Funky Mine Dump housing could be dumped by owner |

Funky Mine Dump housing could be dumped by owner

Janet Urquhart

The Mine Dump Apartments’ days may be numbered.

The collection of funky worker apartments that began as the Norway Lodge in the ’50s and ’60s before it became a cheap place to live in the early ’70s will be razed if a redevelopment plan for the property wins Aspen approval.

Savanah Limited Partnership, owner of three parcels at the base of Shadow Mountain that includes the 18-unit Mine Dump Apartments, is proposing a combination of free-market and affordable housing on the property. The plan will go to the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Board tonight.

Tonight’s discussion marks the start of what will likely be at least a year of review before various city boards, said Savanah spokesman John Sarpa. But if the plans are approved, residents of the Mine Dump units will have to find new homes, he said.

Leases for the units, and the provisions for termination, will be honored, Sarpa added.

Savanah, which developed the former Ritz-Carlton hotel – now the St. Regis – also owns the Top of Mill parcel at the base of Aspen Mountain and the now-closed Grand Aspen Hotel on Dean Street. Those properties have been for sale and are now under contract with a potential buyer, Sarpa said.

Savanah has received conceptual approvals for development of luxury and affordable housing at the Top of Mill and a moderately priced hotel on the Grand Aspen site, as well as an affordable housing project at the site of the old Bavarian Inn on Seventh Street.

The Shadow Mountain parcels, consisting of about 2.25 acres that are often referred to as the Barbee property, are not lumped in with the company’s other land holdings. Savanah is pursuing redevelopment of the Barbee site separately from the other projects, which are collectively part of the Aspen Mountain Planned Unit Development.

The Barbee property currently consists of one single-family home, a parking lot and the Mine Dump Apartments. The site includes parcels 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.

The free-market residences will be three-story attached townhomes of 3,450 to 4,100 square feet, according to the plan.

The proposal also calls for a five-unit building that includes one one-bedroom unit and four three-bedroom units to replace the 23 bedrooms at the Mine Dump Apartments. The city code only requires 50 percent replacement of the lost units.

However, the development application proposes an additional 12 affordable housing units elsewhere on the property. They include three one-bedroom units and six three-bedroom units in two buildings and three three-bedroom units in another structure.

A combination of surface and sub-grade parking is proposed to serve the development.

The Housing Authority staff has recommended approval of the project with various conditions, including that the affordable housing meet the minimum square footage requirements established in the authority’s guidelines.

The housing office is also requesting a mix of income categories for the affordable housing and that rents be controlled by housing office guidelines.

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