Town Council approves preliminary plan for Snowmass Center redevelopment | AspenTimes.com
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Town Council approves preliminary plan for Snowmass Center redevelopment

People walk outside of the Snowmass Center on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

After more than five months of deliberation, Town Council completed its preliminary review of the proposed Snowmass Center redevelopment and expansion project May 18.

Council’s review completion and resolution approval of the preliminary plan — which was amended and includes more than 80 conditions — allows the project applicant and owner of the current Snowmass Center, Eastwood Snowmass Investors, to move ahead with preparing and submitting its final planned unit development (PUD) application.

“We think that Resolution 19 has all of your questions and concerns addressed,” said Jordan Sarick, principal of Eastwood Developments and its Eastwood Snowmass Investors affiliate, to council May 18. “This allows us to move to the next level of detail and there’s still a lot of really hard work to do, but our team is ready to do it.”

Since Nov. 4, Town Council has thoroughly vetted the Snowmass Center redevelopment project, building off the work done by the town’s Planning Commission and mainly focusing its discussions on building heights, density and viewplanes.

These discussions, along with council’s feedback and direction, has led the project team to craft a preliminary plan for the new Snowmass Center that includes a vibrant “main street” through the main development with access to restaurants and retail; expansion and redevelopment of the main center building, along with eight additional buildings surrounding it; 64 free market housing and 10 deed-restricted housing units that create a neighborhood with options for families, individuals, couples and seniors; and a $750,000 contribution to improve overall community connectivity the town can use however it sees fit.

The new center also will include increased center-level and subgrade parking, a new transit center, and new community park and trail connections (which were more recently added to the preliminary plan after two buildings were cut from the project.)

On May 18, Town Council went line by line through the town resolution to approve the preliminary plan for the center redevelopment and its 87 town-required conditions for approval, with a few additional amendments: requiring a traffic and intersection analysis approved by town staff; more detail on parking management; and rewording of the agreement with the post office on its expanded center space.

After going through the center resolution, Town Council passed it in a 4-0 vote. Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk has abstained from the review process, as her husband is involved with the redevelopment project.

“We’ve come to the end of a very long road,” said Mayor Markey Butler at the May 18 meeting. “We’re going to let you do some heavy work now, Jordan.”

“We’re ready to get right to it,” Sarick responded.

With council’s approval, the Snowmass Center redevelopment project team plans to continue working closely with the town to finalize all of the technical aspects of the preliminary plan, Sarick said May 19. He doesn’t know when the project team may be back before Town Council for the final PUD plan review, as there are a lot of details and moving parts of the redevelopment project that will need to be worked out.

However, Sarick and his team are excited to move forward and are especially grateful for all of the collaboration among the town, its tenants, village stakeholders and residents that have helped get the project this far.

“We have a positive outlook moving forward,” Sarick said. “We understand in the days of COVID-19 that there are going to be some economic questions that come up, but the reality is this plan works for today and it will work for tomorrow and everyone on the team is excited about it.”

mvincent@aspentimes.com


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