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For the week of Jan. 5 through Jan. 11, 2000

New hotel would be Ketchum’s biggest

Approximately 139,000 square feet proposed for four-story complex

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum’s downtown could soon see construction of its largest commercial building yet, a hotel that would be more than double the size of the Colonnade and more then double the size of the Hemingway Elementary School.

The new behemoth would replace the existing Clarion Inn and surrounding buildings, on the corner of Ketchum’s Main and Sixth streets. In fact, it would fill that entire block.

The Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission will consider preliminary plans for the structure at its meeting Monday at 6 p.m.

The new hotel would consist of 140 to 150 rooms, retail areas, meeting rooms, a restaurant, 140 underground parking spaces, offices and employee housing. The building is proposed to consist of 139,000 square feet and four above-ground stories.

The existing hotel has 58 rooms.

The developer, The Lewis Co., owns the existing hotel and surrounding buildings and would develop the new Ketchum Hotel, as it would be called.

The lot on which it would be built, across Main Street from Backwoods Mountain Sports, is one of the largest in Ketchum. It takes up 69,700 square feet, compared with the average downtown lot size of 5,500 square feet, Ketchum planner Tory Canfield said.

The lot was originally bisected by a planned-but-never-constructed Seventh Street and a never-constructed alley. It is a triangular-shaped lot, and the building would conform to the lot’s shape.

According to Canfield, who is reviewing the building’s plans, all of the proposed uses are allowed by city ordinance in Ketchum’s downtown.

Though the city has a height restriction of 35 feet, an additional five feet is allowed when underground parking is provided.

Canfield said the building’s mass, architectural style and pedestrian friendliness may be among the P&Z’s concerns.

The Lewis Co. was not available for comment, nor was the project’s Seattle-based architect, Olson/Sundberg.


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