Central Park addition OK'd

Planning Commission unanimously approves plans

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The city Planning Commission approved development plans and architectural plans for the last building to go in at Central Park Plaza.

Sandwiched between Mount Werner Road, Central Park Drive and the U.S. Highway 40 onramp, the building will be 28,809 square feet and will house multiple tenants. It will add 146 parking spaces and two access points off of Central Park Drive to the existing shopping center.

The developer is St. Louis, Mo.-based Michael Staenberg of THF Steamboat Springs Development LLC. He owns all of the retail spaces in the shopping center except City Market and Wal-Mart.

The Planning Commission had little discussion over the proposal and approved the architectural plan and final development plan in 5-0 votes.

A few questions were raised about the architecture. Planning Commission Chairwoman Kathi Meyer questioned whether proposed accents of forest green and burgundy would blend with the existing building. Meyer said the colors would be very different from what the plaza has now.

Architect Eric Smith said the accent colors, which are earth-tone shades, were picked because they were more attractive.

The building will be of the same scale as the other buildings in Central Park Plaza. It will be similar in colors, materials and overall architectural style.

Planning Commissioner Ran-dall Hannaway wanted to know if the new colors would be used when the old buildings are upgraded.

Central Park Plaza property manager Jim Hansen said that in the future the buildings would tie together more.

A key change to the original plan, Hansen said, was having architectural details on all four sides of the building. Hansen said a vested approval would have allowed the developers to have the back of the building look like the back of Wal-Mart.

When the shopping center was approved in 1992, the proposed building was planned for 29,830 square feet. The developers have to go back through the City Council and Planning Commission review process because of changes made to the upgrade in architecture and added sidewalks.

The plans also include an 8-foot-wide sidewalk around the perimeter of the property. Although its neighbor, Wal-Mart, does not have a sidewalk and is not required to put one in, the next property, The Pines, will be building a sidewalk soon. Planners said the sidewalk eventually could run all the way from downtown to Walton Creek Road.

Hansen said they expect to break ground in the fall and expect about 30 percent of the building to be occupied by existing tenants in Central Park Plaza. Tenants will move into the new building, allowing their old neighbors to expand.

Hansen said the developers are looking for a restaurant to be an end cap to the building, with a patio and views of the ski mountain. Local businesses also are looking to move into the new commercial space.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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