Restaurant will be first addition at former Pan and Fork site in Basalt

Developer says eatery will open this year; town won’t finish park’s bells and whistles until 2022

A restaurant will open at Basalt’s signature park along the Roaring Fork River by the end of this year, a developer announced this week, but the park itself won’t be finished until summer 2022.

Two projects are progressing simultaneously at the former Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park site west of downtown Basalt. Developers Tim Belinski and Andrew Light are pursuing a private sector project that includes 24 residences, 11,500 square feet of commercial and office space, and a 3,000-square-foot restaurant that will be in a prime position overlooking the park.

Meanwhile, the town government is pursuing expansion of Basalt River Park along the Roaring Fork River and adding amenities.

Belinski told the Basalt Town Council on Tuesday night that work will begin on the restaurant and eight of the residences in May.

“We’re really excited about the restaurant’s progress,” he said. “During the approvals we had determined that (the restaurant) could be the last thing possible in the project. It looks like it will be the first thing now.”

Belinski said the identity of the restaurant is Basalt’s “worst-kept secret” but he couldn’t formally make an announcement until the party has its financing in place and approval to finish the space. He’s optimistic that will happen soon.

“That restaurant is going to be the first building going up in the project starting early this summer,” Belinski said. “It’s projected to be opened by the end of the calendar year if everything goes according to plan.”

The progress of the restaurant and interest among buyers in the residences has the developers preparing to start the second phase of the project as soon as possible. That will include more residences and a building of mixed commercial and residential uses.

“There’s no strategic reason to delay if the market is ready for this,” Belinski said.

Work won’t be as speedy on the town government’s side of the property. The town is putting out for bid this spring a project that will include grading, subgrade utilities and “hardscape improvements” at the park. The town and development firm also are teaming up to undertake changes to Two Rivers Road along the property.

The bells and whistles at the park won’t be added until next spring and summer. Those include a band shell-climbing wall near the intersection of Two Rivers Road and Midland Avenue, a motion-activated “misting” water feature, picnic areas, trails, and play areas featuring willow forts, hay bales, boulders and sand beaches. A “great lawn” will be added in a vast area in front of the band shell.

The town government purchased property along the river for the park in August 2011. It purchased another acre to expand the park earlier this year. Completion of the park has been a long time coming but will require patience, noted Councilman Glenn Drummond.

“We’re on the end run,” he said. “Let’s have a little patience. It’s not going to be done this year, but it’s going to be a great project.”


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