Stage 3 project on hold for winter

Add the Stage 3 redevelopment to the list of construction sites that are currently on ice. Located at 625 W. Main St. in Aspen, the Stage 3 is a planned 27,000-square-foot, three-story mixed-use building rising on the site of a former 1970s-era movie theater.When the economic crisis became an undeniable reality in October, the project’s owners, America Development of Dallas, decided that suspending construction this winter would be a smart financial play, said the project’s broker. Construction in the Rocky Mountain winter, with snow removal and heated tents, is more expensive and difficult than in the warm months, the broker noted.

By Curtis Wackerle, Dec 15, 2008, Aspen Daily News

Although the owners had construction financing in place, they are betting they might be able to get more favorable terms on another loan this spring, when construction is planned to start up again, the broker said.

And since half the project is high-end residential, with five luxury condos slated for the top floor, there is no rush to have the project ready to sell by this summer (when it would have been done without the delay),he said, noting that the developers are waiting until the project is completed to market the condos.

Waiting for the market to strengthen might not be a bad idea, the broker said.

“When you look at all the factors, I think (the owners’) decision is the right one,” he said. “We should be looking better by next winter.”

The target for completion is now December 2009.

A financial institution which has signed a lease for the street level commercial space is still on board, Small said.

While some projects, such as the La Cocina redevelopment and the new fire station, both on Hopkins Avenue in Aspen, are humming along, Stage 3 joins a list of other large projects in the Roaring Fork Valley that are currently in a holding pattern.

Snowmass’ 1 million square foot Base Village has seen financing fall through for three buildings in its next phase. Construction has halted on the 44,000-square-foot building in Willits that is to house a Whole Foods grocery store. And across the highway from the El Jebel City Market, the 100-unit Shadow Rock luxury townhome development is also on ice, with townhomes in various stages of completion.

Stage 3 project on hold for winter