Design field narrowed to five for Aspen Mass |

Design field narrowed to five for Aspen Mass

John Colson

Five design firms have been chosen as finalists to submit plans for the Aspen Mass housing project, to be built on government-owned land about five miles west of Aspen.The selection is part of a design competition for the 120- to 150-unit employee housing project proposed at the intersection of Brush Creek Road and Highway 82.The competition was inaugurated to attract innovative designs and plans for the project. The development is part of an overall plan to build 800 or more affordable housing units in the upper Roaring Fork Valley over the next few years.The selected finalists, all of which are said to have “extensive experience” with affordable housing projects, include: Civatas/Stan Clausen, Denver and Aspen; Coburn Development, Boulder; Dennis Wedlick/Ted Guy, Basalt; ICON Architects, Boston, Mass.; and OTAK of Carbondale and Lake Oswego, Ore.”The Housing Office is very pleased that the judges have selected these talented teams and look forward to seeing their design submittals in the next phase of the competition,” said Jay Leavitt, director of development and construction for the housing office. “We are confident that the quality and creativity of the designs will be the groundwork for a fantastic affordable housing community at Aspen Mass.”Each of the selected firms received a $10,000 “award,” according to Aspen Community Relations Officer Linda Gerdenich.According to Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority officials, more than 80 requests for more information about the project were submitted by firms across the United States.The five were chosen from complete proposals submitted by 14 of those firms.The competition among the finalists starts with a meeting on July 7, when representatives of all five companies will gather at the Housing Office for an orientation meeting and a site visit.Final design documents must be submitted to the Housing Office by Aug. 29, and a public exhibition of the designs will be held at the Wheeler Opera House lobby from Sept. 6-13.A panel of judges will then select the winning design on Sept. 8, and the decision will be announced on Sept. 11, according to a schedule released by Aspen City Hall.The judges for the competition are: Tim Semrau, Housing Board member; Tom McCabe, Aspen City Councilman; Roger Haneman, Aspen Planning & Zoning Commission member; Michael T. Manchester, architect and Mayor of Snowmass Village; Dr. Alan Wallis, Professor of Public Policy, University of Denver; Suzannah Reid, architect; Will Fleissig, Boulder planner, developer, and architect; John Sarpa, Aspen developer; Bill Kane, Vice President of Planning for the Aspen Skiing Co.; and alternate Tom Baker, Basalt Town Manager.

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