Willits developer still mulling more residences
December 13, 2007
BASALT ” The developer of Willits Town Center will assess over the next two months whether to alter a controversial proposal to add 120 residences to the project.
The 60 free-market condominiums and lofts and 60 affordable housing units once were linked to the proposal for a Whole Foods Market. Joseph Freed and Associates, the Willits Town Center owner, split them because of public opposition and skepticism among Town Council members over the increased density.
The additional residences are scheduled to return to the Town Council for review on Feb. 12. Tim Belinski, vice president-development for Joseph Freed and Associates, said his team’s focus has been on Whole Foods. Now that the store is approved, they will discuss if they will seek all 120 residences, he said.
Whole Foods Market earned unanimous support from the council and widespread support in the community. Belinski acknowledged the going wouldn’t be as good for the residences.
“It’s going to be more contentious. We understand that,” he said.
Willits Town Center is approved for 500,000 square feet of commercial and residential development. The residences would add 150,000 square feet. Belinski said the challenge for his team is to show the community why that increased density is important to the project.