Save the Block closes on block

JACKSON, WY – The deal is done. Save the Block partners, including the Jackson Hole Land Trust (JHLT) and Cafe G LLC, closed on a real estate deal that will permanently protect the buildings and greenspace at 130 E. Broadway, or the Genevieve Block.

Save the Block announced it had met its funding goal and deadline last week: $7 million, more than 5,500 individual gifts, in six months. Money secured, Save the Block was able to buy the property and save it from a proposed three-story, 90,000 square-foot hotel or any other future development partners feel is out of character.

“We had a tight timeline to build community support and to raise the significant funds that were critical to secure the greenspace component of this deal,” said JHLT President Laurie Andrews, “However, we also had an intricate deal to construct, with many different partners and investors. We needed several months of the six-month contract to determine if this project was even feasible, and once we did, we went to the community with the launch of the Save the Block campaign.”

One anonymous local family stepped up to the plate in a major way, and put the block under contract with JHLT and partners. “The block presented a rare opportunity to preserve a parcel that encapsulates all we love about Jackson: a melding of personality and resilience, a hub for socializing and sustenance, a place at once familiar and inspiring,” the family said in a press release.  As a family, we feel honored to have joined with such a dream team of doers, which essentially became the entire community. We hoped this plan would resonate widely, and yet we never imagined such an outpouring of support.”

Friday’s stamp of ownership is another major milestone in the project to Save the Block. Partners closed with the anonymous family and solidified the greenspace easement held by JHLT on a portion of the block. Land transferred and eased, both the history and the future of the block are protected in perpetuity.

“This has been an interesting journey for us as landowners and as members of the community,” said Max Chapman, the previous owner of the historic block. “Once we knew that there was a level of commitment from the family and from the Jackson Hole Land Trust, we were hopeful that we could arrive at an agreement that would work for both sides. As owners of the property for over 10 years, who as recently as a year ago tried to protect historic buildings through deed restrictions, we are glad to see that the historic buildings and community greenspace will continue to exist here on the block for generations to come.”

While the sale of the block and the recorded easements are a significant step towards project completion, there are several major components of the Save the Block project that are still in progress. The Town of Jackson will need to approve the final reading of the rezoning application for a portion of the block to be zoned to Downtown Core (DC) from Urban Commercial (UC). The Save the Block partners will also be working with the Town of Jackson to create a final plat and development plan for the block, which includes the parceling out of each lot so that they can be sold to individual investors. Upon plat approval, each of the business operators in the historic buildings — Cafe Genevieve, Persephone Bakery, and the Hole Being Juicery — plan to purchase their buildings. Each building is physically protected through deed restrictions and will be protected with historic facade easements.

The Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum (JHHSM) is in line to purchase the southeast corner of the block to be a permanent home for their campus. The anonymous family who contracted the block will hold the northwestern corner of the lot until they find a partner who will preserve the character of the block.

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