Sky Hotel reps address concerns about project size
The Aspen Times
Sky Hotel representatives submitted a scaled-back version of their redevelopment proposal Wednesday in response to concerns about mass and scale from the Aspen City Council and neighbors.
Changes include dropping the fourth floor of the proposal’s east wing as well as all setback requests, hotel representative John Sarpa said Wednesday. This along with other alterations decreases the overall floor area from 96,289 square feet to about 91,200 square feet, which is below the 92,783-square-foot allowance. The highest point of the building, measured at 45 feet, will still require a variance, as the lodge-zone district allows for 40 feet.
“All along we’ve known the height, scale and mass have been the biggest concern,” said Sarpa, who represents owner Northridge Capital, a Washington, D.C. firm. “It’s appropriate to make those adjustments for the people most affected, and that’s the neighbors.”
The east wing of the structure neighbors the Chateau Chaumont and Chateau Dumont, two properties where owners have adamantly opposed visual and structural impacts of the proposal, as well as noise expected from the project’s rooftop swimming pool. Representing chateau ownership, attorney Jody Edwards called the Sky’s altered proposal a good start, but said it has a long way to go before the project is compatible with the neighborhood. He claimed the fourth-story reduction is only half a story, to which Sarpa disagreed.
“The project is still not compatible to the neighborhood,” Edwards said Wednesday, adding that the noise from the rooftop bar is a major concern.
“You’re talking about an outdoor party bar,” Edwards said. “This neighborhood has historically been residential condominiums, and they’re talking about bringing an outdoor bar into that neighborhood.”
The 90-room Sky Hotel, located at 709 E. Durant Ave., is currently 34 feet tall and 43,605-square-feet in floor area. The latest iteration would see the number of lodge units increased to 104.
Other Sky Hotel changes include the conversion of six proposed free-market residential units to fractional-ownership units, bringing the total of those types of units to 11. The number of affordable-housing units will drop from five to three, though the proposal still meets the onsite requirement.
The council began its Sky Hotel review at a special meeting Monday, which ran past midnight and ended in a week-long continuance. Council will revisit the matter this coming Monday.
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