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Tech Center developer asks to ‘pause’ talks, retool proposal

Tech Center site
Courtesy of Dakota Pacific Real Estate
Dakota Pacific Real Estate requested to pause discussions with the Summit County Council on their proposal to build 1,100 homes, a hotel and office space at Kimball Junction.

The developer seeking to build a new neighborhood at Kimball Junction asked the County Council on Wednesday to pause negotiations. It was the first public discussion of the plan since the council heard overwhelming public opposition to it earlier this month.

The Summit County Council was not scheduled to vote Wednesday on the proposal to build 1,100 new homes at Kimball Junction. But instead of the delay being until the first meetings of the new year, it appears the project as it currently stands will not be going forward at all.

Marc Stanworth, the CEO of developer Dakota Pacific Real Estate, told the council his firm wanted to “pause” and reformulate the project.

That does not mean Kimball Junction will be free of future development. Stanworth said he would like to return shortly with a new proposal. And there is a project already approved for the site: an office park for tech businesses that has almost completely remained unbuilt.

Councilors Chris Robinson and Roger Armstrong said they would join the developers and their representatives on a subcommittee to retool the proposal. Robinson suggested the revamped project could return to the council by March.

Dakota Pacific had been asking to build 1,100 homes, a hotel and office space on 58 acres on the west side of S.R. 224. The land is undeveloped and many community members had expressed their desire for it to stay that way. A petition opposing the project has gathered more than 4,100 signatures.

At a public input session earlier this month, the council heard overwhelming disapproval of the plan. Councilors referenced that input in supporting the decision to pause negotiations.

Mitch Solomon, an organizer of the opposition movement, said his team was gratified to hear the development plans were put on hold.

Solomon said his team would try to work closely with Dakota Pacific to craft a proposal the community supports that remains financially viable for the developer. He added that he appreciates the developer’s willingness to listen to and work with the community.

Stanworth, the Dakota Pacific CEO, said his goal was to have a new proposal crafted as quickly as possible. But he suggested he wanted the next version to already have some level of support from county officials, and that it wouldn’t be efficient to submit different versions to the county multiple times.

Stanworth said his firm couldn’t afford for the process to drag on for another year.

Summit County Community Development Director Pat Putt said the retooled proposal would likely go to the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission before returning to the County Council.