City Council approves downtown apartment project | SteamboatToday.com

City Council approves downtown apartment project

Renderings show an updated facade on the apartment building planned for downtown Steamboat Springs.

— The Steamboat Springs City Council has approved what will be the largest apartment development ever constructed downtown.

But for several minutes Tuesday, the project’s future was in doubt as several council members expressed concern about the building’s height and density.

The project quickly got back on track and was approved by the council after the applicants agreed to a council demand that the snow and ice in an alleyway behind the apartment building be regularly cleared, even if it takes a snowmelt system.

Council members said the need for the residential and mixed-use building outweighed concerns about its size and appearance.

“This fits (for) nurses and hospital workers and the young couple who have good jobs but can’t get a home here,” Councilman Tony Connell said of the new rental apartments.

Councilwoman Robin Crossan said the city “needs a structure like this downtown.”

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The apartment project will create three retail bays and 60 new apartment units that will be marketed toward residents making $50,000 to $100,000 per year.

The apartment building will replace the former location of Boomerang Sports Exchange and the building that currently houses Red Bowl Curry Haus.

The developers said they could not have created an economically feasible project without seeking variances to the city’s building code for height and density.

Several community members spoke for and against the project Tuesday.

Supporters praised the addition of new housing and commercial spaces in an area of downtown they say is in need of redevelopment and revitalization.

Opponents said the building was too tall, could obstruct views of Sleeping Giant, could create parking issues and could have a negative impact on nearby Little Toots Park because the complex will allow dogs.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10