Base Village construction work likely to start in 2016 | AspenTimes.com

Base Village construction work likely to start in 2016

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

Related Colorado President Dwayne Romero told a group of real estate brokers Thursday that he expects construction on a roundabout and the second phase of the Viceroy Snowmass, both aspects of the Base Village project, to start in 2016, a year later than anticipated.

Related and the town agreed to a timeline this fall that include start dates of June 1, 2015, for the roundabout and July 1, 2015, for the second Viceroy building. However, according to that same agreement, those deadlines automatically extend to May 31, 2016, if the town's review of Related's new plans for the stalled Base Village project isn't complete by May 31, 2015.

Related attempted to speed up the review process to meet that deadline, but in one of its first actions, the newly elected council in November declined its request to waive the first step of the land-use process. The town now estimates the review will last into September, and if that's the case, Related won't move forward that late in the construction season, Romero said.

A councilman himself in Aspen, Romero spoke positively of Snowmass Village's elected officials at the Aspen Board of Realtors luncheon Thursday, saying that the public has to be comfortable with the new vision for Base Village.

“I do worry that the Limelight in Sun Valley will get going before this one, which would be very sad indeed.”
David Perry
Chief operating officer, Aspen Skiing Co.

"It's been a little bit choppy," he said of the public process so far. "We need to go a little slower and then go really fast after that."

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David Perry, chief operating officer of Aspen Skiing Co., was more candid about his disappointment in the slowdown. Skico is proposing a hotel for Base Village that is included in Related's application.

"We're very anxious to get going," he said.

The Limelight Snowmass will resemble the lodge of the same name in Aspen. Skico has plans to expand the Limelight brand into other resort markets, starting with a property that it expects to close on soon in Sun Valley.

"I do worry that the Limelight in Sun Valley will get going before this one, which would be very sad indeed," Perry said.

When the council declined Related's request to waive the sketch-plan step, it gave the developers the option of submitting the Limelight plans separately and moving those along at an accelerated pace. The Limelight underwent much of the town's review process last year, but Skico ultimately withdrew the application in March.

However, the Limelight is included in the sketch plan that Related submitted to the town Monday. Skico representatives have said in the past that they want more certainty about the overall project as they move forward with the Limelight, a reason they cited for withdrawing the application last spring.

Per town code, the Community Development Department has two weeks to ascertain that an application is complete. Senior Planner Jim Wahlstrom expects the completion review of this sketch plan to take less time than that, after which it will be released to the public.

jill@snowmasssun.com

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