Project plans in Snowmass fall apart | AspenTimes.com
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Project plans in Snowmass fall apart

Madeleine OsbergerSnowmass Village correspondentAspen CO, Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE Three Snowmass Village property transactions involving Related WestPac have fallen apart or are being delayed because of the credit crunch and the difficulty in securing construction financing, the towns primary developer confirmed Thursday.The sale of the old town pool site on Daly Lane is delayed and the future is unknown with regard to the old Timbermill building on the Snowmass Village Mall. Also, the deal for Chaffin & Light Associates to develop Building 11 in Base Village to use for the private Snowmass Residence Club has fallen apart. We have heard directly from the applicant [Andrew Light of Chaffin & Light Associates], but have not received it in writing, that they will not be actively pursuing the building at this time, Snowmass Village Town Manager Russ Forrest said.Building 11 is part of a deal centered on properties including the Silvertree Hotel and Silvertree Conference Center in West Village (Snowmass Mall). The original contract to purchase the Silvertree involved then-partners Pat Smith, Jeff Klein, David Wilhelm and Chaffin & Light Associates, who had wanted to redevelop the valuable slope-side property.Through a subsequent negotiation, Chaffin & Light ended up with the rights to develop Building 11 in Base Village, which it planned on using for a residence club.According to Related WestPac President Pat Smith: They had a real tough issue in terms of the financial markets to pull together an acquisition development loan. Subsequently, Chaffin & Light canceled the project, he said.Smith emphasized that the Silvertree Hotel and Conference Center contracts are firm, but wont be completed for years.Sale of the mountainside building on the Snowmass Village Mall that was the home to both the Cirque Caf and before that, the Timbermill, will not be consummated at this time. Building owner Lance Hool could not be reached for comment.Related WestPacs Smith said the transaction isnt completely dead. We still have time under a contract, he said. We told Lance things are not looking good; we may seek an extension.Those in the town of Snowmass Village were led to believe that the sale is no longer pending, based upon the towns desire to lease some conference space on the buildings ground floor for a summer 2009 meeting group. Smith said he will have more information on the Timbermill building status next week.A $3 million purchase by Related WestPac of the towns former pool site on Daly Lane from the Snowmass Village Resort Association (SVRA) has been delayed, Smith confirmed, though he said the reason isnt financing but rather the necessity to complete surveys of properties located within West Village.The pool site is a political football that has super complicated issues involving disbanding the SVRA, Smith said. Were going to back it up right now. I dont think you can disseminate the slivers until you do a survey.He said the survey likely wont be ready until April, with the sale backed up until at least next summer.This comes after complex and protracted negotiations between the SVRA and Related WestPac that culminated in the SVRAs annual meeting on Oct. 14. Sources said Smith was unhappy with some conditions imposed upon the formation of the Community Foundation, a nonprofit that dealt with the disbursement of the $3 million in proceeds from the pool site on Daly Lane, and the makeup of the foundations board.Russ Forrest said that currently there are lots of rumors and speculation flying around the Village with regard to the developer. He went on to say, Itll continue to evolve. Stay tuned for the next several months in terms of how things will unfold.These latest developments come one week after Related WestPac announced it was suspending Phase 3 of the Base Village development plan, which includes the entry building and two condominium complexes. Related WestPac also announced that it is laying off 15 employees, or one-quarter of its Aspen-Snowmass work force.Out of all the bad news are a few rays of sunshine new businesses will be opening soon in Base Village. Next month, five restaurants and bars are expected to open their doors along with a handful of new retail stores.mosberger@snowmasssun.com


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