Yes, Salt Lake City is buying Allen Park, often known as “Hobbitville.” But, no, the purchase is not yet complete — so stay out or you could be cited for trespassing.
That’s the word from Salt Lake City Public Lands, which tweeted out the warning for the 7-acre site along Emigration Creek near Westminster College on 1300 East.
“At this time, Allen Park is still private property and closed to access,” according to the tweet.
In March, the city announced that it would purchase the property for $7.5 million and turn it into a public art park. Allen Park — aka “Hobbitville” — was established as a bird sanctuary in the 1930s. It contains 30 pieces of artwork, multiple buildings, fountains, pillars and a swimming pool.
And even after the purchase is completed, it’s going to be a while before the site is ready for visitors. The city’s plans call for the park to be preserved and repaired, which could take up to five years.
“Following acquisition by Salt Lake City, Allen Park will remain temporarily closed to the public in order to protect sensitive/fragile infrastructure while the city evaluates the property and works to stabilize and protect historic structures and artworks,” according to Salt Lake City Public Lands.