Steamboat developers offer river access in townhome plan
September 2, 2017
A real estate development company, SWED Property, LLC, has entered the city of Steamboat Springs’ planning process seeking a conceptual review of its plans to build a mixed use development with four townhouses above commercial flex space at 655 Yampa Street.
The project, SwedWood, is on the south side of Yampa directly opposite the southern terminus of Seventh Street in the heart of the city's recent streetscape and pedestrian improvements on Yampa. E3 Steakhouse is immediately west of the vacant lot on which the project would be built.
Howelsen Place and the Butcherknife Creek parking lot occupy the street corners across Yampa Street on Seventh.
Peter Patten, of Patten Associates, representing the developers, wrote to the city planning department that his clients are willing to provide an easement for public access through the property to the river and, potentially, across the Yampa River to Howelsen Hill via a third downtown pedestrian bridge, something the Steamboat Springs City Council has discussed. The expectation is that those improvements would be built by the city.
In July, council considered whether to purchase the property at 655 Yampa, which, in fall 2016, had an asking price of $1.3 million.
Downtown bridges currently exist along Yampa at Fifth and Ninth streets and West Lincoln Park.
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The building would addresses new streetscape improvements already built by the city, including a curb cut and a stone seating area bracketed by both mature cottonwood trees and new plantings. The front of the building would align with the sitting area, according to Patten. However, the site plan for the relatively shallow lot respects the 30-foot Yampa River setback to the rear (river side) of the building. The setback would be landscaped with riparian/natural vegetation along the river, with decks and patio areas adjacent to the building for owner use.
"The building's second level is the main level for four townhouse units with decks located on both the street side and river side of the building," Patten wrote. “The second level also has a building overhang over part of the public access way to provide some cover for pedestrians in inclement weather. The smaller third story is the upper level of the residential units, with a limited footprint, setting this level back from the street and river."
The proposal from SwedWood does anticipate seeking a variance from the city for exceeding the "floor area ratio," which is a term that describes how big a building can be relative to the lot size. The floor area ratio, or FAR, calculation on the .29-acre building site would allow the developers to create a building of up to 12,660 square feet. The proposed building would be 15,664 square feet, with the implication that the variance would be 3,004 square feet.
The 2.5-story building is proposed to have a flat roof.
The proposal is under review, but no public hearings have been scheduled.
To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1.