Atira Group raises its offer

Firm suggests additional $235,000 for affordable housing


— The Atira Group plans to contribute an additional $235,000 to affordable housing in a bid to loosen the tie vote that blocked approval of its Thunderhead project last month.

The redevelopment project at the base of Steamboat Ski Area was tabled until April after a motion to approve the project failed in a 3-3 vote of the Steamboat Springs City Council in February. Although there are seven City Council members, Councilman Jon Quinn has stepped down on items involving The Atira Group because he has done work for them privately.

Debate at the February meeting centered on the project's requested variances - including two proposed buildings more than 100 feet tall and 30 feet above code - and whether the project included enough public benefit to offset those requests.

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Atira Vice President for Development Mark Mathews presented a revised summary of public benefits that included the $235,000 contribution. That amount is in addition to $2.6 million Atira already has proposed to pay to satisfy the city's affordable housing ordinance.

For projects seeking substantial variances at the base area, the city ranks public benefits by priority. Additional affordable housing is one of the city's first-tier public benefits. Atira already proposed a second top-tier public benefit, economic sustainability, by accommodating nightly rentals in the project.

In the second tier, Atira has proposed a public turnaround in Ski Time Square Drive and donating permanent space to the Yampa Valley Medical Center for its injured skier transport center. Also, the project will seek a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Other public benefits include public restrooms, landscaping and other amenities.

Although Mathews said the revised public benefits made for a better project, he also didn't hesitate to note that the new proposal is more expensive, too. He said public benefits now account for 1.6 percent of the estimated construction cost of Thunderhead. Mathews said The Atira Group would not be able to accommodate some council members' request at the February hearing that the building be reduced in size by one story.

"The requested height we have is necessary to create a feasible project," he said.

All three council members who voted against the project in February - Meg Bentley, Walter Magill and Steve Ivancie - said Tuesday that Atira was on the right track toward winning their approval.

"I still have concerns with the height," Ivancie said, "but I think all along it just had to be mitigated with public benefit. : This goes a long way toward that."

- To reach Brandon Gee, call 871-4210 or e-mail


Martha D Young 8 years, 2 months ago

Assume that One Steamboat Place and the building across Village Drive from La Montana have complied with the height restrictions in our building code. Imagine what the Atira building will look like at 105 feet in height (or more) compared to the two aforementioned buildings that are in compliance! How are more height and mass at the base of the ski area in the public benefit? Please, adhere to the building code limits. And thank you Steve, Walter and Meg for your foresightfulness.


Mem Tierce 8 years, 2 months ago

Do not change the height restrictions! They knew what they were when they bough the property.


trump_suit 8 years, 2 months ago

Enforce the height restriction!!!!! End of Story.


sickofitall 8 years, 2 months ago

It's gonna look like New York City down there. This is the beginning of the end. We let this height restriction go, and every other building built in ski time is going to be huge and over the height restriction. What about all of the buildings that have adhered to the restriction?


housepoor 8 years, 2 months ago

So the price has been set $7833 per foot over code.


Steve Lewis 8 years, 2 months ago

You can call "the planner of the day" and ask about this stuff. 879-2060.

Planning Commission is leaning toward 105 ft max height, instead of the current 73', in its upcoming revision of Base Area Guidelines.

That would apply to G-2, the zone which most of the base area parcels fall in, including Thunderhead. This is a BIG change from the recommendations of the prior planning commission in the original 2006 Base Area Guidelines. PC will probably post a draft plan soon.

These heights are not a big deal for me as a citizen living downtown, though I didn't support them "at the beachfront" properties when on PC. If you really care about 105' condos, you should write Planning Commission an email. Your comments would go into their and council's packet for consideration. Or better yet, go speak your mind at Centennial Hall during the hearing.


Fred Duckels 8 years, 2 months ago

It seems to me that this 2.8 million social engineering fee to purchase Iron HorseII, could be put to better use. Times are tough and we have more urgent needs. AH gained traction during the bubble but we may not see conditions like this for decades.


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