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BREAKING: Zoning loophole paves way for massive 840-unit housing project in Park City

"Our biggest concern at the moment is that our current building code lacks subterranean housing regulations, So there was nothing to stop this project from moving forward and that has created a complete lack of a transparent public process."

PARK CITY, Utah — In a groundbreaking initiative to address the dual challenges of affordable housing and traffic congestion, Park City is set to redefine “sub” urban living by transforming its historical silver mining tunnels into an innovative living space known as Shaft Estates. Spearheaded by real estate developer and billionaire Nico Soarglow, this subterranean affordable housing development promises a unique solution by offering below-ground residences with a network of electric powered railcars, transporting essential service workers to and from their jobs in Park City.

The project was fast tracked without public input due to an absence of regulations on underground housing. City Planner Olivia Greene stated, “our biggest concern at the moment is that our current building code lacks subterranean housing regulations, So there was nothing to stop this project from moving forward and that has created a complete lack of a transparent public process.”

The development, utilizing the extensive network of abandoned silver mining tunnels beneath Park City, aims to alleviate the area’s housing crisis while preserving the above-ground environment. Soarglow claims that “Shaft Estates represents a new era in sustainable living, merging Park City’s rich mining heritage with cutting-edge green living and transportation technology.”

Artistic rendering of the shared living space withing the Spiro tunnel
Artistic rendering of the shared living space withing the Spiro tunnel. Photo: Shaft Estates

The integrated electric subway system, designed exclusively for Shaft Estates residents, also promises to alleviate Park City’s traffic problems. Soarglow says that, “by offering a convenient, efficient, and eco-friendly transportation alternative, we aim to reduce surface traffic, cut down on emissions, and contribute to a cleaner, greener Park City.”

City officials are cautiously optimistic about the project’s potential. Greene shared that, “We are willing to explore every possible avenue to solve our housing crisis. Shaft Estates is an ambitious project that could serve as a model for other mountain communities facing similar issues.”

The development has currently been scoped at 840 units that can house approximately 1,400 full time residents in Park City’s urban core. The project is currently scheduled to break ground on phase one’s 320 units in Jan. 2025 and be fully operational by 2029, well ahead of the potential 2034 Olympic Games.

The project, while it has not yet broken ground, has already garnered mixed reactions from the community. Proponents argue it’s a creative use of unused space that benefits essential workers. “This is exactly the kind of innovative thinking we need to keep Park City livable for everyone,” said local business owner Penny Mires.

However, some residents express concerns about the quality of life for those living underground. “Living beneath the earth is not a substitute for our working class … above-ground housing solutions or bust,” claimed community activist Amy Brocheta.

Renter Fact Sheet

  • Rent-to-Own payment structure
  • Direct subway access to major employment, recreation and transportation hubs
  • State-of-the-art amenities designed for subterranean living, including full-spectrum lighting to mimic natural sunlight, spacious communal areas, and advanced air filtration systems
  • A unique opportunity to be part of a pioneering community living project

Estimated Rental Rates ( Utilities included )

  • 1 BDRM Studio – $1,600 / Month
  • 2 BDRM Flat – $2,900 / Month
  • 3 BDRM Unit – $4,000 / Month

Soarglow says this project is really about supporting the backbone of our local economy and community. Financially the project is structured as a “rent to own” meaning after 30 years of continuous rent, tenants will subsequently own the units.

“We dug deep to find a way to give the Shaft to our essential service workers; By allowing renters to build equity and eventually own the units we are unlocking a bright and sustainable future for Park City’s most vital community members,” Soarglow said.

Soarglow’s legal team Duey, Cheetum & Howe brought this loophole to his attention after he acquired the property in the fall of 2020.  Mike Cheetum of the legal team shared with TownLift that, “Mr. Soarglow had initially intended to build a luxury doomsday bunker on the property, but once we found the lack of subterranean zoning regulations we knew we could do whatever we wanted on the property.”

Potential renters are encouraged to act fast. Soarglow added, “Those looking to be part of this revolutionary approach to “sub” urban living should reach out soon to secure their spot. We’ve already received a high level of interest in the project as many are so desperate for housing that they are lining up to live underground.”

Applications for Shaft Estates are set to open on April 1. If you are interested in becoming a mole person you should check the date.

This article is to be considered satire, parody, surrealism, and humor. Any resemblance to actual persons, businesses, or events is entirely coincidental or is intended purely as satire, parody or spoof of such persons and is not intended to communicate any true or factual information about that person, event or place.

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