Light industrial buildings hold potential for eight live-work units
Decade-old live-work plan resurfaces
May 12, 2016
Steamboat Springs — A live/work project making its way through the city approval process is emblematic of how much the local building climate has evolved in a little more than a decade.
Building contractor Tom Dover is proposing to build 16,835 square feet of commercial space comprising five warehouse buildings in the light industrial zone at 2636 Copper Ridge Circle, with the potential for eight accessory residential units on the second floor.
A nearly identical project was approved by the city of Steamboat Springs in 2005 on the moderately sloping site but it was never built.
"Due to economic circumstances, the approval expired before any building began," Michael J.K. Olsen wrote in a letter of introduction to the city planning department this spring. "This submittal addresses some concerns that were raised by Senior Planner Bob Keenan in December 2015 — those concerns focus on maintaining an appropriate use and visual balance between Copper Ridge's industrial nature with the increasing live-work trend in industrial zone districts."
It was also in 2005 that Steamboat Today reported: “Real estate investment opportunities for industrial businesses that want to be in or close to Steamboat Springs are scarce, and only several lots remain in the fourth and final phase of the Copper Ridge Business Park on Elk River Road. Developers, recognizing the demand for light industrial lots, have proposed developing industrial parks in Hayden."
The great recession intervened, but now, in 2016, the scarcity of workforce housing is once again an issue.
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At Copper Ridge Lofts, the developer proposes to build five separate buildings with ground-floor industrial spaces. The option to build residential units on the second floors would be left to the discretion of the tenants or owners.
Olsen said any residential units built will be smaller than 1,400 square feet.
An architect's drawing of a possible two-bedroom residence reflects room for a master bedroom suite and separate laundry.
The revived permit application has been assigned to city planner Toby Stauffer. Dover, of Dover Development and Construction (also headquartered on Copper Ridge Circle, as is Moots Cycles), has been the general contractor for numerous custom homes here.