Glenwood mulls downtown development | AspenTimes.com
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Glenwood mulls downtown development

John GardnerGlenwood Springs correspondentAspen, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS The Glenwood Springs City Council has decided to move forward with planning for a proposed mixed-use development that would add about 116,000 square feet of residential, retail and parking to the citys downtown. The development would help revitalize downtown with added retail space and housing, including some affordable housing units, and add parking, as well, council members reasoned. This is too valuable of an opportunity to pass up, said Councilman Dave Merritt. The planned Seventh & Colorado Redevelopment will be located between Seventh and Eighth Streets along Colorado Avenue, across from the Garfield County Courthouse. The property is currently public parking, owned by the city, behind businesses that face Grand Avenue and Eighth Street. Its just in the conceptual stage at this point, said City Manager Jeff Hecksel. We have some elevations and some conceptual floor plans, but whats most important at this point is how we decide to use the space. The city and the Downtown Development Association have developed two different options for the property. Both options call for roughly the same square footage but vary in the retail, residential and parking elements. One plan envisions 52 residential units with 144 parking spaces, 68 of which would be residential parking, leaving about 76 spaces for public use. The other plan would reduce the number of residential units to 46 and raise the parking to 220 spots, boosting the number of spaces for public use. Building parking, though, is expensive. Parking is costing about $50,000 per parking space, Hecksel said.The option with fewer housing units comes with a funding gap of about $15.5 million, compared to $11 million for the plan with more housing and less parking. How to close the gap is the next issue for the council. We arent going to pour $11 million of the publics money into the project, said Mayor Bruce Christensen. Im very much in favor of going forward with this, said Councilman Russ Arensman. But if we have to compromise parking to reduce the gap, then that is the way to go. jgardner@postindependent.com

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