Overhaul of Aspen’s Mill St. building approved | AspenTimes.com

Overhaul of Aspen’s Mill St. building approved

Karl Herchenroeder
The Aspen Times

The Aspen City Council on Monday night gave unanimous approval for overhaul of the Jerome Professional Building, located at 201 N. Mill St.

In 2006, the property owner of the building, located on the corner of Mill and Bleeker Streets, submitted an application to demolish the present building and rebuild the site with a mixed-use building containing commercial, affordable-housing and free-market residential use. The applicant, Bleeker Mill LLC, requested to amend existing entitlements for the property that were granted in 2008 by reducing the five affordable-housing units and five free-market housing units to four each. Other highlights of the building include a subgrade garage as well as geothermal wells, solar panels and a green roof.

Adam Roy, of Method Planning + Development, said the applicant wants to start construction on the building “as soon as possible,” but whether that begins this fall or in early 2014 is still up in the air, he said.

During Monday’s council meeting, Roy said the building will serve as a transition between the commercial core and surrounding residential neighborhoods. To the south of the property is the Hotel Jerome. Farther to the west is residential development.

Council member Dwayne Romero praised the “environmental stewardship” of the project. One of its features, the green roof, will include solar panels and vegetation, much like the roof on Spring Street’s Spring Building.

Romero said the Jerome Professional Building could serve as a model for landuse in the broader community, adding that he’s not sure what commercial uses will arise at 201 N. Mill, whether that’s a restaurant or law offices or something else entirely. Council member Adam Frisch, alluding to recent noise complaints in the downtown core, said the only fights in this building will be between lawyers, not bar patrons. Romero was hesitant to agree entirely with Frisch.

“What we can be pretty sure of is that there’s going to be change in this core, and there’s going to be a kind of new destination past this particular property,” Romero said.

Romero lauded the Spring Building’s cafe, which he said feeds nicely into its own sub-community. The development, which he stressed is very young, has so far set a good example for Aspen.

Mayor Steve Skadron, who voiced concern about the building’s 32-foot height earlier in the meeting, said the approved design on the Jerome Professional Building was “much better.” overall than what was approved in 2006.