Bidwell developers pull out all the stops
I have been looking at the Bidwell building project, and have come up with some ideas based on my past preservation and business experience.
I do not believe the project as presented can be executed in any of its current forms. The scale, massing and design are totally inappropriate; the interruption of the core businesses cannot be mitigated, and downtown Aspen will end up with potentially disastrous results. Council does not have to listen to 80-decibel noises to make a decision; it will be a disaster.
The developers have stated many times how bad the building is. If this is true, red tag it and give them six months to bring it up to code. You can’t be passive with this type of developer anymore; they use every trick in the book, all are false, and we older residents have seen the results of their unconscionable actions over the years.
Before their next presentation one approach could be: There will be no garage under the structure and no free market on the top. All requirements for free-market housing will be dropped. The developers will cover the (PIT), and re-model the building. They will rant and rave about the impossibility of this, but remind them if European countries can save 1,000-year-old buildings, maybe they should cross the ocean and study the cultures from which we have all sprung. Their desires, their commitments to community, and their historic preservation methods, before they make their next presentation to council.
Some things in life are self evident. You don’t need to form a study committee, or hire some outside expert to make a decision. Trust me: Make this go away using any method you can, including common sense.
It is time to remind these developers that the value of their properties depends upon the historic texture of Aspen being preserved. The town must come first, and their personal agendas must come second. We all have a responsibility to our neighbors and our community; developers are no exception.
While I am at it, I wish council would remind the Community Development Department that you preserve what you have first, and then, and only then, promote change that enhances, instead of destroying.
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