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Riverwalk developer shows

Aspen Times Staff Report

Spurned developer Frieda Wallison left little doubt Wednesday and Thursday about what she intends to do with her Riverwalk property in downtown Basalt.

Less than 20 hours after her preferred development plan was rejected Tuesday night by the Town Council, Wallison started work on her second option, which she has acknowledged is less desirable.

Wallison had the building that used to house the Wild Iris flower shop demolished Wednesday and started utility work on her mostly vacant property on Midland Avenue.

Wallison also applied Thursday morning for a building permit for the approvals that came with the Riverwalk property when she bought it in March 1999.

Numerous Basalt residents and some Town Council members expressed hope Tuesday night that Wallison would sell the property to the public so it could be preserved as open space. Wallison told them she wasn’t interested in selling.

By the time she left the country Thursday for a trip to Japan, her feelings hadn’t changed. She said she intends to build the project that was approved by the Town Council for previous owners four years ago.

Basalt building inspector Mark Kittle said he will review Wallison’s plans to make sure they match the approvals. The process for a large commercial development typically takes four to five weeks, he said.

Wallison’s approvals are for a building that is 43,463 square feet. Of that, 10,538 square feet is designated as office space and 14,482 is designated as retail and restaurant space, although there is no strict allocation for commercial uses.

Seven or eight residential units are allowed, at Wallison’s discretion. They total 12,425 square feet.

No employee housing is required because the project was approved before the town made it a mitigation requirement.

Buildings that make up the complex will range from 29 to 35 feet high. They can be built as close as 40 feet to the Fryingpan River. Development will cover about 53 percent of the land.

In addition to the buildings, the plan features surface parking with 59 spaces.

Wallison had touted her 74,000-square-foot proposal as a better option. Although it was more dense, it would have provided underground parking and some affordable housing.


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