Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Mixed-use building proposed for long-empty Ketchum lot

Project calls for retail, residential space

Express Staff Writer

Graphic courtesy Jim Ruscitto Plans for an 11,000-square-foot downtown Ketchum mixed-use building are influenced by Western-style mining structures.

A long-empty lot on Washington Avenue in Ketchum may see construction activity soon. Right now, though, plans for a single-family residence with ground-floor retail are just on the drawing board.

Architect Jim Ruscitto, on behalf of landowners Howard and Peggy Trott, presented to the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission Monday, Jan. 8, preliminary designs for a project at Second Street and Washington Avenue.

The 11,000-square-foot downtown building would use recycled and salvaged materials like timber, and would be influenced by Western-style mining structures, Ruscitto said.

Plans call for 4,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, which could be one, two or three separate units. The basement, second and third floors would be one single-family home. The third floor would be set back 12 feet from the building line and would house a master bedroom.

Because plans were submitted before the city changed its zoning codes in October 2006, the building won't be subject to affordable housing requirements.

"I think it's a really nice building for that location," said Commissioner Jack Rutherford. "I appreciate your clients' desire to do something creative."

Commissioners suggested the retail space be changed somewhat before formal plans are submitted.

"For retail, it looks too residential," Rutherford said. "(I hope) they could up the retail visual interactiveness with the sidewalk."

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