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Wienerstube developers want meeting

ASPEN ” The developers of the Wienerstube building in Aspen want a special meeting with elected officials to decide the fate of their proposed plan.

If a special meeting isn’t scheduled, it looks like April 14 might be the first available date to hold a public hearing, which has been continued at least twice in the past few months.

The owners of the building, Stephen Marcus and John Provine, along with their development team, opted Jan. 28 to make one final attempt to tweak the proposal in an effort to win approval from the City Council.



“We were ready to take a ‘no’ vote,” Marcus said. “We had a quick meeting and decided to try it one more time. … We need a special meeting; we’ve wasted a year and a half.”

Based on council feedback, the development team, which includes planner Stan Clauson and local architect Andy Wisnoski, is looking at ways to guarantee affordable commercial spaces, lower the height of the building and rework the affordable housing component.




“We are trying to cooperate with them as best we can without ruining our project,” Marcus said. “We are hoping that they appreciate our flexibility.”

The three City Council members reviewing the subdivision application in January told the development team they have to come up with something better in order for it to win approval.

Councilmen Steve Skadron and J.E. DeVilbiss recused themselves from the review. Skadron reviewed the proposal when he was a Planning and Zoning Commissioner, and DeVilbiss cited a conflict of interest because he is a longtime customer of the Wienerstube.

The entire parcel, which includes the adjacent parking lot, is 18,000 square feet and is located on the corner of Hyman Avenue and Spring Street. The current building houses the longtime Wienerstube restaurant and Ajax Bike and Sports.

The project, which has been in the review process for nearly two years, was about to be shot down by the council Dec. 3, so the development team opted for a continuance to address elected leaders’ concerns.

New to the offering and introduced to the council Jan. 28 was reducing the number of parking spaces from 47 off-street spaces to 23 or 24, plus paying an extra $469,294 as a cash-in-lieu payment for affordable housing.

The land-use plan, for which the owners already have approval, calls for redeveloping the property into a 47,000-square-foot complex that would house the Wienerstube restaurant for at least 10 years, the bike shop and four or five smaller affordable commercial spaces that would face the alley. The 12 affordable housing units and six free-market condos would be on the upper levels along with additional commercial and office space.

Clauson and his clients are seeking approval to subdivide the property because the plan involves creating multifamily units, which requires that the building be separated by different ownership interests.

Neighbors are vehemently opposed to the project, saying it would change the character of the area to something unrecognizable and is far too large for the neighborhood.

csack@aspentimes.com


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