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Summit County

Summit County receives new proposal for Tech Center

Tech Center site
Courtesy of Dakota Pacific Real Estate
Dakota Pacific Real Estate has sent the county a new proposal for its 58 acres at Kimball Junction. Preliminary numbers include a 10% reduction in overall size, 895 homes and 260,000 square feet of commercial space. The new plans no longer include a hotel.

Summit County has received a new plan for the Tech Center site at Kimball Junction. Preliminary numbers call for less square footage overall, but still include hundreds of homes. The county says the project is ‘moving to the front burner.’

It’s been about five months since developer Dakota Pacific Real Estate heard overwhelming public opposition to its proposal for a new neighborhood at Kimball Junction. Shortly after, the developers requested to pause the application so they could come back with something more in line with what the community wants.

Now, Summit County Community Development Director Pat Putt says his office has received a revised site plan — though he notes the numbers are not final.

“What we definitely have is a new proposal. Will that be massaged, changed, revised? I don't know,” Putt said. “But it sounds like we are going to be starting the review of that, and so more to come as we move through here into the early summer.”

In a prepared statement, Dakota Pacific Director of Development Jeff Gochnour said the firm looks forward to presenting its revised plan to the county council in the coming weeks.

“Addressing the area’s significant lack of affordable and attainable housing, increasing job opportunities, utilizing sustainable development practices, and connecting the site with its neighbors via pedestrian and bike trails, remain key drivers to a project we believe will responsibly respond to the challenges of growth and change,” Gochnour said in the statement.

Putt offered details Wednesday morning of the proposal his office has received.

The previous plan requested 1,100 apartments and townhomes, a hotel and 160,000 square feet of office space on about 58 acres west of S.R. 224. The new plan downsizes the overall square footage by about 10%, landing at just over 1.5 million square feet, and no longer includes a hotel.

The number of housing units goes down to 895, with 30% of them earmarked for affordable housing. 235 of those homes would be for people earning at or below 60% of the area median income, which is about $56,000 for one person.

The commercial square footage increases from 160,000 square feet to 260,000 square feet, Putt said. Apparently included in that is a medical office building the developers have said is relatively far along in the planning process.

Putt said the county is still gathering information, including a traffic study that is about two or three weeks away from being finished. He said there have been discussions about having that study peer-reviewed, and that it might use data from the Utah Department of Transportation. Both could potentially address community concerns that the developer would put forward a development-friendly study.

Opposition to the previous plan crescendoed in December when nearly 1,000 people attended a public hearing either virtually or in person. Key concerns were traffic, water and the overall size of the project.

Putt said the new proposal might come to the Summit County Council sometime in June, though he said staffers would likely still be working to compile information about the development’s potential impacts and how to provide services to it.

There have not yet been discussions about applying for what’s known as a Housing and Transit Reinvestment Zone for the project area, Putt said. A new state law requires the county to apply for such a zone by the end of the year — and it must be at Kimball Junction. The zone requires at least 39 units per acre in certain areas. County officials say Dakota Pacific played a role in inserting that provision into the legislation.

Putt said his office is well aware of the importance of this project, and even though this revised site plan may change, the project is moving forward.

“Something is happening. You know, people are wondering, ‘Well, where is the project?’ And I've always been saying when people ask me, well, it's with the developer right now. They're working on this alternative plan, alternative idea, and have and now we have a look at what that has evolved into. And so now our work begins to respond to that. … It's moving to the front burner, I guess is probably the best way to describe this.”

Dakota Pacific first submitted an application for the land in the summer of 2019.