Westminster College Interested in Garfield School Property
Fox 13 News (internet & video)
October 4, 2009
Maile Tua'one Staff Writer
SALT LAKE CITY - Salt Lake City Officials said a number of people submitted applications to develop the Garfield school property. The City is recommended to sell the building to Westminster College who will put in administrative offices and establish a fine arts center. Some residents, however, are worried that if Westminster buys the property, student rentals and crime will go up while property values go down.
Salt Lake City has put up a request for public input on the city's website that will end Monday, October 5.
FOX 13's Candice Gale reports.
It’s what on developer a significant piece of realstate on prime east side property and Salt Lake City is looking to sell it. It lookS like a DEAL WITH WESTMISNTER COLLEGE IS ALL BUT IN THE BAG BUT NOT EVERYONE IS HAPPY ABOUT THAT. FOX 13's Candice Gale reports.
The city acquired it a number of years ago and is looking to surplus it and release it back for use in the community. Salt Lake City says a number of people submitted applications to develop the Garfield school property. We had a committee in the city that reviewed and ranked all the applications and make a recommendation to the mayor. They’re recommending they sell the building to Westminster College who wants to put it administrative offices and establish a fine arts hub.
This is a really significant piece of property. John Gardner is a developer who has lived in the Sugar House area for a nearly 20 years. The process of selling this should be really thoughtful. We believe that housing is a much more compatible use for that property than for putting a college campus in the middle of a quaint, very quiet residential area. That kind of use would create lots of traffic issues. It’s a very heavy use. Some residents agree with Gardner; they’re worried that if Westminster buys the property, student rentals and crime would go up while property values would go down.
The city says that not everyone feels that way. I think you would find a number of people in the city and in the neighborhood who are actually very excited about Westminster. They’ve been a very good neighbor to the community. It’s an institution that vey sensitive to the impacts that it has on its neighbors. Everett says Westminster would preserve some of the historic elements of the property, but Gardner says he also wants to keep the original structure of the school, and although his proposal is different than Westminster’s, it’s a good one. He’s worried not enough people know about the sale of the property. We’ve never been able to get the city to have a dialogue with us; we haven’t been able to get in front of the community to present our alternative. Typically the city’s process for surplusing property don’t require much more than a public hearing at the city at the city planning commission meeting. What we’re doing it going above and beyond that. Salt Lake City has put up a request for public input on the city’s website…