Boomerang plans redevelopment
The Boomerang Lodge is the latest of Aspen’s venerable lodges slated for redevelopment.Aspen-Fountain Square Properties bought the Boomerang, at 500 W. Hopkins Ave., from Charlie and Fonda Paterson last summer. On Dec. 30, the new owners submitted a proposal to demolish the middle and west wings of the existing 34-room lodge and build 54 lodge rooms, six residential condominiums and two affordable housing units.
Though the lodge doesn’t have protection as a historic property, the new owners offered to retain the east wing and include it in the city’s historic inventory if they can find a way to incorporate it into the new design.The lodging units would be offered for sale as condominiums. Owners would be able to use the rooms for a total of 90 days per year, with a maximum continuous stay of 30 days.The proposal also includes underground parking and a four-story structure with a rooftop deck. Excavation associated with the underground garage would require destruction of two-thirds of the building, said Charlie Paterson. Paterson built the main lodge in 1960 based on Frank Lloyd Wright’s design principles after a three-year apprenticeship with the famed architect.
“It’s a little hard to answer how I feel [about the changes]. There’s a lot of my soul in there, but we understand the changes have to be made … a four-story building makes a lot of sense because they want to maximize the land.”Developers also want to split the parcel across the street from the Boomerang into two lots and build three single-family homes.Paterson had planned a 17-room timeshare lodge and two affordable housing units on the parcel, and the city approved it. But new owners had difficulty obtaining financing for such a project because of marketability and operational problems, said planner Mitch Haas of Haas Land Planning. Plus, single-family homes are more in line with what the neighbors want, he said.
“The truth of the matter is, in hindsight, that [timeshare] approval was the proverbial 10 pounds in a five-pound sack,” Haas said.The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the proposal to rezone the lot Jan. 17. The earliest P&Z will consider the Boomerang redevelopment project is March.Kimberly Nicoletti’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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