Option B is where city offices belong | AspenTimes.com

Option B is where city offices belong

I ask voters how they visualize the Rio Grande Park area. The area between Main Street and the river should act as a buffer between town and the residential areas north of the river and in the west end. Before you vote, take a walk through the John Denver Sanctuary and appreciate the contemplative and peaceful vibe. Now imagine how increased activity would affect that vibe. When offices close at night the area will be quiet, contemplative and peaceful. Does the public want the same level of activity there as in the core of town? The downtown core is where life and vitality should be, not adjoining Rio Grande Park.

The Rio Grande Place civic area is now home to the library, jail, county courthouse, Police Department, the Sheriff's Office and county administrative offices. It is where city offices belong.

The offices at the Rio Grande Place provide much more natural light. A Harvard Business Review article in September of this year reveals that natural light is the #1 attribute employees desire.

If offices are built at 517 Hopkins/204 Galena (Option A), it will remove valuable office space and second-tier retail from the inventory. This will drive rental prices up and make it even harder for local businesses to survive. Option A is contrary to the City Council goal of supporting local businesses.

The price of 517/204 is 17 percent to 23 percent above appraised value. Voters must be aware of this.

The building at 517 Hopkins will be demolished and a new building built there. Voting for Option A does not decrease construction impacts in the core.

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There is a shortage of parking available at Option A. The Rio Grande Place location is right at the parking garage.

Spend wisely, provide superior offices and preserve tranquility. Vote Option B.

Ward Hauenstein

Aspen

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