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Basalt booming with new developments

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The midvalley is bursting at its seams with a variety of commercial and residential construction projects now underway.

Tree Farm

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The controversial Tree Farm Planned Unit Development (PUD), which was approved by Eagle County in 2017, is still stuck in the appeals process with the Save Mid-Valley citizens group taking their opposition to the Colorado State Supreme Court. 

According to Bryan Treu, attorney for Eagle County, “They lost at the district court and court of appeals level. They have petitioned to the Supreme Court.  We are awaiting the… decision on whether they will accept the case.”

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The 43-acre, $250 million development broke ground in 2019 with hopes of becoming a mixed-use project across from the Willits Town Center on Highway 82. When totally completed the project, if appeals fail, will include 340 residences and 135,000 square feet of commercial space including 22 acres of open space.

The citizen group claimed “The project violates TABOR; the approval violates the state PUD act;  Eagle County did not follow its land use requirements in approving the project and the project fails to meet the Eagle County Affordable Housing Guidelines.”

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The project, which includes Kodiak Ski Lake, provides an on-site underpass to Willits and features a RFTA Express Bus Stop. 

The Tree Farm developers said the “new community is envisioned to be a model for energy efficient and sustainable design in the Roaring Fork Valley.”

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Steadman

Next in size, the 65,000  Steadman Medical Office Building in Willits Town Center, planned for advanced musculoskeletal care also will include underground parking.The Steadman Clinic, Orthopaedic Care Partners, Aspen Valley Hospital Hospital and Vail Health have collaborated on the project.
At three-stories,  the complex will also have an ambulatory surgery and rehabilitation center plus 

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facilities for the Steadman Philippon Research Institute. The opening is slated for January 2022.

TACAW

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The Arts Campus at Willits  (TACAW) has begun construction on its performing arts center, The Contemporary, with groundbreaking in the summer of 2020. The project plans for seating of 240 for concerts and lectures,180 for cabaret, 160 for banquets and possibly 400 standing guests. The opening is planned for June 2021. 

Basalt Vista

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This project in Southside brings together Roaring Fork Habitat for Humanity, Pitkin County, the Town of Basalt and the Roaring Fork School District (RFSD).
RFSD provided seven acres with a total value of $34.2 million. Pitkin County is funding the $3 million infrastructure costs of roads and utilities and the Town of Basalt has lowered fees.

Plans call for 27 homes, of which 14 are reserved for Roaring Fork School District (RFSD) teachers and staff and the other 13 for other local workers.

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Habitat staff, sub-contractors, volunteers and potential homeowners are in charge of the construction. 

Stotts Mill

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Stotts Mill site consists of 4.4 acres between the Southside subdivision and the Rio Grande Trail.

Basalt has approved 113 dwelling units and a 4,000 square-foot daycare center. Council recently approved the first of the two required readings to extend the vested rights for a year.

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However, council members have required a construction schedule be presented in time for the second reading.

Workforce Housing

The Willits Workforce Housing Project on 10 acres  is designed to meet the affordable-housing needs of the Basalt community and the Aspen Skiing Company, which will take on the role of owner/operator.
This proposed project supports the creation of additional childcare capacity by including community housing units that would be deed restricted in perpetuity as affordable housing for those working in Basalt – with the first priority going to Basalt childcare professionals.

Plans include 43 Residential Affordable Housing Units consisting of 150 bedrooms. Certificates of occupancy are expected in early 2021.

Mini-Storage Expansion
In addition, council is considering extending the vested property rights of the Basalt-Mini Storage Expansion Project Extension for an additional year. Of the 80,000 square feet  approved, one 20,000-square-foot building has been completed with the construction of a second building is expected to start in 2021.

Downtown River Park

After seven years, this Basalt development project is back on track for the former 2.3-acre Pan and Fork mobile home site. Twenty-four residences plus 24,000 square feet of commercial space are planned. As broken down by category,  the project will include 11,500 square feet commercial/office space, 3,000 square feet  of restaurant and 6,000 square feet of non‐profit space. Utility and Street Work to start early 2021.

The housing portion will include rent-controlled, free market and high end river cabins. Plus, the town will buy a one-acre site for $1.2 million and also an open space corridor. 

Additional smaller projects are under construction or awaiting planning approvals.

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