Aspen HPC approves conceptual plan for new building near Annie’s
December 15, 2011
ASPEN – The Aspen Historic Preservation Commission on Wednesday gave conceptual approval to a developer’s plans for a three-story, mixed-use commercial building at the corner of South Hyman Avenue and East Hunter Street.The property is next to Little Annie’s and the Benton Building. All three buildings would be developed by the owner, Aspen Core Ventures LLC.The proposed structure, as currently designed, would have 25,550 square feet of floor space with retail and office space for lease on the first and second floors. The third story would contain a 7,000-square-foot penthouse residence.Commissioners approved the plan by a 4-1 vote. Brian McNellis cast the lone vote against the plan.Sara Adams, city of Aspen senior planner, said the commission’s approval constitutes a recommendation to the Aspen City Council. The stage is now set for a Jan. 9 meeting to start negotiations between council members and the developer within the confines of the city’s Aspen Modern program. Through that program, the city is hoping to save the Little Annie’s and Benton buildings from demolition or significant alterations by allowing the development of the new building on the corner lot. How far the city is willing to go in terms of concessions to the developer on the new building’s size and design won’t be determined until the meetings early next year.Commissioners had little to say Wednesday about the conceptual designs, which a representative of Stan Clauson & Associates, a local planning and design firm, presented. Some slight changes came about after a Historic Preservation Commission review of the project last week, including a greater setback area between the third floor of the proposed building and the existing Benton Building. That change was made following a concern by commissioners that the third floor of the new building would effectively diminish the Benton Building.Some bay windows were removed from the initial plans. Also, the Hyman Avenue entrance to the new building was redesigned with an angled wall as opposed to a straightforward entrance that would be flush with the first-floor wall.”The [developer] created a stronger relationship between the new building and the Benton Building by playing with setbacks, angles and [building] materials,” Adams said.In other business, the Historic Preservation Commission unanimously approved the historic designations of the Little Annie’s and Benton buildings, a move that allows the developer and the city to begin negotiations under Aspen Modern.