Basalt’s downtown core receives finishing touch |

Basalt’s downtown core receives finishing touch

A finishing touch is being added to Basalt’s downtown core this spring while the town’s other commercial center at Willits is taking shape with another phase.Caddis Fly Partners LLC is adding a third and final building at the Riverwalk project on Basalt’s main drag. “We’re about a month or two from completion,” said managing partner Frieda Wallison.She said the final building will add retail space on the street level, office space on the basement level and residences on the upper floor.The legendary Toklat Gallery, operated by the Mace family at Ashcroft, is relocating to the newest Riverwalk building later this year, according to Wallison. “That’s something we’re very proud of,” she said.Work on Riverwalk started in spring 2003. When it is completed the project will add about 14,500 square feet of retail space, 10,500 square feet of office space, and about 12,500 square feet of residences.Riverwalk extends the downtown core with the addition of two brick buildings designed to blend with Basalt’s history. A third building is out of sight from Midland Avenue near the Fryingpan River. That build remains empty, but the first building constructed along the street features an eclectic mix of clothing stores, salons mixed with home furnishings and a gourmet food shop.Basalt doesn’t ban offices on the street level but Wallison does. She said covenants require that restaurants or retail shops be located on the prime, first-floor spaces. She said those types of establishments are important to help keep the downtown vital.Nearly four miles away at Willits, in what’s known as West Basalt, the developer is establishing a critical mass in the commercial core. Developer Michael Lipkin and his partners will break ground this month on a loft building that features 26,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the ground floor and 44 lofts on the upper two stories. The lofts will be studio, one, two and three bedrooms with 12-foot vaulted ceilings, hardwood floors and private terraces. They will range in size from 700 to 1,800 square feet.”It’s kind of the hip, urban living thing,” Lipkin said.The building will set the architectural standard for much of the town center, according to Lipkin. That center will eventually have about 600,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, office and residential space. Another 550 townhouses, condos and single-family lots have been approved by the town of Basalt in the Willits neighborhoods around the commercial center.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is

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