Dakota Pacific floats timeline for Kimball Junction housing development
The developer and Summit County councilmembers are debating whether density could alleviate traffic.
The latest special meeting between the Summit County Council and Dakota Pacific Real Estate focused on the residential density the developer is proposing.
Dakota Pacific is looking to build 727 housing units, about a third of them reserved for lower-income earners, and a total of 1.3 million square feet on roughly 50 acres. Its land runs west of the existing Skullcandy headquarters.
All involved are quick to clarify Dakota can already build 1.3 million square feet of office space and 4,500 parking spots under its current agreement with Summit County. As Council Vice Chair Tonja Hanson noted, that translates to 24 Skullcandy buildings.
All five councilmembers confirmed at the Feb. 1 meeting they’d contemplate some degree of housing instead. What they pushed Dakota Pacific on was whether the footprint can be reduced without sacrificing affordability.
But it’s tough to get around economies of scale: Dakota Pacific CEO Marc Stanworth explained that as market rate units get cut, exponentially more affordable units get cut to preserve the bottom line.
And he argues new housing addresses one of the biggest reasons some residents oppose new housing.
“We should not lose sight of density in relation to helping solve the biggest issue we have on the table collectively. And that is traffic,” Stanworth said.
Hanson countered that new residents bring new cars. Stanworth said "it's not 1-to-1” because some of those residents are currently commuting up Parleys Canyon anyway.
“People living in that community that area also aren't coming up the Kimball Junction interchange at eight in the morning when the skiers are, when other employees are,” said County Manager Shayne Scott on Local News Hour Jan. 30.
U.S. Census Bureau and Utah Department of Workforce Services data from 2015 shows 60% of Summit County’s workforce commutes from outside the county. That’s 15,000 workers every day.
Dakota Pacific estimates its development as currently proposed would house between 1,500 and 1,600 people, kids included.
Councilmember Chris Robinson wants more of those people to be in affordable housing.
“I do agree that the traffic is a big deal, but so is this,” he said. “Moving the needle on the affordability side is important to me.”
If approved Feb. 20, the developer says it could deliver the first units in 2027. That’s also when county and transit officials expect state Route 224 to get dedicated bus lanes from Kimball Junction to Park City.
Dakota thinks the development would be half-occupied in 2029 then completed in 2031 or 2032.
The next meeting between the council and developer will be a part of the council’s regular Wednesday meeting Feb. 7. It’s expected to cover housing again.