Basalt trailer park redevelopment outlined
BASALT – A trailer park near the heart of Basalt could be redeveloped with about 112,000 square feet of buildings that include a hotel, retail shops, offices for businesses and nonprofit groups, and classrooms, according to a land-use proposal submitted to the town government.
The Roaring Fork Community Development Corp., a nonprofit organization, purchased the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park last year and sold half of the property to the town. The organization will tackle the redevelopment on its 2.32 acres closest to Two River Road. The town will convert its slightly larger site into a park on the banks of the Roaring Fork River.
Organization President Michael McVoy stressed the plan is likely to change as talks evolve with town officials, a potential development partner and hydrologists examining the site, part of which is prone to flooding.
Under the current preferred design, a hotel would be built on the west end of the property, closest to the Taqueria el Nopal restaurant. The hotel would be about 65,000 square feet with 12,000 square feet of retail shops on the first floor. A restaurant of as much as 2,000 square feet is in the mix.
The hotel is planned at between 75 and 85 rooms and would require four floors, the application said, because 60 rooms can fit on three floors in the space available.
The proposal also calls for two buildings, each a maximum of three floors, totaling 40,000 square feet on the rest of the site. However, the plan might be altered so there is just the hotel and associated uses in one building along with just one other building rather than two, McVoy said.
The requested square footage could change as the proposal evolves.
In any case, ground-floor retail shops would be built at the intersection of Two Rivers Road and Midland Avenue, he said. A mix of residences and offices would be on the upper floor or floors, depending on demand and financing. Some of the office space could go to nonprofit organizations. The retail space with offices would total about 25,000 square feet, according to the application. Another 15,000 square feet is being eyed for classrooms, administrative offices and meeting space for Colorado Mountain College.
A big part of the project, McVoy said, is communal meeting space for the hotel, the college and two nonprofits that aim to build on adjacent land – the Roaring Fork Conservancy and the Rocky Mountain Institute.
The Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. is trying to recruit a company to build and operate the hotel.
“The Aspen Skiing Co. has decided not to get involved in a hotel project in Basalt on our property,” McVoy said.
As far as restaurants, McVoy and his team have a preference.
“The Taqueria would definitely be No. 1 on our wish list,” he said. The Taqueria site has been purchased by the Rocky Mountain Institute.
The Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. is in contract talks with a development firm to take over its project. The nonprofit would obtain a requested zoning change and the first round of land use approvals before transferring ownership, McVoy said. He wouldn’t name the development company. It’s based outside of the Roaring Fork Valley, but its principal has a home in the Aspen area, according to McVoy.
The redevelopment plans hinge on finding a place to build replacement housing for those being displaced from the 37 trailers and one manufactured home on the property.
“Although the (Roaring Fork Community Development Corp.) is open to the possibility of affordable housing units on the campus site, the logistics of relocating the current residents, what we know about their housing preferences and the costs involved in creating affordable housing units makes it very likely that the required housing will be located on a secondary parcel,” the application said.
The review is likely to start later this month at the Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission, according to Town Manager Bill Kane. It could be on the Town Council’s plate as soon as May 22, he said.
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