Last year's Parade of Homes was so successful that it wouldn't make sense to take the show on the road . . . so they won't.
Old Mill Estates, a residential development at 3000 East and 6800 South near the historic Old Mill and the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, will once again host the annual home show for the Home Builders Association of Greater Salt Lake when it opens this summer.HBA President Gene Peterson said the show, now in its 48th year, will open Saturday, Aug. 10, and continue through Sunday, Aug. 25. Traditionally, as many as 100,000 people from Utah and the Intermountain Area view the "dream homes" and commercial exhibits.
Although some of the homes in the upcoming display are already under construction, ground will officially be broken May 6, said Randy Cook, event chairman.
Salt Lake City Mayor Palmer DePaulis and Salt Lake County Commissioner Randy Horiuchi, among others, will speak at the groundbreaking.
Salt Lake-area builders who will offer homes in the 1991 Parade include Don Hales, Hales Management Construction; Doug Knight, Knight Construction, which will construct two homes for the show; Paul Hamilton, Paul Hamilton & Co.; Steve Christensen, Built Right Custom Homes; John Shurtleff, Shurtleff Construction; Tom Daniels, Tom Daniels Construction; Brent Christensen, Sovereign Homes; and Jim Jones, J.A. Jones & Associates.
According to Mike Marchbanks, vice president and general manager of Cornelius Development Corp., seven of the nine Parade homes have been pre-sold, a luxury that builders in past home shows didn't always enjoy but one that is almost mandatory today.
With prices in last year's show averaging around $300,000 and running as high as $500,000, few builders today could afford to carry the interest burden of an unsold show house for a year or more, as was sometimes the case in past shows.
Although the Salt Lake area hasn't suffered through the major downturn in housing sales endured by many areas of the country in the past year or two - Utah paid its dues in the '80s when the West and East Coasts were booming - Old Mill Estates has been particularly successful, especially considering the price of the lots ($60,000 to $80,000) and homes.
Marchbanks said the 45 acres that comprise the development were purchased from the Walker family and the Idaho-based Big Hole Investment Group. It was formerly unimproved farmland.
The setting, known locally as Mill Valley, is spectacular, situated under a high bluff with close-up views of the Wasatch Range to the east and a long-distance view of the Salt Lake skyline to the north.
Cornelius Development spent six years developing the property, including installation of roads, utilities and other improvements before the first house went up last year.
"It's all there now," said Marchbanks. "We have fully improved building lots with sewer, water, storm drains and all utilities. This complex will be comparable, if not superior, to the last few high-end executive subdivisions in Salt Lake City."
Last year's first phase of 37 lots is virtually sold out. The site of this year's Parade of Homes is in a second phase of 20 lots located just east of last year's show. When this is sold out, another phase is scheduled on land higher and to the south of the current development.
Other Cornelius Development projects include Tree Farm Estates at 8350 South off Wasatch Blvd., Willow Creek Oaks off Danish Road, Willow Creek East off Creek Road, and Cottonwood Manor at 3000 East 6900 South, among others in St. George and in Nevada.