What's next for proposed downtown Basalt development?

Apr 20, 2015

Lowe Enterprises has presented a conceptual plan to build condominiums and a hotel in downtown Basalt.
Credit ourtownplanning.org

What’s next for a proposed development in downtown Basalt is a question mark after a majority of community and council members Tuesday said the plan needed reworking. 

More than 150 people were at Tuesday’s meeting. Many said they didn’t want to sacrifice open space for condos, according to the Aspen Times.

Developer Lowe Enterprises wants to build 40 condominiums and a boutique hotel on the site. It’s prime real estate: 2.3 acres close to the Roaring Fork River, where the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park used to be. Lowe says one-third of the site would be open space.

Jim DeFrancia with Lowe says their plan is in concert with what the citizen group DAAC came up with. The committee brainstormed redevelopment ideas for downtown.

"The DAAC had formulated a set of design principles and concept plans of their own and we came in adhering to those guidelines. So, to the extent that people don’t like it, I’m not offended by it. That’s fine. But, your beef isn’t with me, it’s with your DAAC and with your town."

Mayor Jacque Whitsitt argues the Lowe proposal doesn’t reflect what the DAAC group advised.

"The proposal that came in from Lowe went beyond what the DAAC was suggesting. It was proposing too many stories and different types of uses than what the DAAC suggested."

She thinks high-end residential is inappropriate for that site. She’d rather see something smaller built there, based on recreation or a non profit.

DeFrancia says Lowe is willing to rework the plan but the result must be economically worthwhile for the company. For now, the proposal seems to be in a holding pattern.