Developer interest in Burlingame mounting | AspenTimes.com
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Developer interest in Burlingame mounting

Janet Urquhart

There will apparently be no shortage of developers pitching for a shot at designing and building affordable housing at Aspen’s Burlingame Ranch.

The city plans to hold a design competition for up to 330 units at Burlingame. The first step – eliciting resumes from qualified development teams – is currently under way.

By Monday, 63 firms had purchased the $25 RFP, or request for proposals, from the city. May 31 is the deadline to obtain one of the 1 1/2-inch-thick packets of material, which outline the project, its budget and the city’s requirements for environmentally friendly construction and design at Burlingame.

“I did get 10 requests last week, so I’m expecting another handful this week,” said Michelle Bonfils, project manager for the city.

Most of the big development firms in Denver – those that do more than $10 million a year in business – have obtained the RFP, as have at least 80 percent of the builders, architects and planners in the Roaring Fork Valley, she estimated.

“I had anticipated we’d get a lot of Colorado interest. We have a lot of California interest, as well,” Bonfils said.

Of course, not every firm that obtains the RFP will submit its qualifications for the city’s consideration. For Aspen’s Parcel D housing, currently under construction, about 30 RFPs went out, and nine teams actually responded.

Qualifications from interested developers are due June 4. Teams are likely to bring together a planning firm, architect, engineer, construction contractor and whatever other expertise is needed to handle the design and construction of the project, which has a roughly $13 million budget for its first phase of 110 homes/lots.

To help narrow the contenders to a list of three to five teams, the City Council is expected to appoint an evaluation committee that includes development professionals and experts in “green building” when it meets today.

The proposed committee would include: John Kurowski of Kurowski Development in Lakewood and the founder of Built Green Colorado; Greg Franta of Ensar Group in Boulder, co-founder of the American Institute of Architects’ Committee on the Environment and chairman of the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council; Scot Broughton, a Basalt architect who has design experience in mountain resorts, including Aspen; Michael Augello of Wodehouse Builders, an Aspen firm with experience in energy-efficient building technologies at high altitude; Randy Udall, director of the local Community Office for Resource Efficiency; Josh Burnaman, property manager at Aspen’s Hunter Longhouse and a member of the citizen task force that made recommendations on the unit mix for Burlingame; and local housing board member Dan Lauer, who has experience in business and property management.

The plan is to let the committee come up with a “short list” of contenders for the council’s consideration. The competing development teams will then produce designs for the project, and the council will choose the winner. Each team will get a $30,000 contract with the city for the design work, Bonfils said.

The evaluation committee is also expected to review the project designs and make a recommendation to the council. The winning design is scheduled to be selected in October, and construction is expected to commence next year.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com


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