Shaw team selected to build Burlingame |

Shaw team selected to build Burlingame

Janet Urquhart

Larger homes, a quicker construction schedule and a lower price all helped Shaw Poss DHM win the nod to build Aspen’s Burlingame Ranch affordable housing project.After heaping praise on all three finalists in a design competition for Burlingame, four Aspen City Council members were unanimous Monday night in their selection of the Shaw proposal for the housing project west of town. Councilman Terry Paulson, who refused to take part in narrowing the field to three contenders two weeks ago, was absent.After hearing final pitches from each of the teams – Shaw, Fenton Construction and Bald Mountain Development, led by local developers Scott Writer and David Parker – the council withdrew behind closed doors for 25 minutes before announcing its decision.”There are three outstanding projects here – fabulous creativity,” said Councilman Tim Semrau, a developer himself. “The community could be proud of any one of them.”He lauded elements in each of the designs, but selected Shaw’s after weighing each proposal in terms of its aesthetics, livability, environmentally friendly design and what the city will get for its money.”I believe that the Shaw project is going to serve our needs the best,” he concluded.Semrau’s colleagues followed suit in alternately praising and lamenting the tough choice, and then endorsing the Shaw Poss DHM proposal.”I’ve had an upset stomach all day long, just thinking about making this final choice,” said Councilwoman Rachel Richards.Councilman Torre urged Shaw to borrow some of the great ideas in its competitors’ proposals as the project moves forward.”There are riches and treasures in each of these developments,” he said.”I’d love to assemble a dream team of pieces and parts of all of them,” Semrau agreed.City staffers praised the Shaw plan for its off-the-grid bus shelters (to be powered with photovoltaic cells), solar preheated hot water for the homes, 13 different building types, private garden spaces for each residence and the mix of units.The square footage of the homes is about 20 percent larger than in the other proposals, Semrau noted. “I think that’s vitally important for livability,” he said.Shaw proposed a first phase of 86 units and 11 lots, with a cost per square foot of the residences themselves totaling $315, according to a comparison prepared by city staffers. The base cost of phase one is $34 million, to be offset by the sale of homes and lots.The developers said they can build phase one in 14 months, compared to 20 or 24 months offered by their competitors.Over three phases, Shaw has proposed 197 residences with 440 bedrooms, plus 39 lots, for a total of 236 residences. The total cost is projected at $71.3 million, with a cost per residential square foot of $298. Shaw’s proposal offered the lowest cost per square foot, both in phase one and overall, of the three plans.Mayor Helen Klanderud praised Shaw’s first phase as the subdivision that could best stand alone if subsequent phases aren’t constructed.”Although I wasn’t in favor of Burlingame in the first place, looking at these developments, I wish we had three locations,” she added.The city selected five teams to design Burlingame, paying each of them $30,000. It narrowed the list to three contenders late last month.Shaw Poss DHM’s team probably spent $300,000 in terms of billable hours putting its proposal together, estimated architect Bill Poss of Poss Architecture and Planning. All of the teams probably spent similar sums, he said.”They were three great designs. We were worried right up to the end,” Poss said. “It had to be a difficult decision for the council.”The council has tentatively scheduled a Nov. 8 meeting at 12:15 p.m. to meet with the winning team and discuss aspects of the proposal they may want tweaked before signing a contract.Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is

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