Opposition to the project centered around the height and mass of the mixed-use building, which will be located at the corner of Hyman Avenue and Hunter Street, which is currently a private parking lot. The building is designed at 41 feet high, but an elevator shaft will reach as high as 51 feet.However, it was pointed out that the building’s massing conforms to city rules. In casting his no vote, Mayor Mick Ireland said it’s high time to change those rules. Other council members agreed.

DOWNTOWN ASPEN REAL ESTATE – City Council approved a plan to preserve Little Annie’s and the Benton building Monday night, while granting incentives to a developer for a neighboring mixed-use building.Council voted 4-1, with Mayor Mick Ireland dissenting, to allow Aspen Core Ventures and managing partner Nikos Hecht to provide employee housing for nine employees out of a total of around 70 generated by the new building. Hecht will also get to build a 6,900-square-foot condo on the third floor of his new building, while underlying zoning caps downtown residences at 2,500 square feet.These were the trade-offs council was willing to make to spare popular bar and restaurant Little Annie’s and the Benton building — a former studio of Aspen artist Tom Benton — from the wrecking ball. Both buildings will be designated as historic, while previous iterations of Hecht’s plans had them demolished.
By Curtis Wackerle, Feb. 14, 2012 ADN

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Left to right (or east to west): Hyman/Hunter Corner parking lot, Benton Building and Little Annie’s Restaurant. Aspen Mountain and Gondola is located two city blocks behind (south) in background.