getting developed had become more of a reality.
On Tuesday, November 6th, 2018, Park City voters overwhelmingly approved a $48 million ballot measure that will fund most of the cost of the acquisition of the Treasure land in a conservation deal. According to preliminary totals released on election night, 77 percent voted in favor of the measure, while only 23 percent voted against the buyout. The $48 million approved by voters will handle the bulk of funding needed for the $64 million acquisition of Treasure, as well as a contribution of up to $3 million for a conservation deal of the Snow Ranch Pasture in Thaynes Canyon.
We saw a strong movement to support the bond measure from local businesses, residents and Park City Realtors. Having focused much of our real estate business in the Old Town area, we can surely say that the uncertainty of Treasure not only affected the homes adjacent to the site, but all of Old Town, and possibly all of Park City. A project of this scale, had it been developed would entail years of excavation and construction that would have had a real impact on the town.
The recent emergence of an opposition to the buyout had pointed to concerns regarding the cost to individual property owners, specifically moderate to low-income renters of property within town limits. For ourselves, we live in Prospector and will happily pay the increase in our taxes, as we know the long-term benefits will be entirely worth the expense. Yes, lower income rental families and residents will incur slightly higher rentals or property tax fees, but the overall health of the City will have a cascading positive effect for all of us.
Where the news of this outcome will have the most substantial impact, is clearly on real estate values in Old Town. Over the last few years, properties in Old Town have seen a surge in pricing, but with a question of how much room is there to continue upward. The pressure of Treasure's uncertainty has been a heavy weight to bear. The Park City Board of Realtors 2018 Quarter Three Statistics Report showed a decrease in average price of 5% for homes, and 13% for condominiums, when comparing the last 12 months of sales to the previous 12 months. News of the Treasure buyout will be received quite favorably, and we expect to see a new round of increases for properties in Old Town.
Above: The mountainside to be forever protected with the bond measure approved by Park City voters.
As local Park City Realtors, we highly value, and highly support an individual's property rights. Every time a new development comes to light, large or small, there is always an opposition of neighbors who feel the property owner should not have the right to use their land as approved by zoning or entitlements. We recognize the rights the Sweeney family had secured decades ago. We also thank them for allowing the City and the People an opportunity to buy out the development rights to forever secure the property as open space. The opposition to this bond argued the $64 million price tag was way too much. The reality is that for the amount of buildable density at approximately 900,000 square feet, and the potential value of luxury hotel condos on this premiere location, $64 million is certifiably a good buy.
To the Sweeney family, thank you for the opportunity you gave to the people of Park City. And a big thanks to everyone who voiced their opinions, and voted for the bond. Preserving this highly visible land is another benchmark in Park City's history that will positively impact generations of Parkites to come.
Sean Matyja - Realtor® / Associate Broker
Mobile: (435) 901-2158 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org