Development proposed for base of Shadow Mountain |

Development proposed for base of Shadow Mountain

Janet Urquhart

Shadow Mountain may soon be shading a whole new collection of homes, including some gnarly ski-in, ski-out housing for locals.Lands around the base of the rocky outcropping that forms Aspen Mountain’s western flank and casts the town in shadow early in the day are slated for a variety of new developments. The proposals include affordable and free-market housing and a lodge expansion.Construction of the first of the housing projects, on about 1.75 acres between Koch Lumber Park and the mountain, could begin as early as spring, according to developer Tim Semrau, who has acquired the parcel.Approvals are already in place for two free-market units and seven deed-restricted units, though Semrau said he may ask the city for permission to boost the number of affordable units.”It’s ski-in, ski-out affordable housing,” said Semrau. Just watch out for the trees and rocks.”You can actually ski into them if you’re hot. It’s pretty gnarly, but it’s doable,” he said.Semrau, developer of the Pitkin Iron affordable/free-market complex outside Woody Creek and other housing projects, said he also hoped to acquire about 2.25 adjacent acres that are now the focus of a development application from Savanah Limited Partnership.With four combined acres, Semrau figures he could put 45 affordable units and a free-market component next to the base of the mountain.”It would be a killer site for 45 affordable units,” he said.Savanah, however, is currently pursuing its own vision for the land, located on both sides of Juan Street, between Aspen and Garmisch streets. Savanah has proposed 14 free-market homes and 17 affordable housing units on the site, including a five-unit building to replace the existing Mine Dump Apartments.The Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority gave the project a glowing recommendation last month. It is now in the city Planning and Zoning Commission’s hands, with its next review scheduled Jan. 16.Meanwhile, farther to the west, around the toe of Shadow Mountain, a proposal for four free-market townhomes and 11 affordable units at the corner of West Hopkins Avenue and Fifth Street is also before the P&Z. The 53,187-square-foot site is across Hopkins from the Boomerang Lodge and the Madsen Apartments.The developers, Aspen GK LLC and Burton B. Kaplan, originally proposed four free-market units and seven three-bedroom affordable units. The Housing Board sent them back to the drawing board to come up with more affordable units with a mix of bedrooms.The revised plan, including two studios, two one-bedrooms, three two-bedrooms and four three-bedrooms, won the Housing Board’s blessing and will be back before the P&Z for the second time on Jan. 2.Directly to the east is the parcel slated for expansion of Charlie Paterson’s Boomerang Lodge.He won city approval last summer for his plan to build five three-bedroom chalets, two one-bedroom lodge units, two affordable housing units, underground parking and a bathhouse on a parcel across West Hopkins from the existing lodge. In all, the proposal will add 17 bedrooms to the complex.Paterson has been exploring the sale of the chalets in a fractional ownership arrangement to help finance the project. The city’s lodge preservation zoning, however, would require the units to be open as short-term lodging accommodations for at least six months of the year.

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