Commission approves Sky Hotel project |

Commission approves Sky Hotel project

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

Aspen’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-1 in favor of the Sky Hotel’s redevelopment application Tuesday, which sets the stage for a meeting with the Aspen City Council.

The 45-foot-tall, 96,133-square-foot proposal at 709 E. Durant Ave. calls for 106 lodge units, five on-site affordable-housing units, six free-market residential units and five fractional-ownership units. The four-story structure also calls for a rooftop deck with a swimming pool, which would be a first for Aspen. The existing 91-room Sky Hotel is 43,605 square feet and about 33 feet tall, while the height limit is 40 feet.

Representing owner Northridge Capital, a Washington, D.C., commercial asset firm that has owned the hotel since 2001, John Sarpa called the redevelopment effort an aim at midpriced lodging, offering rooms from $300 to $500 a night.

Dissenting voter L.J. Erspamer said he has concerns about height as well as noise levels on the rooftop, where the hotel expects to host DJ shows. At the request of Jody Edwards, representing Chateau DuMont and Chateau Chaumont, which neighbor the Sky Hotel, the applicant will perform a sound study prior to meeting with the council.

Though Planning and Zoning Commissioners Brian McNellis and Stan Gibbs voiced concern about the impact on the chateaus, both gave favorable responses and affirmative votes to the applicant. McNellis said he thinks 45 feet is appropriate, especially given the fact that the Sky Hotel sits on the terminus of a street, allowing for it to blend nicely with Aspen Mountain.

Commissioner Ryan Walterscheid called it a great application and praised its chalet-inspired design, and Commissioner Keith Goode seconded that notion.

In 2005, Northridge Capital walked away from a previous redevelopment application that would have seen the existing hotel torn down and replaced with a 100,000-square-foot structure, offering the same number of rooms, 10 free-market units and three affordable-housing units. The project was abandoned after a split vote by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

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