Developer Michael Lipkin has previously reopened the approval process at Willits — and it appears he got burned. He is a part of a different group that owned the commercial core of Willits, known as the Willits Town Center. The group had approvals to construct several buildings, including one for a Whole Foods Market. The group in 2007 asked Basalt to reconsider the approvals because it wanted to add 120 residential units. The request sparked a public controversy and bogged down the review. The request was ultimately withdrawn, but Lipkin and his partner, Joseph Freed & Associates, lost their financing and construction stalled. They lost a large portion of the project through foreclosure by a lender last year. The fate is the commercial project is uncertain.

ASPEN BASALT REAL ESTATE — For the second time in four years, a primary developer at Willits in the midvalley has opened a can of worms by voluntarily reopening the review of part of the project.Michael Lipkin is a principal party in a limited liability company that has approvals to build 84 multi-family units on a 6-acre parcel in Willits. Lipkin and his partners have already developed about 200 condominiums and townhouses, and they have sold numerous lots for single-family homes. Their approvals from 1996 allow 125,000 square feet of development for 84 residential units similar to the existing Lakeside and Willits townhomes. Lipkin and his company, Nadineco LLC, are back before for the Basalt Town Council trying to alter the approval. They want flexibility to build one-story “flats” or the townhomes, as market conditions dictate. The change, Lipkin said, would benefit Willits and the community because it would eliminate 60 percent of surface parking and place it underground. That means roughly 1 acre less asphalt, Lipkin told Town Council members last week.
By Scott Condon, Jan. 31, 11 Aspen Times

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