Basalt hotel owners eye redevelopment |

Basalt hotel owners eye redevelopment

BASALT ” The owners of Basalt’s Green Drake Inn are working on an application to redevelop the hotel into a mix of residences, retail shops and offices, according to one of the partners.

Michael Tierney, a principal in the ownership group, said an application will be submitted to the Basalt town government by the end of February.

He said he couldn’t discuss details yet, but the general plan is to build the retail spaces and offices closest to Midland Avenue, Basalt’s main street. Residences will be proposed on the part of the property off Midland Avenue and closer to Homestead Avenue. No lodge units will be included in the proposal.

The 25-room hotel has been an affordable option for anglers and tourists for decades. It’s been an option for skiers on a budget who have been priced out of Aspen lodging. It is one of two affordable hotels in Basalt, along with the Best Western Aspenalt Lodge.

The hotel buildings and parking lot are located on a key piece of real estate in the downtown core. The site is just west of Cottle Carr Yaw Architects and across the street from Town Center Booksellers.

The site is zoned for commercial uses. Residential use could be allowed only after special review, according to town regulations.

Basalt officials declined comment on the project because they haven’t received an application yet. A recent report from town planner Susan Philp to the Town Council noted that the staff has held pre-application talks with representatives of the Green Drake owners.

Tierney’s group purchased the Green Drake from Tiffany Gildred Ernemann for $4.4 million about 14 months ago. The deal signified just how hot the Basalt real estate market got.

Ernemann had purchased the hotel for $1,525,000 in June 2003. The property soared in value by about 190 percent in 3 1/2 years.

Tierney is the former owner of the Incline Ski Shop in Aspen and a partner in some developments in the Roaring Fork Valley. He is not the longtime ski patroller at Aspen Highlands with the same name.

His partners in the Green Drake include Aspen architect Charles Cunniffe, who will design the new project. Their planner is Mitch Haas.

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