Basalt works with developer to alter Whole Foods plan | AspenTimes.com

Basalt works with developer to alter Whole Foods plan

Scott CondonThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO Colorado

BASALT – Basalt officials have started working with the developer of Willits Town Center on alterations to the project to accommodate a Whole Foods Market.Basalt Town Manager Bill Kane indicated in a recent memo to the Town Council that town staff and the development team from Joseph Freed & Associates (JFA) have talked about how to amend the approvals at Willits.”We are continuing to meet with representatives from Joseph Freed and Willits staff to review plan amendments that will be needed to resolve a new agreement with Whole Foods,” Kane wrote.Town Planning Director Susan Philp said JFA has not submitted an application yet. She wouldn’t elaborate on the discussions that have been held with the development team.A contract between JFA and Whole Foods Market to open a 44,000-square-foot grocery store at Willits Town Center expired in June. Work stalled on the grocery store last September when the recession hit and financing dried up. That left a very deep hole with a cement foundation at the site.Negotiations are under way for a new agreement, although both sides acknowledge that any new deal will be for a small store. JFA spokeswoman Jayne Thompson said no new agreement has been reached yet.”We are continuing our conversation with Whole Foods Market and hope to have a more detailed statement in the very near future,” Thompson said in a written statement. “At the same time, we continue to study and update our plan for the Willits project to enable construction to begin as soon as possible after all outstanding issues have been resolved.”Whole Foods and JFA inked the original deal for a store at Willits in May 2007. JFA was required to deliver the shell of the building by June 1, 2009. Whole Foods was going to finish the interior space and open the store in late 2009 or early 2010.Basalt remains listed among “stores in development” on Whole Foods Markets’ website.scondon@aspentimes.com

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