Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Community-building group selected to buy Old Town houses

A group adhering to a community-building idea new to Park City has won the right to negotiate a deal with City Hall to purchase two rundown houses in Old Town to anchor the first so-called cohousing development in the city. The Park City Council on Thursday night unanimously agreed to have staffers enter into another round of talks with a firm known as GreenPark Cohousing in anticipation of a sale of the houses, which are located at 1450 Park Ave. and 1460 Park Ave.

The GreenPark Cohousing proposal calls for 10 residential units and the preservation of the two houses already at the site. The two houses would be made into common space, according to a description of the project released by City Hall. The group would repair the houses, remove newer elements and redo them so they look as they once did.

The proposal, meanwhile, calls for six residential units at the site selling for up to $195,000 and one priced at between $196,000 and $270,000. The other three would be sold on the open market. City Hall wanted a project at the site to offer housing at a range of prices. People who move into a cohousing development play an important role in the designs, one of the unique aspects of that sort of project. A City Hall report issued in anticipation of Thursday's meeting indicated that GreenPark Cohousing has found buyers for seven of units.
Darrell Finlayson, the vice president of GreenPark Cohousing, said in an interview after the City Council vote the location works well for a project like the one his group plans to build. He said there are not many full-time Parkites living along the stretch of Park Avenue where the houses are situated. The project, he said, would attract people to that section of the street.

The "cohousing concept is founded on creating community first," said Finlayson, who wants to buy one of the units once they are built. He said his side hopes it is able to finalize the purchase within three or four months. Finlayson did not have a timeline for a groundbreaking, though. Park Record