Surrounding Strings

Condos, shopping center planned around proposed venue

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— When the Strings in the Mountain Festival of Music relocates to a six-acre parcel across from the ski area's Meadows Parking Lot it will be joined by some new neighbors.

Strings is just one of three developments that will fill the 28-acre piece of land bordered by U.S. 40 and Pine Grove and Mount Werner roads. To the east of Strings is a proposal for 144 condo timeshare units and to the west a six-building commercial center.

The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission got a sense of what the now empty land might look like within the next two years when all three developments had a pre-application hearing Thursday night.

The Strings site, which could one day hold a 9,500-square-foot performing arts center, is the smallest of the three proposals. Strings will relocate to the 20-acre parcel that will also hold the 144 condos proposed by Trendwest.

The Strings development plan shows that the tent will sit down from the corner of Mount Werner and Pine Grove roads. In front of the tent, Strings representative Eric Smith said the organization would like to see a park-like setting to greet concert goers who cross from the Meadows Parking lot. A large amount of open space also lies south off the proposed performing arts center.

Strings President and CEO Kay Clagett said the organization had been looking for a new location for five years. The group wanted to stay close to businesses but was not able to find space downtown and did not want to move out of the city limits. This piece of land works well, she said.

"It makes a key location. People have trouble finding the tent where it is at now. You're not going to miss it here. It's a nice entry to a park setting and has land that's more than we need," Clagett said.

Clagett said the permanent facility will go up as soon as Strings can raise the funds, which should be in three to five years. Strings has planned for the 500-seat, one-story concert pavilion to hold a stage, support area, box office and administrative area. An outdoor courtyard for pre- and post-concert functions will be connected to the concert pavilion.

When the current tent moves from Torian Plaza in 2003, Strings will bring in modular offices and restrooms. Smith said the organization is looking to use restroom facilities like the trailer restrooms used in Salt Lake City during the Olympics.

Smith said that Strings hopes to keep the tent up to support outdoor activities and children's programs even after the permanent facility is built, but the modular will come down.

Planning Chair Kathi Meyer said one of the most pressing issues Strings must solve, before it brings its final development plan before the city is a parking agreement with Ski Corp. Because of a question in ownership of the ski area, Strings said that it has been hard to finalize an agreement that would allow Strings to use the Meadows Parking Lot during the summer. Making sure parking arrangements are in place is one loose end the organization has to tie down before approval, Meyer said.

Four buildings to the east of the Strings facility are also proposed. Known as the Village at Steamboat, the complex already holds two condo buildings with 64 units and a community building. The proposed plan by Trendwest would add two remote spas and four, three-story buildings that applicants said would tie in with the existing buildings through architectural designs like heavy timber accents, earth tones and lap siding.

On the other side of Strings is a nine-acre commercial site that proposes a mix of national and local uses. The developer, Resort Ventures, proposes a large anchor retail building of almost 27,000 square feet, and four free standing buildings of 8,000 to 9,000 square feet. There are two smaller buildings that would be suitable for a restaurant and a bank.

When presented with the three developments covering 28-acres, the commissioners stressed the importance of being able to connect each one with pedestrian paths and accessible public transit.

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