Developers eye overnight stays at the Chart House |

Developers eye overnight stays at the Chart House

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Aspen’s former Chart House restaurant is the proposed site of the ChartHouse Lodge with a new, rooftop restaurant that is reminiscent of the old one.

Developers have submitted plans to the city for a 14-suite, fractional-ownership lodge that includes a ground-level, lobby bar with patio seating on the corner of Durant Avenue and Monarch Street, and a rooftop, gazebo-style restaurant.

Four, two-bedroom affordable units for workers and a 25-space, subgrade garage served by a vehicle elevator are also proposed.

The project will “promote infill, density and revitalization of the downtown core,” according to the developers.

Jim De Francia of Lowe Enterprises Community Development and longtime local resident Skip Behrhorst are the principle partners with LCH, LLC, the developer of the lodge. Lowe is seeking approval for a housing development at W/J Ranch; Behrhorst was involved in development of The Gant, according to Stan Clauson, planning consultant for the ChartHouse Lodge.

David Brown of Stryker-Brown Architects is the architect for the lodge. He also designed the Dancing Bear Lodge, destined to replace the vacant Aspen Manor lodge across Durant Avenue from the Chart House property.

The yet-unbuilt Dancing Bear won city approval after the City Council told developers to reduce its height. They responded by removing one floor of the building and making changes to a rooftop, glass gazebo. The top of the gazebo will be about 45 feet high. The top of the third floor will be 31.6 feet high at Durant and Monarch, and 38 feet high at the opposite corner.

The ChartHouse Lodge will top out at 62.25 feet on one ridge of the rooftop restaurant.

On the lodge portion of the building, the highest elevation of the top story is 51.5 feet (46.5 feet from the corner of Dean and Monarch).

The upper floors of the lodge would be set back from the front facade ” two floors on the west half of the building and one on the east. It is described as a four-and-a-half-story lodge, plus the restaurant, by the developers.

The rooftop restaurant would be constructed primarily of glass to take advantage of the views from the top of the building. It is designed in the style of the old Chart House and will make use of materials that will be reclaimed from the restaurant.

The existing Chart House, a one-story building, opened in Aspen in 1961 and later became a national chain. Laundry’s Restaurant Inc., based in Houston, acquired the chain last year and closed the Aspen restaurant in July.

Herb Balderson and Joey Cabell, owners of the property, subsequently won approval for a lot split to divide the 12,000-square-foot property. They indicated they would pursue a single-family home and a duplex there as a fallback option if they couldn’t find developers interested in pursuing something else for the site.

Some council members suggested they didn’t want to see a couple of residential lots on the property, which is in the city’s lodge/tourist/residential zone and near the St. Regis Aspen hotel, located across Monarch Street from the lodge site.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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