Summit Series • Powder Mountain purchase a done deal at a $40 million price tag.
By Cathy McKitrick,The Salt Lake Tribune. Published: May 10, 2013 09:44PM
Ogden • The Weber County Commission
approved a consulting contract Tuesday with Bonneville Research to
develop a project area plan and budget that could allow future tax
revenues to flow back into the Summit Mountain Holding Group’s Powder
The unanimous vote of the three-member
commission for the $12,800 contract allows the Salt Lake City-based firm
to conduct a financial analysis of the ambitious project that could
infuse new life, cash and change into the rural Ogden Valley communities
of Eden, Liberty and Huntsville.
According to Douglas Larsen, executive director
of Weber Economic Development Partnership, Bonneville Research will
help determine the most appropriate use of tax increment, a term
referring to the increase in property tax revenue that flows from an
area as a result of new development.
Once established as a Community Development
Area or CDA, part or all of that tax increment could flow back into the
project for a yet-to-be determined period of up to 25 years, contingent
on approval from taxing entities such as the county and school district
that would agree to forego their share of that increase for the
Larsen said that Bonneville Research’s work
should conclude by July and public meetings will then be held to allow
discussion of the proposed CDA.
“We look at the Summit project as the right
development at the right time,” Larsen said Tuesday, applauding the
group’s fresh vision as “environmentally intelligent.”
Summit’s plans include up to 500 single-family
homes and a village of similar scale on the 7,000-acre mountain — far
less than previous developers have envisioned for the area, but more in
line with what the Ogden Valley might be able to handle in terms of its
natural resources and paved roadways.
In late March, the County approved a $22.5
million special assessment bond to fund public roads, water and sewer
for the project’s initial phase of 154 homes. Debt service for that
20-year bond is to be paid from homeowners within the development.
Tax increment from the CDA can provide an
additional layer of security for bond debt service should the need
arise, Larsen said, while funding gas and electrical lines and fiber
optic cables for future phases, which may include a mountaintop event
center and boutique hotels. As well, a small percentage of the tax
increment revenues could be directed to assets that would help further
sustain the development, Larsen added.
The Summit Series team announced Tuesday that it had finalized its $40 million purchase of Powder Mountain.
Reached Tuesday afternoon, Summit Partner
Thayer Walker said that the 40-plus investors behind the purchase were
founding members of the company who would one day own homes on the
mountain. That well-heeled group includes PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel,
Tim Ferriss — author of The 4-Hour Work Week , and Elle Magazine founder Sunny Bates.
The ski resort’s heritage and feel will remain
intact, Walker said, with development occurring mostly on the mountain’s
south side. While a mountaintop conference center is part of Summit’s
future plans, Walker said its tone and scale will be “more like retreat
space than Salt Palace.”
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