2021 shaping up to be busy construction season in Basalt
Coronavirus barely slowed activity in 2020 compared to 2019
Basalt’s building boom remained on a torrid pace in 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic and it is expected to be even busier next year.
The town government anticipates that it will collect $488,000 through building permits in 2020. While that is down from $517,753 collected in 2019, it is significantly more than budgeted for this year.
Several big projects ignited in 2020 and pumped up the town’s coffers. They included Aspen Skiing Co.’s 38-unit work force housing project in Willits Town Center, which obtained permits for nearly $14 million worth of work; The Arts Campus at Willits, with a $4.25 million performing arts center; and the first phase of the Steadman orthopedic clinic at $4.8 million with much more to come in 2021.
The top five building permit fees in 2020, by dollar amount, were Aspen Skiing Co. at $171,873; East Valley LLC for the Block 11 project in Willits Town Center at $89,723; Basalt Medical Properties LLC for the Steadman project foundation, $69,685; The Arts Center At Willits at $60,498; and Willits Town Center Block 11 North at $44,015.
Tim Belinski is the head of a development group that is finishing a mixed residential and commercial project in Willits and preparing to start a different mixed use project at the former Pan and Fork property downtown.
He said in a recent interview that 2020 looked bleak for construction in March and April when the coronavirus pandemic forced an economic shutdown. However, the interest of people to relocate or spend more time in the Roaring Fork Valley helped reignite residential construction once stay-at-home orders were lifted, he said.
Next year is shaping up to be even busier in Basalt. The town’s draft budget for 2021 is projecting $626,000 from building permits.
A graph prepared by the Basalt planning department for the Planning and Zoning Commission last month showed all the prospective constructive activity for 2021. Here is a rundown of those projects:
– Belinski’s Basalt River Park LLC will break ground on the first phase of a project at the former Pan and Fork property. The first phase is 24 residential units, including four employee-housing units.
– Basalt Mini-Storage is expected to pursue its second building of 20,000 square feet in Southside.
– Habitat For Humanity Roaring Fork will start the last phase of Basalt Vista, a 27-unit affordable housing project near Basalt High School.
– Stott’s Mill is expected to start on infrastructure this month and advance next year on its project with 113 residences and a 4,000-square-foot daycare.
– The Steadman Clinic will advance to the next stage on a 50,000-square-foot clinic with an underground parking garage.
– Park Modern is expected to advance on an eight-unit residential building, the last in its cluster along Willits Lane.
– St. Vincent Catholic Church plans to expand its parish hall in downtown Basalt.
– A 5,000-square-foot automated car wash is expected to start construction at 115 Southside Drive.
Other development proposals are anticipated to go through the review process in 2021, according to the planning department. A bank will pursue construction of a 3,840-square-foot building in a vacant lot adjacent to Element Hotel in Willits.
A 12-unit apartment building is being contemplated on Emma Road, next to Harry Teague Architects.
The town staff is in preliminary discussions with a development team eyeing a multi-family development project near the Basalt Post Office.
The town government also has two major projects on its plate with the $3.3 million upgrade to the Arbaney Pool and a $750,000, first-phase development of the Basalt River Park near downtown.
Another major project in the midvalley but outside of Basalt is Ace Lane’s Tree Farm project. After a year of working on infrastructure, buildings in the mixed-use commercial and residential village will start going vertical in 2021.
Building permits, special improvement fees, business licenses and liquor licenses are expected to generate about $795,000 next year or about 10% of Basalt’s general fund revenue.
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The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals this week affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit against the city of Aspen that challenged its zoning laws concerning Mill Street Plaza, which is home to locally serving businesses.