Hunt submits plans for Bidwell Building |

Hunt submits plans for Bidwell Building

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

Mark Hunt submitted plans Monday for redevelopment of the Bidwell Building, the prominent developer’s fourth recent application that includes a request for a mountain-viewplane exemption.

Located at 434 E. Cooper Ave., the Bidwell Building houses Kemo Sabe, Ryno’s Pies & Pints restaurant and six other tenants. Hunt plans to demolish the existing 15,000-square-foot building and replace it with a 20,000-square-foot commercial building without a residential component. Hunt purchased the property for $22 million in 2012, the same year the Aspen City Council granted approval for a redevelopment that already includes a mountain-viewplane exemption.

Standing at 28 feet, which conforms to the commercial zone district, the new building would be similar in size to what is already approved. In his application, Hunt cites various approvals in the past decade that were either equal height or taller, which included mountain-viewplane exemptions.

Today, Aspen voters will decide the fate of Referendum 1, a growth-control measure that would strip the council of its ability to grant variance requests on height, mass, parking and affordable housing without a public vote. Approval of viewplane exemptions also would trigger public voting.

City Attorney Jim True has held that development applications deemed complete by the planning office before election results would not be subject to any changes associated with the potential Home Rule Charter amendment that Referendum 1 seeks.

All four of Hunt’s applications have been deemed complete, joining a deluge of recent applications that includes viewplane requests from St. Mary Church and the Golden Horn Building.

The new Bidwell Building development, made up by seven commercial units, would require that Hunt provide a net total of 5.9 off-street parking spaces. Hunt has requested to mitigate through a cash payment of $177,000. Additionally, the new structure would not provide the required 9,000 square feet of street-level public-amenity space. Hunt has suggested meeting this requirement through the construction of two second-floor decks, totaling 1,022 square feet.

Hunt’s other three applications were submitted for a Hyman Avenue pedestrian-mall commercial building, a Cooper Avenue pedestrian-mall building and the Mill Street property home to Grey Lady, Jimmy’s Bodega and the Popcorn Wagon.