El Jebel experiences a little urban renewal | AspenTimes.com

El Jebel experiences a little urban renewal

While a stagnant economy has stopped development cold in much of the Roaring Fork Valley this winter, El Jebel is experiencing a flurry of urban renewal.

Two metal buildings in the heart of the unincorporated area will be replacd by an 11,000-square-foot stucco building, according to Adele Hubbell, an owner of the property.

The new structure will replace the blue, metal building that is home to NAPA Auto Parts and the popular Blue Creek Grill. An adjacent metal building that houses a laundromat owned by Hubbell’s sister, Bonnie Williams, will also be replaced.

All three businesses will relocate into bigger and better spaces in the new building, Hubbell said. The new structure will also include two apartments.

Hubbell said it was simply time to replace the older structures. The NAPA building was constructed in 1973. The laundry was built in 1971. “The roofs have leaked for about 15 years,” she said.

A significant part of El Jebel was developed by Hubbell’s parents, Floyd and June Crawford. They bought a cattle ranch there in 1961 and eventually developed the mobile home park and the adjacent shopping area.

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The Crawford property boasts an eclectic mix of businesses both in the main shopping center and in separate buildings scattered around the area.

The new building is being constructed immediately behind the NAPA building. When it is completed in early 2003, the existing structures will be torn down.

The new configuration will allow business patrons to park farther off the increasingly busy El Jebel Road. Currently vehicles leaving the parking lot must attempt to back toward the road.

A landscaped entrance will be located farther away from the intersection of Highway 82 and El Jebel Road. An exit will be even farther away, by Blue Ridge Road. The work will also allow a bus stop to be relocated farther from the entrance-exit of the El Jebel shopping center.

When the new building is completed, Blue Creek Grill will gain exposure by taking residence in the corner closest to Highway 82 and El Jebel Road, Hubbell said. The restaurant will have 1,800 square feet and gain space for outdoor seating for the first time.

NAPA will have a two-story space, and the laundry will be located in the northern part of the building.

Hubbell said she hopes the building is open as early in 2003 as possible. She said she is working with Rising Sun on a sensitive lighting plan for the property. Light pollution, Hubbell said, is one of her pet peeves.

[Scott Condon’s e-mail address is scondon@aspentimes.com]

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