Aspen council gets first look at Lift One plan |

Aspen council gets first look at Lift One plan

ASPEN ” The redevelopment of the historic Lift One neighborhood at the base of Aspen Mountain has begun its march through what is expected to be a fast-tracked public approval process.

The Aspen City Council on Monday got its first glimpse at the formal recommendation to develop the 8-acre site ” a plan that includes hundreds of thousands of square feet in commercial and residential space, including two large hotels, retail shops, restaurants, affordable housing, a ski museum and public spaces.

Four council members passed on first reading the Lift One master plan, which serves as a land-use application for the entire site. The plan was recommended by a task force charged with creating a new development scheme for the area.

There are four public hearings on the application, scheduled for Nov. 10, Nov. 24, Dec. 1 and Dec. 8, when the council could make a decision on an ordinance approving the master plan.

The area includes three access zones: A ski path running from the bottom of Lift 1A through the historic Lift One area and Willoughby Park. A surface chairlift would start where the existing terminal of the historic Lift One chair is located in Willoughby Park, and take riders slightly above and left of a new, high-speed quad Lift 1A, to be set hundreds of feet farther uphill.

To the west of that, a dedicated pedestrian walkway would lead up to the base of Lift 1A. At the top of the pathway, just below the lift, a short escalator would run up through a corner of a proposed hotel to carry skiers to the base of the new lift.

Farther west and separated by a greenbelt, or garden area, would be a realigned 22-foot-wide, snow-melted South Aspen Street for vehicle access to both hotels. Gilbert Street would become two-way, and delivery vehicles would access the area underneath that route.

The entire area would be accessed by a dedicated arrival and drop-off zone at the intersection of Dean and South Aspen streets. Parking garages would be placed under South Aspen Street, Willoughby Park and both hotels.

The Lodge at Aspen Mountain, proposed by Centurion Partners, is now larger than what was shot down by the council last year. The mixed-use project is proposed at 191,000 square feet, as opposed to the 175,000 square feet originally brought forward. It would be 59 1/2 feet at its highest point, however that takes into account the steep slope of the area.

There would be 75 lodge units, 26 fractional-ownership units, five free-market residential units, a maximum of 18,000 square feet of commercial space and a minimum of 238 underground parking spaces.

Across the street and slightly farther up the hill would be the Lift One Lodge, proposed by developers David Wilhelm, Jim Chaffin and Jim Light. It’s proposed at 135,000 square feet and 55 1/2 feet at its highest point.

It is a mixed-use membership lodge and whole-ownership project consisting of 35 lodge units, five free-market residential units, a maximum of 9,000 square feet of commercial space and 250 underground parking spaces.

The commercial space would include a public restaurant and bar, and facilities for the Aspen Skiing Co. including ticket sales, equipment rental, storage lockers, among other skier servicing facilities.

The defunct Skiers Chalet Steak House building, also owned by the same partnership, would contain 1,052 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor and five dormitory affordable housing rooms on its second and third floors.

The Skier Chalet Lodge building would be relocated to Willoughby Park, where it could be used for a historical museum, affordable housing or affordable commercial space.

The Lift One Lodge would generate the equivalent of 53.5 employees, and the developers have committed to house 40 of them, or 75 percent. They’ve also agreed to contribute financially to a city of Aspen affordable housing project, most likely at Burlingame Ranch.

The Lodge at Aspen Mountain plans to generate 166 employees, of which it has committed to housing 125 people, which also is 75 percent.

On-site rental housing would consist of 15 dormitory housing units, with two people in each of them. Just below the hotel on Deane Street, there would provide seven studios, four one-bedrooms, two two-bedrooms and two three-bedroom units.

The Lodge at Aspen Mountain also will have for-sale units at the Airport Business Center, where 27 employees would live. The developers also have committed financially to a city of Aspen project, likely at Burlingame Ranch.

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