Isis will remain the same | AspenTimes.com

Isis will remain the same

Abigail Eagye

Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN The latest change in plans for the Isis Theatre will keep the building as it is.When the city of Aspen entered a formal agreement with the Isis Group LLC and Aspen Film in November to help with the purchase of the building, there was talk of filling in the “notch” on the southeast corner of the building, next to the fire department. But according to Phil Holstein, a partner with the Isis Group, the purpose of building out that corner was to provide more space for the theater operator, Rocky Mountain Resort Cinemas, and that doesn’t appear necessary at this point.”The primary purpose of it was to provide more circulation space for the theater operator, and he seems to think he’ll be fine without it,” Holstein said. “It was determined that it was not in anyone’s interest to spend the million or more dollars to fill that in – at this time.”That doesn’t mean the Isis Group won’t seek to develop the notch in the future, but Holstein said that as long as the current configuration works for the theater operator, it will be left alone.Aspen’s Historic Preservation Commission recently granted approval for minor changes to some doors and windows to accommodate retail space on the west side of the ground floor, but Holstein said the building’s exterior configuration will remain the same.The Isis Group is working with Aspen’s Community Development Department to obtain approvals for interior renovations, and Holstein said he expects construction to begin around the middle of March or early April. Although the city has two building moratoriums in place, the Isis is classified as an “essential public facility” and is therefore exempt from the building bans.The plan is to keep the theater open during renovations, Holstein said, but there’s a chance it will have to close for a week or 10 days.According to Holstein, the Isis Group hasn’t signed on any specific companies for the retail side of the ground floor, which will be renovated for one or two stores. But the agreement with the city requires that any business in that space be midlevel retail. Holstein said the stores would probably be “ready-to-wear of some kind, like Banana Republic or a step up from the Gap.”He said he and his partners would love to see Eddie Bauer return to Aspen and will definitely be talking to that company.In November, the city entered into a “memorandum of understanding” with the Isis Group and Aspen Film. In the memorandum, the city agreed to sell certificates of participation, similar to bonds, that the Isis Group and Aspen Film will repay by leasing the building until the certificates are paid off. City Council will hold a public hearing on the authorization of the lease/purchase agreement Jan. 29.The certificates of participation will be available through an auction beginning on the morning of Feb. 1, and once that financing is secure, the Isis Group, which has the building under contract, is set to close on the purchase Feb. 15.The city will offer the certificates through the brokerage and investment banking firm Stifel Nicolaus and Co.Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is abby@aspentimes.com

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