Aspen to buy chalet for housing | AspenTimes.com

Aspen to buy chalet for housing

Abigail Eagye

Aspen will pay $3.5 million for a chalet-style residence at 312 W. Hyman Ave. The city plans to convert it into worker housing. (Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times)

Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN Aspen will pay $3.5 million for the latest addition to its worker housing pool – a chalet at 312 W. Hyman Ave.The City Council on Monday approved the purchase. After redevelopment, the property could offer up to four units, expected to be offered for sale to qualified workers in Categories 2-4, though those details haven’t been finalized.

“There’s a need to recoup as much of the investment money as possible, so I think they’re probably more interested in sales,” said Amy Guthrie, the city’s historic preservation officer, explaining the plan to sell rather than rent the units.Part of the appeal of the chalet is that it can be redeveloped as intended without rezoning the property. The city has eyed the residence for historic designation. It’s built in a European style that was influential in Aspen when the town began to develop as a ski resort.

According to Guthrie’s memo to the council, “The family who built the house … were drawn to Aspen after reading an article in Time Magazine published a week after Lift 1 opened in 1947.”Redevelopment must go through a review by the Historic Preservation Commission. The current zoning allows for a carriage house to be built in the rear of the property, but there are no current plans for an addition to the house itself.

The council agreed to use affordable housing funds to buy the property, Guthrie said. She stated in her memo that the purchase achieves “at least two important goals” identified in the Aspen Area Community Plan: affordable housing and historic preservation.”The city has made no secret they’re always looking for opportunities to buy something in town,” she said. “It’s exciting, and I think there will be more to come.”Abigail Eagye’s e-mail address is abby@aspentimes.com

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