Hotels next at Glenwood Meadows | AspenTimes.com

Hotels next at Glenwood Meadows

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

Chad Spangler/Post IndependentA site adjacent to the Glenwood Meadows shopping mall is slated for two hotels. The project has received City Council approval.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Two new hotels at the Glenwood Meadows mall will do for the city’s hotel business what Glenwood Meadows did for shopping, a developer says.

“It’s the biggest hospitality project in the lower valley in decades,” said Robert Macgregor, president of Aspen’s Dunrene Group. “It’ll have the same effect on the hotel sector that meadows did on shopping.”

The Dunrene Group is the real estate investment group that developed Glenwood Meadows.

The City Council has unanimously approved a proposal to build a 124-room, four-story, 88-000-square-foot Marriott Residence Inn and a 101-room, three-story, 56,000-square-foot Marriott Courtyards. Council members praised the plans, but some said they wish the projects included a much larger public meeting place for conferences or other events.

“We think one of the greatest benefits to Glenwood Springs is the promotion of local tourism,” said Tommy Nigro, Stonebridge Companies development and portfolio manager.

Stonebridge plans to build and operate the two hotels. It owns the Holiday Inn Express and the Hampton Inn in Glenwood Springs and runs about 38 other hotels around the United States. Nigro said construction on the hotels could begin in the spring or summer and last up to a year.

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The two hotels would go on a little over half of a 10-acre lot between the Community Center and existing buildings at Glenwood Meadows, near Wulfsohn Road and East Meadows Drive. The site was intended as a hospitality site in an annexation and development agreement. It’s zoned C/4 Resort Commercial. The remaining portion of the lot will remain open for possible retail development.

The City Council also approved a parking variance to allow the hotels to provide .88 parking spaces per guest room instead of one per guest room as required by municipal code. The City Council did not approve a request to freeze property taxes on the hotels at existing levels for five years.

In its development application, Stonebridge indicated the hotels are expected to make $8 million to $11 million a year in the first five years of operation; the city would get about $900,000 a year in sales tax, accommodations tax, property tax and use tax.

In addition to the hotels, the site will feature a “public amenity,” as required in the annexation and development agreement, in the form of a Denver Botanic Gardens-inspired area, including sculptures and benches.

“The rooms have been diminishing in Glenwood and I think bringing back not only new but pretty high quality product is very exciting,” Macgregor said.

Still envisioned for development at Glenwood Meadows are eight mixed-use buildings to the area just south of Wulfsohn Road and Market Street, including residential units, and 475 homes on the south side of Glenwood Meadows development.

A 10-acre parcel near the Park-and-Ride was sold to Total Merchant Services of Basalt about a year ago, and the company plans to build its headquarters there, Macgregor said. Total Merchant Services offers credit card acceptance and other services to businesses.

Macgregor said he definitely plans on working toward residential development at Glenwood Meadows and will revisit the concept in a year or two. The current economic downturn is not the time to take it up again, he said.

“There’s no question that we’d like to do (the residential development) but it’s just been tough and obviously this is not the time to get started,” Macgregor said.

He’s said the Dunrene Group spent about $900,000 and worked for two years to try to build 120 affordable housing units on planned residential site south of Meadows, but the numbers did not work.

pfowler@postindependent.com

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