A Park City Community on the Horizon Redefines Living with Nature & Recreation

BY JENNY WALTON

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“I’m working towards CREATING communities with a sense of place, where within a few steps, or a few minutes, homeowners and their families are able TO SKI, FISH, BIKE…and so much more.”

–Jamie Mackay, CEO, Momentus Investments

Mackay began his quest for land in the Park City area by forming relationships with land planners, engineers, and architects. He also collaborated with local planning staff and elected officials to ensure that all aspects of his development met county requirements. This is the catalyst that has created what is now known as Benloch Ranch.  Mackay named it to reflect his Scottish heritage, and the word means “mountain lake.” This 2,300-acre property, with views of the Jordanelle Reservoir, is a stunning location unlike any other in Utah, situated between the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains. 

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Benloch Ranch is unique. Not only because of its ideal location, but also due to its primary goal to provide sustainably-built homes that encourage residents to take advantage of a vast array of recreational opportunities. Mackay believes that integrating trails and park-like settings is an excellent way to contribute to a healthy and livable community.

“I’m working towards communities with a sense of place, where within a few steps or a few minutes, homeowners and their families are able to enjoy biking, hiking, running, golfing, and horseback riding in addition to camping, kayaking, fishing, skiing, and so much more. Part of the planning process involves getting cars off the road and keeping as many amenities a community might require on property. And, to provide gathering areas, commercial entities, and in this case, interconnectivity to Deer Valley Resort with its over 100 miles of trails.”

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“Benloch ranch is driven by the values of the topography, location, and space to design the size and scale of your perfect home. As we all know, sustainability is the word of the day, although when we get right down to it – it’s about what you need and what suits your lifestyle. benloch is a community strategically developed to evolve while supporting your current choice to live with as little as you need – and everything you could ever want.”
–Jamie Mackay, CEO, Momentus Investments

Mackay is also keenly aware of this endeavor’s environmental impact. Aside from delivering a beautiful location and quintessential mountain modern architecture, Mackay understands that land use comes with responsibility in the form of conservation. He is currently in discussions with nationally recognized Utah Lands, a land trust association with the mission to “protect Utah’s natural heritage and quality of life by assisting landowners in preserving agricultural, scenic, recreational, historic, and wildlife values.”

Mackay also understands his motto, “living large with less,” is part of the blueprint towards a healthier way of life for all, not only in our everyday lives but in our global understanding of a sustainable future. These turnkey high-end homes on approximately one-quarter acre to one acre will range from $600,000 to $900,000, whereas a larger home just a stone’s throw away and often left vacated half the year is priced in the $3.5M range, which for many residents in the Park City/Salt Lake City area is unattainable. The best part about building homes with environmentally-friendly materials, better insulation, and high R-values is that we are reducing our carbon footprint and offering a home that is 35% less than the average home in the Valley. This feels right for the area and for our future.”

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“living large with less, is part of the blueprint towards a healthier way of life for all, not only in our everyday lives but also in our global understanding of a sustainable future.”
–Jamie Mackay, CEO, Momentus Investments

Mackay’s development group, Momentus Investments, a firm that is conceiving similar community projects in Wyoming, Colorado, Texas, Florida, and Hawaii, agreed upon three pillars of development. “First, it had to have, innovative, forward-thinking architecture with indoor and outdoor living space,” Mackay cites. “Think timber, stone, large steel windows and doors, outdoor decks, that bring the outside in. Second, the development had to approach the natural surroundings,” he continues, “and the residents had to be able to capitalize on an immersive adventurous lifestyle in a healthy environment, with room for multiple two- to four-acre lakes for fishing, paddle boarding, and all water activities. And there are designated multi-use areas for everything from bike and cross-country ski rentals to community multiple gathering spaces for homeowners,” adds Mackay.

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The proposed architecture is two parts mountain modern and one part clean contemporary. Although the project is in its early conceptual phase, previous work by both Mackay and Farmer Payne Architects shows that there will be an abundance of creativity and collaboration, essential ingredients for a planned community. “Our designs are unique, but unobtrusive, fresh, and still refined, and each project is informed by place. The surrounding landscape, weather, and region influence the buildings we design. Our work often blurs the lines between indoors and outdoors, creating spaces that seamlessly merge with the landscape,” says Farmer Payne principal Jamie Farmer.

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“Our designs are unique, but unobtrusive, fresh, and still refined, and each project is informed by place. The surrounding landscape, weather, and region influence the buildings we design. Our work often blurs the lines between indoors and outdoors, creating spaces that seamlessly merge with the landscape.”
-Jamie Farmer, Principal Farmer Payne Architects

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Exteriors show large windows for plenty of light to draw nature inside. Interior spaces merge with patios and outdoor decks so that seasons can be fully experienced. Approachable design with wellness in mind is embedded into the plans. Lifted and cascading roof lines create connections to other parts of the home, while sliding doors open to courtyards and common areas for entertaining. High ceilings, skylights, and fireplaces are scaled to heighten the sense of space. Private areas like bedrooms are positioned in an adjacent area for privacy. Healthy building materials will be utilized in the forms of non-toxic woods, tiles, paints, and finishes, and products will be carefully curated and chosen for their life cycles. Mackay states, “We want homes to last. To be designed for healthier living and useful space. There are infinite ways to achieve this with durable, high-end materials that inspire, nurture, and benefit society and nature.”

Mackay’s history of real estate developments total more than $230M throughout the Rocky Mountain region and have transformed communities. Benloch Ranch, with its goal of building homes at a price point that is more attainable than surrounding properties, is where a community of recreation-lovers can live with exceptional amenities in an environment that advocates sustainability and wellness. It’s just one more way that Mackay is continuing his reputation of influencing how we live in the Mountain West.

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