New Thunderhead Station development moves forward in area of project stymied by 2008 recession

Thunderhead Station will be a new five-story building on Ski Time Square Drive in Steamboat Springs. (Courtesy image)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Steamboat Springs Planning Commission gave the green light Thursday to a new mixed-use development on Ski Time Square Drive.

Thunderhead Station, to be located at 1950 Ski Time Square Drive, will bring four residential and two commercial units to the Steamboat Resort base area in a new, five-story building.

Prior to the 2008 recession, a large development was approved for the Ski Time Square Drive parcel, as well as the Thunderhead Lodge parcel adjacent to the ski area. The developer of that project demolished all structures on the site except for a parking garage and the Tugboat Bar and Grill, which is currently empty. Approval for that development expired in 2013 before any structures were erected, and no future development had been proposed there until now.

“Appreciating the current reality of Ski Time Square Drive, since the demolition of buildings on the site back in 2008, the vision of this proposed mixed-use development is to set the precedence for the revitalization of Ski Time Square Drive with the vernacular of an Alpine modern elegant architecture grounded in the rich history of Steamboat,” said Brian Bavosi, entitlement manager and construction coordinator for DBT Development Group, the project’s developer, owned by local developer David Tolson.

“David (Tolson) is committed to the revitalization of the mountain base area along Ski Time Square Drive and wants to carefully plan the development of the entire site, starting with this parcel as the development seed for the planning of future buildings,” Bavosi added.

Thunderhead Station will encompass 23,715 square feet, including 14,332 square feet of residential space. Parking and commercial space will be featured on the ground level, and four two-story condos will be stacked above. The condominiums will vary from 3,500 to 3,700 square feet.

Denver-based OZ Architecture has been tapped as the development’s architect.

Thunderhead Station will be located at 1950 Ski Time Square Drive. (Courtesy image)

“The renovated streetscape will establish a blueprint for future development that will occur to the west along Ski Time Square Drive,” Bavosi said.

Originally slated to be finished in spring 2021, the project had been postponed and is now targeted for completion by 2023.

Concerns were raised early in the project regarding the building’s gabled roof potentially blocking views of neighboring property owners. That hurdle was avoided, however, with the development opting for a flatter “green roof,” one that also adds to the building’s sustainability goal.

Thunderhead Station will be a new five-story building on Ski Time Square Drive in Steamboat Springs. (Courtesy image)

While the proposed roof had a 1/12 pitch, flatter than the minimum 6/12 pitch required, because it is a “green roof” that features 50% or more vegetation, it is permitted by the city.

“We took some of the commissioners’ advice. We installed a green roof on the building, which waives the pitched roof requirement,” Bavosi explained.

Discussion was tabled from the Feb. 11 Planning Commission meeting so changes could be made to ensure the roof complied with base area design standards, according to Bob Keenan, a principal planner with the city of Steamboat Springs.

“With that, they are in compliance,” Keenan said.

The Planning Commission received public comment from a neighbor now in favor of the updated roof pitch and design.

“… We felt it was important to note that the proposed roof pitch of Thunderhead Station was going to reduce the visual impacts and preserve some view corridors for some existing surrounding property owners,” Bavosi said. “I think unless you put yourself in someone’s shoes whose view corridors are going to be blocked, I think that there is value in preserving someone’s viewshed. We were happy to accommodate those residents.”

Planning department staff determined Thunderhead Station was consistent with criteria for approval of a development plan and conditional use. Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the project’s plan.

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