Building Sells with No-Complaining Clause
A building on the Hyman Avenue mall carrying a land use approval for what may be the last penthouse in the downtown commercial core sold to a Southern California man with one stipulation: no complaining. That 2013 approval includes a clause intended to prevent someone living downtown from causing trouble for neighboring restaurants and bars, the Aspen Daily News reported.
The two-story building at 420 E. Hyman Ave. sold for $8.25 million to Downtown 420 LLC of Calabasas, Calif., which is controlled by Marc Ezralow, a former Hollywood producer who works in his family’s real estate development business.
The previous owners, CM LLC, received approval in 2013 to tear down the building, which is home to local businesses including Zocalito Latin Bistro, Annette’s Mountain Bakeshop, CB Paws pet shop, a hair salon and a real estate office. In its place, council approved a three-story structure that would contain a retail space on the ground and basement levels, three affordable housing units and a 1,800-square-foot penthouse apartment. The clause is in reaction to neighboring buildings in which tenants filed an unreasonable amount of noise complaints, and eventually a lawsuit, against restaurants and bars for being too noisy.
Chirping on Main St. Quieted
The most controversial noise in Aspen this off-season was quieted in late May, after City of Aspen officials worked with the Colorado Department of Transportation to tone down new auditory signals intended to make it safer for the visually impaired to cross Main Street, the Aspen Daily News reported. When the signals first arrived, they broadcast constant chirping and beeping, oftentimes at volumes loud enough to be heard a block away or more.
By late May, the audio signals seemed quieter and lasted for shorter durations of about three beeps, being activated only when a pedestrian pushed the button at the Main Street intersections requesting a walk signal. The signals measure the background noise and project a sound that is 5 to 10 decibels above the baseline, which is why the signal volume differs from intersection to intersection and time to time. The city is working to adjust the signals to 2 to 5 decibels above background noise.
Hillstone Group Buys Brewery Building
The owners of Aspen’s popular White House Tavern have bought the building next door at 304 East Hopkins Ave. that houses the venerable and local serving businesses Aspen Brewing Co. and Over Easy, the Aspen Daily News reported.
Hillstone Restaurant Group, which operates the White House Tavern, has no immediate plans yet for the Seguin building, for which it paid $6 million to a partnership controlled by developer Mark Hunt. Duncan Clauss, owner of Aspen Brewing, could not be reached for comment about the sale or if there are potential relocation plans for the popular microbrewery and pub.
The 5,508-square-foot Seguin building, which is a tight fit on the approximately 3,000-square-foot lot, has almost always housed local restaurants, including in recent years the now-shuttered Square Grouper.
Ann Mullins, TK Elected to City Council
Incumbent Ann Mullins took the top spot Aspen’s City Council race in early May, collecting enough votes to avoid a runoff. Incumbent Mayor Steve Skadron won a third term in the election, collecting 83 percent of the vote against challenger Lee Mulcahy. Ward Hauenstein beat Torre for the 2nd available city council seat.
Snowmass Village Mulls Regional Housing Proposal
Two Roaring Fork Valley residents are proposing a regional approach to tackling one of the valley’s greatest challenges: affordable workforce housing. At a Snowmass Town Council work session May 8, an ex-town attorney and a former city planner pitched their idea to create a multi-jurisdictional housing authority that would include Snowmass Village.
The proposed authority would pursue “a regional approach to the acquisition of land and the production of workforce housing,” according to a memorandum to “interested parties” from Myler and Bill Lamont, a former Front Range city planner and current resident of Carbondale. The “interested parties,” or local governments the pair have approached, include municipalities within Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties.
As a stand-alone government, voter-approved tax revenue and impact fees would fund the housing authority, which would cap the sales tax at 1 percent or five mils of property tax and impact fees. Snowmass said it would like to participate on a per-project basis, but may not fully commit.
Obermeyer Buys Iconic Basalt Building
A surname synonymous with the Roaring Fork Valley will soon return, as Klaus Obermeyer Jr., noted commercial videographer and son of ski-clothing magnate Klaus Obermeyer, has committed to buy the Frey Building on Midland Ave. in downtown Basalt, the Aspen Daily News reported. It currently houses the Brick Pony Pub.
