The Kimball Junction Planning Committee that has met for more than a year is ready to share their findings with the public. The meeting is planned for February 12th. Carolyn Murray has this:
The Kimball Junction Blue-Ribbon Committee is made up of a variety of stakeholders. Pete Gilwald is the owner of Land Solutions Planning and Design. They looked at the two halves of Kimball Junction including the development on both sides of SR 224. The group started by identifying the traffic, pedestrian, residential and commercial elements that work and don’t work in the neighborhood.
“You know, we had staff with Pat Putt, Peter Barnes, Jennifer Strader and Ray Milner. We had people like myself. From the public, Chris Conaby. We also had land owners and people that are the property managers down in the Kimball Junction areas. Trying to get a broad view of all the various user groups and what their issues may be and how we can move forward with it. You know, pedestrian connectivity. You now, walking from the Petco to World market is not the greatest experience or sidewalks that end that don’t go anywhere.”
Gilwald said a lot of the current problems with Kimball Junction were due to the original property boundaries in the area.
“Their efforts to create a more walkable community were hampered by property lines. You know this owner and that owner may not have been on the same page, where the Jimmy Johns and all that is, that’s all based on property lines, not on a cohesive design. So, between New Park and Redstone and the Village, there’s just a lot of different moving parts.”
Most of Kimball Junction is built out. The largest undeveloped parcel is in the Tech Center on the west side of 224 and they have a development agreement with the county. The new 20-page draft plan outlines broad goals and objectives. UDOT committed to help fund a 224-corridor study.
Gilwald said funding a project like reworking Kimball Junction will involve a lot of entities.
“I believe it will be multiple sources and I think government is going to have to play a role because again, I think things like parking structures and doing regional road improvements are out of the purview of any one regional developer. But, certainly, they have a role. We’ve gotten positive feedback so far.”
Gilwald said cars will always be a part of the planning process. He said the Olympics could add further incentives.
“This is a 20 to 30-year plan so it’s not like we are going to see back-hoes and what not out there tomorrow starting to fix some of these problems. It’s looking 20 to 30 years down the road. Collin Hilton was on the committee as well. He was looking at the whole idea of the possible 2030 Olympic Games if they were to come to Salt Lake as being part of that impetus to kick-start some of these ideas. It’s a great opportunity to use some of that energy.”
The public is invited to see the draft plans at the meeting on February 12th at the Sheldon Richin’s Building at 4:30 pm.