New partnership has a plan for Sinclair Meadows | AspenTimes.com
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New partnership has a plan for Sinclair Meadows

Sarah S. Chung

Sinclair Meadows, site of one rejected development proposal after another, has attracted a new player with a new plan.

Aspen big guns Savanah Limited Partnership is hoping to pull the 22-acre parcel in Snowmass Village out of its five-year planning “morass.” And they’re banking on a hefty affordable housing component to help the Town Council see things their way.

“We’re new players with no baggage,” said John Sarpa, representing Savanah at a council work session on Tuesday. “We can put together free-market and affordable houses that would come together as a single neighborhood. The key is that it’s an ideal location for an integrated neighborhood.”

Within the Savanah proposal are 10 units of affordable, deed-restricted, housing that would be interspersed with 40 free-market units – 20 single-family houses and 20 duplexes. Sarpa anticipates that the average free-market unit would sell for about $1.5 million.

To sweeten the deal, Savanah would bring in the Aspen Skiing Co., which has an option to buy part of Sinclair Meadows, to develop additional employee housing across town. According to the plan, the Skico would not only build the employee units at Sinclair, but would also construct “tens of thousands of square feet of affordable housing” at the so-called Draw parcel.

Located near the Snowmass Center, the Draw property is owned by the town. Savanah and Skico hope that the prospect of 44,000 square feet of Skico employee housing and 10 units of town-controlled affordable housing at the Draw, plus the 10 affordable units at Sinclair Meadows, will entice town support for the joint application.

At yesterday’s work session, the council was cautious.

“When you start talking about community land, the most precious thing we have, you’d have to make it a really good deal to get me on board,” said Councilman Doug Mercatoris, who also expressed reservations about so much housing being set aside solely for the Skico.

“I assume we’ll be getting back something equal to what we’re giving up,” added Mayor T. Michael Manchester.

The last plan for Sinclair Meadows was brought forward by the Skico. The company first proposed a seasonal housing project there, and then an employee-owned project, but eventually scrapped the plans. The property is located behind the Little Red Schoolhouse.


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