A committee charged with brainstorming redevelopment ideas for downtown Basalt presented their findings on Thursday evening. The Downtown Area Advisory Committee met with Town Council, the Planning and Zoning committee and scores of interested citizens. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.
The volunteer committee has been meeting regularly since October and pouring over ideas from the community and a map of downtown Basalt. Basalt is considering redeveloping several key parcels, including some riverfront acreage.
The committee came up with concepts rather than concrete suggestions. Moderator Paul Anderson says the idea was to explore how the community would feel with a certain level of development.
"They took a very broad-brushed look at what Basalt could be and what could bring the most vitality as a result."
Still, the committee did nail down some details, including where they’d like to see commercial and residential development. On their map, committee members pinpointed nine areas, including a multi-story development where the old Clark’s Market building is.
"That building, that would be a perfect place for a sub-grade parking structure, or some kind of a focused solution to parking that would centralized," says Anderson. "And then on top of that could be a performing arts center, or some kind of civic experience and then surrounded by interesting restaurants, boutiques, breweries and coffee shops."
The committee also prioritized connecting the town to the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers, improving Lion’s Park and allowing density to drive revitalization.
Town Council member Bernie Grauer questioned a few proposed changes.
"There’s no Wiley annex and there’s no town hall. Where did it go? And, how do we pay for it? That’s a big question in my mind."
On the committee’s map, green space and open plazas replace town hall and the Wiley Arts Center. Committee members reiterated the plan is just an idea and nothing’s set in stone.
The Town Council will use the committee’s recommendations when it considers development ideas for the parcels. It will likely serve as a guide for developers interested in pursuing projects downtown. One developer, Lowe Enterprises, is already brainstorming ideas. like a boutique hotel, for one of the parcels.