Limelite revises redevelopment plan | AspenTimes.com

Limelite revises redevelopment plan

Janet Urquhart

An architectural rendering shows the new Limelight Lodge in the foreground, along Monarch Street, and the proposed condo building beyond it. (Courtesy Cottle, Carr, Yaw Architects Ltd.)

New plans for the Limelite Lodge have been scaled back in response to the City Council’s qualified support for the project two months ago.A final application for the redevelopment of a collection of lodge buildings operated by the Paas family was submitted to the city Monday.The latest plan still includes a new Limelight Lodge (with a new spelling) of about 125 guest rooms, but the proposed building containing free-market condos has been cut from four stories to three and from 17 residences to 16, reducing the structure’s height to 42 feet. In addition, condo rooms can now be locked off and rented separately.”We think we’ve addressed everything we heard from City Council – all their concerns,” said Dale Paas, whose family is in its fourth generation as Aspen hoteliers.As for the tweaked spelling – from Limelite to Limelight – the family decided to spell the new lodge’s name the way everyone else misspells it now, he said. The confusion makes it tough, for example, for someone trying to find the lodge on the Internet.”It has been an ongoing struggle to try to educate people to spell it right,” Paas said. “Finally, we decided, if everybody spells it wrong, maybe it’s not everybody – it’s us.”The Limelite, or Limelight, redevelopment won conceptual council approval last August, but not before the Paases voiced frustration with the council’s cool reception to elements of the plan. Some council members called for a reduction in the size of the condo building, which topped out at about 50 feet at the peak of a gabled roof before the latest redesign.Sale of the condos is critical to financing the construction of new mid-priced lodge rooms, according to the Paases and their representatives.Cutting out one condo will make the project more difficult, Paas conceded. “It’s going to make our debt higher … but at the end of the day, we think we can make it work,” he said.The proposed redevelopment would replace a collection of buildings centered at Monarch Street and Cooper Avenue. To the north of Cooper, the Limelite and Snowflake Inn would be razed to make way for a new midpriced lodge. A recessed fourth floor on the lodge building still hits 46 feet.On the south side of Cooper, the new condominium building would replace an existing adjunct to the Limelite, as well the Deep Powder lodge, though discussions are under way to relocate two Deep Powder cabins.”If they [the city] can find a place, we will help move them,” Paas said.The Paas family owns the property to the north of Cooper and owns the south parcel in partnership with Parkside Redevelopment LLC. Its primary member is Gerald Biehl.Review of the final plans is scheduled to begin Dec. 6 before the Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com

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