Lift One Lodge owners request rights extension
The Aspen Times
Developers behind the Lift One Lodge concept, a 77,000-square-foot, 84-room hotel approved in November 2011, have asked the Aspen City Council to extend the property’s vested rights by two years, from 2016 to 2018.
Vested rights for the concept planned at 720 S. Aspen St., which includes five free-market units, subgrade parking and dorm-style affordable housing, are set to expire in November 2016. The project was downsized from 116,000 to 77,000 square feet in 2011 following a failed cooperative effort that sought to build two hotels and 300,000 square feet of development in the South Aspen Street neighborhood.
The current plan includes the relocation of the Skiers Chalet Lodge to Willoughby Park, where it would be converted into a ski museum, and relocation of the Skiers Chalet Steakhouse, which would convert to affordable housing.
During the 2011 approval process, the owner, Roaring Fork Mountain Lodge Aspen LLC, asked for 10-year vested rights when such rights typically last three years. The council at the time granted five-year vested rights. On Monday, the council will decide whether to extend that window to seven years.
With the vesting running out, legal representative David Myler said the financing timing is uncertain at this point, and the group is looking to buy more time. The plan is to move forward with what is approved, though it’s unlikely any construction could occur before 2016, he said.
“We still think the plan is viable,” Myler said. “As economic circumstances improve, we’re certainly planning to move forward with the project as approved. There’s no anticipation of asking for any revisions. We just felt that we might not be started before 2016.”
Aspen’s Community Development Department has recommended that the council approve the extension with two conditions. The first is that the applicant reach a cost-sharing agreement for South Aspen Street improvements with a nearby townhome development. That development is One Aspen, which includes 14 free-market units and 17 affordable-housing units. David Parker of Bald Mountain Development represents the owner, ASV Aspen Street Owners LLC.
Community Development Director Chris Bendon said the second condition is for the owner to reach an agreement with the city regarding timing and logistics for Gilbert Street closures associated with the two developments.
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The steep Jail Trail that leads into downtown Aspen is getting a better grade to address safety concerns and make it easier for people to use.