Burlingame Ranch designs prove to be a lot to digest
A marathon of presentations on proposed designs for Aspen’s Burlingame Ranch affordable housing left the City Council with more questions than answers at the end of a 10-hour day Tuesday.Five design teams offered power-point presentations on their ideas for the controversial housing complex, delving into everything from architectural styles to the layout of homes, parks and roads, and the bottom line – how much it will cost the city’s housing fund to construct phase one of the project, which ranged from 97 units on the low end to 134 homes in the most ambitious plan. All of the proposals include some lots to be sold to buyers who will construct their own residences.Some council members appeared ready last night to whittle down the number of contenders to two or three finalists whose proposals would face further scrutiny; Councilman Tim Semrau endorsed the designs from Shaw-Poss-DHM and Fenton Construction, calling them “remarkable.””There are probably three that go to my next round,” Councilman Torre said.Mayor Helen Klanderud cut off the discussion, though, halting the council from eliminating any of the entries before staffers have sifted through public comments on the designs and before the Zoline family, owners of the neighboring ranch and a partner in the project, has weighed in on the proposals.Pam Zoline and her husband, John Lifton, sat through yesterday’s presentations. Lifton deemed the Shaw-Poss-DHM and Bald Mountain Development proposals “quite outstanding” at the end of the day.The council had been scheduled to select a finalist on Monday; instead, the best they hope to do is narrow the field.The designs that remain in contention will be the focus of a lengthy list of questions rattled off by council members, primarily Semrau, so they can compare various aspects of the proposals.The many requested comparisons for the finalists include: the square footage of the various types of residences, the amount of open space versus developed space on the 31-acre parcel, the cost of construction per square foot for the housing, the timing and cost of phase one, the heights of the buildings, the project’s density (units per acre) and a host of others.Among the proposed designs, Shaw-Poss-DHM proposed 97 units, including six RO or resident-occupied lots, in phase one. RO is the most expensive category of worker housing. The other prices range from categories 2-7. The total cost of phase one is estimated at $34.7 million, requiring a $7.5 million subsidy after sales of the homes and lots. In total, the team has proposed 236 units at Burlingame, including 20 lots.Bald Mountain Development proposed 108 units in the first phase, including nine accessory dwelling units – caretaker-style units connected to another residence. In all, the team proposed 261 units at the ranch, with 23 ADUs and 23 lots. Bald Mountain was the only team to propose a few Category 1 sale units, the least expensive category of worker housing. Its first phase would cost an estimated $31.1 million, with a subsidy of $5.9 million.Amako Parkhill-Ivins proposed 113 units in phase one and 266 total. Phase one would cost $34.3 million and require a $140,600 subsidy. Its overall plan includes 29 RO lots and housing in categories 2-7.Fenton Construction, which dubbed the project Harmony Ranch, proposed 117 units in phase one and 271 overall. The total includes 22 RO lots and 24 single-family homes in categories 6 and 7, along with units in categories 2-7. Phase one, at a cost of $33.2 million, would require a city subsidy of $3.5 million.Jonathon Rose Companies proposed 134 homes in phase one and 289 overall, but homes and lots in only the higher categories would produce an average sale price of $335,000. The $34.6 million phase one budget would, however, break even, requiring no subsidy.What’s included in the phase one cost estimates varies greatly, noted Semrau, making the proposals difficult to compare without further analysis.”One included everything, including the kitchen sink – solar panels, you name it,” he said.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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