Read On: Bookstore Coming to Basalt
A new bookstore in the Willits Town Center is expected to open in June, the Aspen Daily News reported. Bookbinders Basalt will occupy the space next to Midland Clothing Co., and will have book selections for adults and children, magazines, gift items and toys. The store idea stemmed from owner Catherine Maas wanting to bring another option for book lovers to the mid-valley.
SkiCo Expands Its Tiny-House Nation
Aspen’s largest employer is taking a giant step into tiny house nation.
Aspen Skiing Co. is ordering 34 manufactured homes that it aims to add to the Aspen Basalt Campground for seasonal housing by next winter. It experimented with six “trailer coaches” of about 500 square feet each last winter, the Aspen Times reported.
The new units will be larger, capable of housing as many as three people rather than the two occupants accommodated by each of the first six units. The new units also will have 1.5 bathrooms rather than just one. In theory, the new units will be able to house an additional 102 seasonal workers.
Batch Coming to Main Street
Roaring Fork Brewery is opening a tasting room on Carbondale’s Main Street called Batch, featuring 24 taps with draft beer, the Sopris Sun reported. Of those, a dozen will initially be the beverages manufactured at the Dolores Way brewery
The owners, Aly Sanguily and Chase Engel, wanted to move their tasting room operations to a more prominent location than their brewery, and Batch will also feature guest taps of other Colorado beers. Eventually they will serve wine and non-alcoholic options too.
Moratorium in South Glenwood Springs Extended
A moratorium on new development applications in the south Glenwood Springs has been extended for another six months in order to allow the city more time to get an action plan together to address infrastructure needs in the area, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported.
City Council agreed to continue the city’s policy of not accepting applications for new residential or commercial development along the Midland Avenue corridor from Eighth Street south, until Nov. 30. The idea when the moratorium was first put in place last November was to allow the city to come up with a financial and phased construction plan to address needed Midland Avenue upgrades and replacement of the 27th Street bridge.
Also looming on the horizon is the much larger, and much more expensive South Bridge route and connection across the Roaring Fork River to Colorado 82 south of Glenwood Springs.
With a collective price of something in the range of $70 million to complete all three projects, the city is still in the process of working with Garfield County and state transportation officials on a possible funding scheme.
Historic Home Gets Official Designation
A Colonial-style house dating to the early part of the 20th century that has been home to much of Glenwood Springs’ archived history for the past 45 years has itself been given the official historic local landmark stamp by the city, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. Glenwood City Council recently approved an application from the Glenwood Springs Historical Society to add to the local landmarks list the former residence at 1001 Colorado Ave. that now houses the Frontier Museum.
The museum building joins a growing list of local landmarks, including the Pioneer/Linwood Cemetery where Doc Holliday’s grave marker is located; First Church of Christ, Scientist at 10th and Cooper; First Presbyterian Church on Cooper; and several downtown residences and commercial buildings. A local landmark is not the same as state or national historical designation, but is a way to acknowledge the local significance of certain buildings and sites for their various notable family associations and uses over the decades.
PitCo Looks at Sunny Side
A Carbondale company, Sol Energy, has won the bid to install a 104-kilowatt solar-generation project at the Pitkin County Public Works Campus, located across Highway 82 from the airport. The $230,000 project will mark the county government’s first foray into large-scale sun power, the Aspen Daily News reported.
The project will consist of 303 solar panels, 140 of which will be installed atop the fleet building, while the remaining 163 will be placed atop the road and bridge equipment garages. The amount of production is expected to offset the electrical usage for the entire public works campus.
Colorado Counties Rank Among Most Active
While a major component of the administrative justification of the “Colorado’s 16” trail initiative is, according to the Department of Natural Resources, “to encourage Coloradans to participate in healthy outdoor activities” — truth of the matter is, the Centennial State is already the most active in the country. According to livestrong.com, six of the country’s 10 most-active counties are found in Colorado, the Aspen Daily News reported. Summit County tops the list with Pitkin County at No. 3 and Eagle County at No. 4