Don’t build it |

Don’t build it

Dear Editor:

I’m asking the powers-that-be at Chaffin Light Real Estate (CLRE) to re-consider the proposed building at the southeast corner of Spring and Hyman, in favor of not building it.

It would pave over one of the few pieces of “green” left in downtown Aspen. It would raise the ambient temperature in Aspen’s core, adding to global warming and climate change.

A new building is unnecessary on that corner, and quite possibly an ugly addition to the existing structures. And CLRE wouldn’t be renting space that already exists in Aspen.

Why does Chaffin Light need such a building in the first place? With building costs and borrowing costs both so expensive, why not rent instead?

Is CLRE so wealthy it can afford to throw money away? (If so, I know of seven or eight residents who would be extremely grateful recipients of the company’s generosity.) Right now, there are adequate buildings standing mostly empty.

Only one example is two blocks away, on the corner of Spring and Main. The building has been for sale for several years. With American Family Insurance in part of the building, there are still three spaces on three levels that should suit any real estate company’s needs. Why doesn’t CLRE buy the building, refurbish it, and have all the space it needs? The company would still be in downtown Aspen and have four off-street parking spaces, too.

If the asking price is too high, negotiate! Isn’t that what real estate people do?

If buying is not feasible, then Chaffin should rent the spaces and make any rental contingent on the building not selling for at least a year.

Another reason I’m asking Chaffin to re-consider is this. When you look at the long-term world situation, it’s probable that cheap, easily accessible oil, which helped create America’s astoundingly wasteful culture, has already reached peak production worldwide. From now on, oil and all the things we make from it will only get more expensive.

Sooner rather than later, meaning in our lifetimes, we’re going to see gas at the pump costing $10 a gallon … and more.

Long before that point, most Americans, if they’re at all aware and smart, will be cutting back on non-essentials. Most will be heading toward voluntary simplicity in all areas of their lives.

Then what will Aspen look like? How will all luxury mountain resorts fare?

If you think I shouldn’t be pointing out such things, then I’ll leave you now with this tiny hope (writer and year written unknown).

Remember this, when the dark days fall /that the compass and caliper lie. Your life is great or your life is small /by your dreams that live or die.



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