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The City Journals

Chamber of Commerce holds town hall with Ivory Homes

May 02, 2017 04:37PM ● By Bryan Scott

Dated rendering from Howard Hughes Corporation initial plan for the Cottonwood Property. As this issue went to print, Ivory did not have rendering available. (Howard Hughes Corp.)

By Aspen Perry |  [email protected]
As Holladay residents bid farewell to the final remains of the Cottonwood Mall, Chris Gamvroulas, president of Ivory Homes, attended a Town Hall at the request of Holladay Chamber of Commerce members in March. Green space, increased traffic, and tax revenue were just a few of the hot topics brought up during the meeting.
Gamvroulas opened the discussion by stating Ivory Homes had not yet purchased the property, but was diligently working with the city and wanted to start to get community feedback regarding potential use.
“This is (part) of our first outreach into the community, to say, these are the challenges, and get some feedback,” Gamvroulas said.
Before opening up the meeting to audience questions, Mayor Rob Dahle stressed any approvals on the Cottonwood property would need to go through public process.
“As I’ve said before, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a local developer… whatever happens on this site will have to go through public process. It will have to either be rezoned or the current zone amended… and we will have more meetings like this when a plan has been presented,” Dahle said.
Green space was the topic of concern for the first resident as she asked, “Where are we going to fit some lifestyle green space?”
Dahle addressed her concern by stating plans to keep the 8 acres of Knudsen Park as green gathering space for Holladay residents. While also noting the Cottonwood property was mostly asphalt and a mall building, so there would be no green space lost regarding the Cottonwood property.
Gamvroulas followed this sentiment and explained Ivory was taking green space into account with potential plans to have the five acres creek side, as a walking path. Additionally, on the residential side of the development, Ivory is mindful of having future residents who will want to have green space as well.
Increased traffic and parking was another concern as a resident addressed her concern new development could turn Holladay roads into high traffic areas like Sugarhouse. “From 2006 till now driving in Sugarhouse is becoming a nightmare… it’s busy all the time,” she said.
Gamvroulas sited a recent traffic analysis reported potential traffic from Ivory development at a 30 percent less increase than what was estimated from the Howard Hughes Corporation plans.   
In an effort to highlight the positive aspect of traffic, Gamvroulas asked Chamber members by show of hands, which did not like traffic. When zero chamber members raised their hand, it provided a visual to the point that for small business owners traffic is positive.   
Taxes or the lack thereof, was another point of contention as one resident stated, “The master plan must be addressed in its entirety because that was projected to be the primary income source for Holladay City… in petitioning for a rezoning, the city needs to address where it’s future income streams are coming from.”
Mayor Dahle addressed this concern by pointing out while residential tax revenue is low, tax revenue is also market driven, meaning the Cottonwood property is not guaranteed to be Holladay’s largest income source.
As Dahle further stated, “There needs to be a balance between what is appropriate (for the property) and what is marketable.”
As the town hall wrapped up, one resident voiced praise for the potential development, noting the current issue with finding housing in Holladay, as he said, “high-density housing in Holladay is very rare, people aren’t moving because they have nowhere to move to… this would allow seniors to move into a lower maintenance housing option. (Holladay) has been starving for more housing options.”
A follow-up comment was met with some audience applause when another resident complimented Gamvroulas on Ivory’s efforts, as he said, “I just want to thank you and Ivory Company for stepping in and taking care of this eyesore.”
Gamvroulas further expressed Ivory’s interest in being accessible to the community, though, as a general rule, Gamvroulas does not feel town hall meetings to be productive; he offered to attend any small gathering.
“If you want to host a meeting in your living room, I’m happy to come in and get your input,” Gamvroulas said.