Project proposal to get review

Planning process begins for One Steamboat Place

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— A project that could be central to growth at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area will begin the planning process Thursday night.

The Steamboat Springs Plan-ning Commission is scheduled to review the proposal for One Steamboat Place, a multistory, 500,000-square-foot, mixed-use development tucked onto about 4 acres next to the Gondola Building and AprÃs Ski Way. Although the principal landowner behind the proposal is Timbers Company, an international resort development firm based in Carbondale, local developer Resort Ventures West is managing the planning process.

Resort Ventures West is a partnership between Whitney Ward, Brent Pearson and David Hill. Ward is the owner of Wildhorse Marketplace on Mount Werner Road.

The trio, in partnership with a larger group called RP Steamboat, LLC, recently received approval from Steamboat Springs City Council for the 47-acre Wildhorse Meadows development adjacent to the Tennis Center at Steamboat Springs.

Ward said Tuesday that One Steamboat Place and Wildhorse Meadows are "financially intertwined."

"One can't happen without the other," Ward said.

Pending approval of One Steamboat Place, the two projects will be connected not only by money, but also by a public gondola extending from Wildhorse Meadows to the ski base.

The proposal for One Steam-boat Place includes 80 residential units and 15,000 square feet of commercial space. Timbers Company is asking for a height variance that will allow the building to reach 104 feet, as opposed to the 67 feet allowed in city zoning codes for the site. Plans show a roughly M-shaped building as tall as six stories, with adjacent wings connected by indoor walkways.

Timbers Company has built resort developments in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Tuscany, Italy; Scottsdale, Ariz.; and Snowmass.

"We have an agreement with (Timbers) that, contingent upon approval, they will take control of development of the property and move us into a minority position," Ward said Tuesday, speaking for Resort Ventures West.

City Planner Suzanne Bott said Timbers Company is proposing to pay the city a $418,000 fee in lieu of providing affordable housing on the site, as required by the city's inclusionary zoning ordinance. The payment would cover 125 percent of the housing requirement, and according to planning documents is equivalent to 17.4 housing units, as opposed to the required 13.9 units.

Bott said Timbers Company has "been excellent to work with" and praised plans for a heated plaza with shops and restaurants between Mount Werner Circle and the ski base.

"This is the spark that the base area needs to get the redevelopment going," Ward said.

- To reach Mike Lawrence, call 871-4203 or e-mail mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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