City should look at all options before offices decision | AspenTimes.com

City should look at all options before offices decision

City should look at all options before offices decision

The issues that have stalled the construction of city of Aspen offices are an opportunity to reassess and reconsider how current decisions will impact Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley in the future — particularly as our valley is shaped by mobility solutions and Snowmass and airport expansions.

Let's ask City Council to consider other options besides the proposed HQ at the Rio Grande parking garage or the Hunt-owned property to achieve our goals.

Goals appear to include providing:

Offices for all city staff under one roof and the best services to residents.

Affordable housing for all employees — city staff, businesses and nonprofits.

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Work space for staff to be most effective, productive, engaged and happy.

Leverage for the city's ongoing investment in mobility solutions.

Does Aspen's decision-making include:

Current inventory of affordable housing, and projections of housing demand as current employees retire over the next decades?

Projections for affordable housing outside of Aspen's 3.3-square-mile core due to open space-designated land?

Existing and projected city staff growth over the next decades and projected business and nonprofit employee growth?

We are all committed to mobility solutions that enable distributed city offices in locations like the Aspen Business Center area, with proximity to existing and future affordable housing. The city would realize significant cost savings and better provide for future housing and office space with a distributed office model, potentially on land which it already owns.

As Zappos founder Tony Hsieh shared in a TED presentation, after researching the Nike/Apple/Google examples of silo-ed headquarters, Zappos chose another model to support their goals for the most healthy work environment to enable employee engagement, innovation, happiness and productivity. In fact, Tony tried to emulate Aspen's vibrancy with the Zappos-distributed-office space model in old Las Vegas.

It seems like we are rushing to implement a conventional model for a headquarters building in a town which defies conventional comparisons and at a time when the way people work is rapidly evolving.

Pam Alexander

Aspen

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