Starbucks brews up opening at Willits

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

BASALT – Starbucks has confirmed the poorly kept secret that it will be the anchor tenant in the next building to be completed at Willits Town Center in Basalt.

“Starbucks is always looking for great locations to better meet the needs of our customers, and we are happy to confirm that we will be opening a new drive-thru location in Basalt, CO this summer,” a woman from the Starbucks media-relations team wrote in an email. She wanted to be identified only as a “Starbucks spokesperson.”

She declined to answer whether the opening of the company-owned coffee shop will affect the future of the Starbucks franchise in the El Jebel City Market. The two Starbucks shops will be less than a mile from each other.

Tim Belinski, the Basalt representative for Willits Town Center owner and developer Mariner Real Estate Management, said Starbucks signed a lease for 2,000 square feet in the Parkside building, which is under construction. The coffee shop will have an extensive interior seating area, a 600-square-foot patio and a drive-through window.

“We expect the tenants to be opening by the end of June,” Belinski said.

Other anticipated tenants are a frozen-yogurt shop, a prominent real estate firm and a gourmet burger restaurant, according to Belinski. He said none of the other tenants can be identified yet, either because of their choice or because final details are being worked out on leases. All of the first floor of the building is “spoken for,” he said.

The Parkside building has high visibility from Highway 82. It’s between the Alpine Bank building and the Whole Foods Market building. Parkside is 9,000 square feet total, with 7,000 square feet on the ground floor. Offices are being leased on the second story, Belinski said.

Mariner broke ground earlier this month on another building in the suddenly bustling commercial center. The three-story, 60,000-square-foot building will be south of the current Whole Foods Market parking lot.