Snowmass Town Council to consider selling Base Village Building 6 | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass Town Council to consider selling Base Village Building 6

Listing Building 6 of Base Village — a community-use designated structure intended to bring vitality to the stalled development upon completion — on the market for sale is on the Snowmass Town Council table.

Toward the tail end of a near five-hour meeting Monday, Councilman Bob Sirkus posed the provocative question following conversations with Base Village developers East West last week.

To start, Sirkus reported that the concrete "is due to be poured" next week.

"The difficulty in postponing construction or delaying construction until we have a better idea as to who or what will be in Building 6" is unrealistic, Sirkus said.

“It certainly isn’t a given that we’re going to get responses that will work, or that we even think will work.” -Snowmass Town Councilman Bob Sirkus

As part of the original Base Village approvals, the developers agreed to construct and grant the building to the town to serve a communal purpose.

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Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, in partnership with the nonprofit Snowmass Discovery and the Town of Snowmass, had been the frontrunner to curate a discovery and climate center inside the 8,701-square-foot building. To the disappointment of the Snowmass Town Council, ACES declined to lead the project at a Sept. 5 meeting.

"It is not prudent at this time for ACES to be the organization, the sole organization, to lead this effort due primarily to fundraising capacity concerns," ACES executive director Chris Lane said.

After ACES' announcement, people within and outside the local community — including from Snowmass Discovery, the Children's Museum of Indianapolis and former Town Mayor Doug Mercatoris — articulated their support at the meeting for the discovery and climate concept inside Building 6.

Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler directed staff to solicit ideas from the community in the forms of letters of interest.

On Sept. 21, the Town of Snowmass sent letters of interest to 30 to 40 organizations, according to assistant to the Town Manager Travis Elliot.

Elliot said Monday the town has not yet received any letters of interest, which are due Oct. 31.

The town has, however, "met with various individuals and organizations" regarding ideas for inside Building 6, Elliot said after the meeting.

"There's definitely interest brewing," he said.

Sirkus said at Monday’s meeting, "Knowing that we have to go forward with (construction), the second piece of information was that any changes to the exterior," Sirkus said — noting the addition of more windows, as an example — "need to be determined roughly within six weeks from now."

Sirkus said his concern is that the town will spend October soliciting ideas from the public as to what could occupy the space as well as who could lead the charge, when "It certainly isn't a given that we're going to get responses that will work, or that we even think will work."

At a Snowmass Town Council meeting Sept. 16, the idea to sell Building 6 arose but was dismissed quickly, as at least half of the council opposed such a proposition. Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler was absent from the meeting.

The majority of the council still seems against selling Building 6, but as Councilman Tom Goode said Monday, "I don't think we've got much choice.

"I think we've got to look at all options," he later added.

While the town is uncertain as to the building's estimated worth at market value, construction costs are about $6 million to $7 million, according to East West.

The town has not yet explored how this figure would translate to the building's for-sale price, Snowmass Town Manager Clint Kinney said.

Kinney encourages the public to submit ideas — even "half-baked concepts" — as to what should occupy Building 6 at tosv.com/building6.

Butler directed town staff to update the council on where Snowmass stands with the letters of interest after the deadline at a council meeting on Nov. 6.

"And I hope to God there's a million people that are going to respond," the mayor said.

The Snowmass Town Council will review the letters — and depending what ideas people submit — the prospect of listing the building on the market at the Nov. 6 meeting.

erobbie@aspentimes.com

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