Club has until the end of October to resume work, or city dep’t could step in | AspenTimes.com

Club has until the end of October to resume work, or city dep’t could step in

If construction doesn't resume on the Aspen Club after 60 days of the stoppage, the city could tap into a $100,000 escrow account to spruce up the site while ensuring that it has no safety hazards.

Work on the Aspen Club was suspended at the end of August, and the city is keeping an eye on whether it will restructure its financing in order to resume the work.

"They're not behind closed doors or anything, and they're keeping us apprised of the process," said Jessica Garrow, who oversees the city's Community Development Department.

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Garrow noted that part of the Aspen Club's approvals from the city included a requirement that it deposit $100,000 into an escrow account that the city could access in the event of a construction work suspension lasting 60 days or longer. Ordinance 2, from 2010, is an approval for the project that says in case 60 days were to elapse after stoppage on the Aspen Club redevelopment project, "the city in its discretion may draw upon escrow funds from time to time as needed for purposes of protecting and securing the project site and improvements from damage by the elements and/or from trespass by unauthorized persons, and for purposes of improving the project site to a safe condition such that it does not become an attractive nuisance or otherwise pose a threat to neighbors or other persons."

The Aspen Club isn't the only development the city requires have an escrow account in the event of a construction work stoppage.

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When the Great Recession was in full force, Aspen was home to a few unsightly holes in the ground — the Dancing Bear, for example — that were the result of unfinished construction projects due to financing that dried up.

Aspen responded in 2013 with an ordinance stating that the "city may require" certain owners or developers of a project to deposit cash into an escrow account that the city could access 60 days after stalled construction.

Based on her conversations with the main figures behind the Aspen Club redevelopment, Garrow said she is encouraged that the city won't have to tap the escrow account.

Aspen Club owner Michael Fox, in an email to The Aspen Times, said: "At this time there is no need to draw on this money."

rcarroll@aspentimes.com