Base area redevelopment committee addresses projects |

Base area redevelopment committee addresses projects

Brandon Gee

Construction crews work to demolish the Octagon buildings near the entrance to Ski Time Square in Steamboat Springs on Friday afternoon as part of the continuing base area redevelopment.

— Say what you will, but you can’t accuse the advisory committee for redevelopment at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area of being shortsighted. At a meeting Thursday, the base area’s Urban Redevelopment Area Advisory Committee (URAAC) met and discussed projects as far down the line as 2014.

Current public improvements on the mountain are slightly behind schedule because of the discovery of an unknown water line, said Joe Kracum, the city’s project coordinator for the multiyear, $23 million redevelopment project. Kracum said the project was only about seven days behind schedule and that the time can be made up in the next few weeks.

“Things are going as good as can be expected,” Kracum said.

Brent Lloyd of design consultants Wenk Associate presented plans projecting development, both private and public, within the urban redevelopment area’s boundaries through 2014. Lloyd said many of the public improvements being made to the base area, such as a promenade along Burgess Creek, would have their timing influenced by private developments such as One Steamboat Place. Lloyd discussed partnering with private developers in making improvements and cutting costs.

“Inevitably, there’s so much private property up there that we’re going to have to work together,” Lloyd said.

There was some discussion of extending the URA’s boundaries; some suggested extending the URA down Mount Werner Road to the U.S. Highway 40 interchange, and others wanted to see the Meadows parking lot included in the boundaries. No action was taken on the suggestions. Any extension of the URA’s boundaries likely would take months of formal public proceedings to approve, Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said.

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The URA was created in January 2005 by the Steamboat Springs City Council to help redevelop aging public facilities near the base of the ski area. The URA will issue bonds to be repaid with property tax revenues from new development and increased property values inside URA boundaries.

Action was taken concerning the purchase of 3-D computer models of the base area. The committee unanimously approved a recommendation to provide as much as $75,000 toward the purchase of the model, which assistant city planner John Eastman said would greatly aid in seeing what developments will look like and identifying view corridors.

City Councilman Ken Brenner said the model would be an “enormous marketing tool” in attracting new development.

The committee also unanimously approved a recommendation to spend as much as $55,000 to have Wenk Associates conduct a design charrette, or work session with developers and city staff, to address mobility issues in the base area. In its only other action, the committee unanimously approved a recommendation to spend $58,615 for field engineering, inspection and testing related to the construction of a Burgess Creek culvert.

Next year’s round of public redevelopments likely will include landscaping along Mount Werner Road and possibly improvements to the intersection of Mount Werner Circle and Apres Ski Way. The URA’s available budget next year is only $2.9 million. Larger-scale improvements are expected to begin in 2009 with a budget of $7 million available. Construction of the promenade from One Steamboat Place to the Steamboat Sheraton Resort may get under way that year, according to a preliminary draft of base area projects.