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Dear Editor:Of the Isis deal, I think someone needs to ask the question: “What constitutes moderate retail?”Does this city want more chains and nationals?Do we have an experienced developer and dealmaker representing the community?There is great potential for the developers and the community if the Isis deal goes through, but there are too many unknowns. The Isis, firehouse and Wheeler as a venue for an Aspen Performing Arts Center, conference facility and a smattering of affordable boutiques is world class.But!Lord’s background is shopping centers. This deal is a no-brainer to bring in a couple of mid-priced chains. They would pay anything and clean up, and clean out the remaining free-standing retail that exists.The community and the city talk about non-chain boutiques, bringing back the funk, and stores with personality that our visitors and consultants insist are needed; and the city may well be negotiating away the rights to develop a shopping center of “moderate retail’ as defined by mid-priced nationals.Before this process goes any further, I think the community needs more information – not the least of which concerns our goals and their plans.Please Aspen, you have a great opportunity here. Bring in some experts that will help direct this deal, and protect our community from more chains and more negative impact on our independent boutiques and our world class mecca of recreation, shopping, dining and hospitality.Andy ModellBasalt
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