Responding to concerns: Snowmass Center redevelopment team makes significant changes to project
At the April 6 Town Council meeting, the Snowmass Center redevelopment team presented a series of extensive changes to the project in hopes of addressing the continued concerns raised about its mass, scale and density.
The changes include removing the two buildings (5A and 5B) between the main center and Woodbridge Condominiums and replacing them with additional commercial parking and a new neighborhood park; adding residential units from 5A and 5B to three of the four buildings (2A, 2B and 3A) located behind the main center building; dropping the overall height of building 6B by 3 feet; and improving loading service, delivery and shuttle loading areas in and around the proposed center.
“We appreciate your thoughtfulness in this review and we’re really doing all that we can to listen and be responsive,” Jordan Sarick, principal of Eastwood Developments and its Eastwood Snowmass Investors affiliate, which owns the current Snowmass Center and is the redevelopment project applicant, told Town Council on April 6.
“Quite frankly, we’re hoping to bring closure to this process soon as we work to resolve any of the remaining issues. We believe this plan addresses substantially all of the concerns that we’ve heard.”
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Although the various Snowmass Center redevelopment amendments were brought to council all at once, the project team emphasized that they weren’t made overnight.
Instead, Sarick, Eastwood Snowmass staff and Design Workshop officials have worked to listen to each public discussion on the center redevelopment proposal and respond to the concerns and desires of the community as a whole.
“These changes are really a result of listening through the entire process,” Sarick said.
Over the past several months of Snowmass Center redevelopment discussions, Town Council has stressed the need for the project team to decrease mass, scale and density, along with improvements to delivery capabilities and more detail on where current tenants and what new tenants may be located in the new center.
During a conference call April 7 with the Snowmass Sun, Sarick and Rob Cairncross of Eastwood Snowmass and Richard Shaw and Jessica Garrow of Design Workshop discussed their efforts to maintain the viability and community hub or “Main Street” feel of the redevelopment project, while also making significant changes based on council and community feedback through the amendments presented to council April 6.
The team said the goal was use the long process of collecting public and council feedback to help find a balance among the needs of the entire community.
“Some of the vitality is less than what we originally proposed, but we feel the overall changes address the positive aspects of the center redevelopment and are a real positive for everybody involved,” Shaw said.
“In listening and being a part of the public process we felt the community would have the opportunity to make this project better and think that really has occurred with this project.”
On top of getting rid of two buildings on parcel 5 and adding 10 additional townhome-style units to 2A and 2B located over a new garage along with one unit to 3A as a result, the amendment highlights include reducing density without reducing the amount of deed-restricted housing; adding public restrooms to the main center building; and increasing commercial parking to meet 100% of the town code requirement.
The redevelopment team also showed council a map of the main Snowmass Center building, which provides more detailed locations for Clark’s Market, Ajax Supply, Sundance Liquor and Gifts and the Snowmass post office.
The team is in continued conversation with the current center tenants on the redevelopment project and emphasized there is room for all tenants who want to be in the new center.
“We believe that all of the tenants and all of the uses currently in the center should and can have a place in the new center,” Sarick said. “We would expect any tenant in good standing that should wish to have a new home in the new center will have one.”
After Sarick presented April 6, council voted to approve the project amendments without sending them back to the Planning Commission. That vote keeps the project at the council level, allows town community development officials to review and request more specifics on the amendments as needed, and gives councilmembers an opportunity to further discuss the amendments in detail at a future meeting.
Town Council scheduled continued public discussion on the Snowmass Center redevelopment and its changes for April 20, though town staff acknowledged that date may change if more time is needed to review the project amendments.
“Jordan, I’d really like to thank you and all of your team for all of the hard work you’ve put into this redesign, it really is substantially much, much better,” Mayor Markey Butler said at the council meeting. “I am eager to hopefully move this process forward.”
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