Snowmass Town Council, Nexus talk tenants for Building 6 of Base Village |

Snowmass Town Council, Nexus talk tenants for Building 6 of Base Village

Developers project that construction of Building 6, along with a few other Base Village properties such as the Limelight Hotel and the "Lumin" condominiums, will be complete in November. The Snowmass Town Council is still deciding what should occupy the building.
Anna Stonehouse/Snowmass Sun

As Snowmass inches closer to determining what Building 6 will entail, Snowmass Discovery’s role still is unknown, Aspen Brewing Co. is out and Mawa’s Kitchen and Aspen Film are interested in partnering with the hopeful lead tenant, Snowmass Nexus.

A partnership between GrassRoots TV and Colorado Audio Visual and Design, Snowmass Nexus is the working title of the group vying to occupy and manage the community-use designated building.

At a Town Council work session March 12, three representatives of Nexus as well as Mawa McQueen of Mawa’s Kitchen and Susan Wrubel, executive director of Aspen Film, explained how their services fit into the building’s intent.

Since Base Village developers agreed to construct and grant Building 6 to the town as part of the project’s original approvals, the goal of the structure has been to offer more community-oriented gathering spaces.

Aspen Brewing Co., which had initially expressed interest in operating a food and beverage component inside the building, “is no longer working with (town) staff on this opportunity,” according to the memorandum from Snowmass Town Manager Clint Kinney and Nexus representatives Michael Burns, John Masters and Paul Menter.

“The short story is they’ve got other things going and weren’t able to meet timelines,” Kinney told the council at the work session.

Snowmass Nexus’ business plan outlines a “community-based live event, broadcast and digital arts center … to uniquely combine presentation, performance and creative spaces, both inside and outside of the facility, with video recording, broadcast and live digital distribution capability.”

Wrubel, who assumed the role with Aspen Film and relocated to the Roaring Fork Valley from New York last fall, told the council that she was surprised by the “few options” to screen films locally.

Upon learning of Nexus’ proposal in Snowmass Village, Aspen Film “perked up immediately,” Wrubel said, as the organization’s goal “is to serve this whole valley.”

“We see a whole host of things that we can work together on,” Wrubel said, emphasizing Aspen Film’s educational programming as one facet.

In addition to being community-oriented, the Snowmass Town Council has articulated a collective desire to see Building 6 feature some type of educational component as well.

McQueen, who owns and operates Mawa’s Kitchen at the Airport Business Center and Market Street Kitchen at Willits Town Center in Basalt, said the concept in Snowmass would be similar to her other restaurants.

“No foo-foo food,” McQueen said, “it’s really good, organic food.”

Her proposal includes a full-service restaurant as well as to-go options, with dinner being “a little bit more upscale but not fancy.”

McQueen said she would love to offer cooking classes at a Snowmass location.

“I’m about cost, efficiency and making money,” McQueen told the town council. “If I can’t make money, I’m not going to do it.”

“So far the (Nexus) project kind of fits with what I do right now, and I think it would be fun.”

As part of their proposal, Snowmass Nexus is requesting $700,000 from the town “to help finance the building tenant finishes and startup costs,” according to the memorandum.

Nexus, operating as a nonprofit, would not request any ongoing operational subsidy from the town upon the building’s expected completion in November.

Menter noted that this request is “quite a bit less than what was on the table with the (Snowmass) Discovery proposal.”

With the completion date approaching, the Town Council agreed to continue discussions of Building 6 as soon as possible.

In an effort to also gauge public feedback, the council will revisit Snowmass Nexus’ proposal at its next regular meeting March 19, according to town spokesman Travis Elliot.

By then, Mayor Markey Butler said she would like to see a more detail pro forma from Nexus, comments from Snowmass Tourism and the community, and where Snowmass Discovery stands within the project.

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