Opus Green development coming to Millcreek
Dec 10, 2019 01:06PM
● By Kirk Bradford
By Kirk Bradford | [email protected]
In October the Millcreek City Council voted for and approved the plans for the Opus Green Townhomes development. It represents what many are calling a transformational opportunity for the local Millcreek community.
The project calls for building 140–150 modern townhomes in front of Big Cottonwood Creek Frontage. The developer for the project is Utah’s Clearwater Homes. “When I realized the sheer numbers of 1,251 linear feet on riverfront property, I became so excited and we just had to buy it,” said Clearwater Homes CEO Micah Peters.
He said they will also construct a dynamic 1.15-acre river walk trail and children's park, in an agreement that the park will be dedicated to Millcreek City upon completing. Additionally, to complete the Main Street Frontage in a dynamic fashion, five live-work units and a 2,200-square-foot neighborhood market deli/coffee shop will be built at the Main Street entrance to the Riverwalk Park.
There will be an outdoor deck overlooking Big Cottonwood Creek. Most importantly, this development will have a minimum of 50% of all residential units as for-sale product (70–75 for-sale units). In a neighborhood dominated by rentals, some residents said owners of occupied homes will increase the pride of ownership, community spirit and the fabric of the neighborhood.
The main build will be called Meadowbrook Center. It is planned to contain a diverse mix of uses, including multifamily condominiums and apartments, retail and office space and room for the possible build of restaurants. The secondary building will contain cultural and public facilities, health services, plazas, pocket parks, community gardens and other get-together type of services. Flex users are also appropriate for the building. The building plan states their intent is to create and “promote cohesive urban design with consistent development standards.”
Peters expanded on some of the unique features of this project. It will include a trail, park and bridge over the river to access the Murray side. “This will give people access to get over to the facilities and businesses nearby on foot,” he said. Clearwater Homes developed about 53 modern townhomes in Murray, available for anyone curious to see the build style and quality of work. “We are just finishing the contract with Rocky Mountain power to set up all of these homes so they’re completely emissions free. They will not have gas lines run to them and will be powered all electric by utilizing the Blue Sky program with the solar farms down near Milford, Utah. With the problems we already have with local air shed, we are committed to not adding to it,” Peters said.
The 2,300-square-foot local deli store will also be built to include a coffee shop as well. Parking has been calculated to allow two parking stalls for each townhome and over 30 extra stalls to help with business in the area. There is a problem in the current area with rent not including parking. Because of the additional parking fee, it has resulted in the use of Main Street for parking. In regards to the local market deli, Peters explained to the council they don’t want to compete with local businesses. The deli and coffee shop is the business idea that showed the least impact on current businesses while providing a needed service. They may even develop a micro-brewery near the deli and coffee shop down the road.
At their meeting on June 4, the Millcreek Community Council recommended the development agreement be approved by a vote of 8-3 with the following conditions: 1. At least 50% of the units be for sale. 2. Separate parking be provided for the park in addition to the required residential and commercial parking. 3. Secondary access be provided. 4. Snow removal be managed so guest parking stalls are not used for snow storage.
A couple of business owners in the area expressed concern about the lack of parking in the area. Residents of Artesian Springs use all of the available on-street parking and park in private lots due to the charge for parking at their complex.
One of the issues with the earlier project was only one access point off of Main Street. Peters said Clearwater Homes is working with the developer of the Front Climbing Gym to provide them with more parking spaces in exchange for access to both Main Street and Central Avenue. A parking study was originally done on the 403-unit project. With this project being only about one-third the size of the original one, staff did not feel another parking study was needed. Again, the concern with the first project was people worried about the lack of a secondary access. Clearwater Homes is negotiating access to both Main Street and Central Avenue.
In comparison with the plan earlier this year, the parking numbers should now successfully accommodate the project. There will be about 140 residential units and 330–340 parking stalls. There will also be 278 private residential stalls, almost 40 guest parking stalls, and the Riverwalk Park area will contain another 22 stalls. To view all of the details for the project, see the Planning Commission Staff Report.
The green build and townhomes are designed to allow further development in the area without affecting the air quality and view. The renovations for the park and any interest accrued will be paid back to Clearwater Homes over time by tax increment by the community’s reinvestment agency. Residents seem optimistic and supportive of the project and it’s a win for the community to receive an upgraded park, trail and bridge.