Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New buildings proposed for downtown Ketchum

Old post office (Scott building) could receive facelift

Express Staff Writer

The old Ketchum post office is up for a remodel, and the Rustic Moose restaurant could move into a new downtown commercial building.

Those were two of the proposals discussed by the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday, Nov. 26, during pre-application design review hearings.

The third was a proposal to build a new commercial and residential building at 500 Washington Avenue, adjacent to Video West, where McClain's Pizzeria is located.

The old Ketchum post office at the corner of First Avenue and Third Street has a history beyond the U.S. Postal Service. It's where the late Ed Scott first set up shop, making ski poles; Scott USA continues to be one of Ketchum's largest employers, with offices in the industrial area.

Ketchum developer and real estate agent John Sofro proposes to renovate the building, adding a 550-square-foot second floor to the existing 7,700-square-foot first floor. The second floor would house a restaurant, bar and deck, including a sculpture garden. The first floor would include gallery and miscellaneous tenant space.

The exterior would be finished with brick veneer, plaster, steel framing and storefront windows.

Details regarding parking and encroachments to the public right-of-way aside, the proposal met with approval from P&Z commissioners.

"This is gong to be very nice," Commissioner Curtis Kemp said.

Commissioner Deborah Burns agreed.

"I welcome the addition of retail to this area," she said.

The new Rustic Moose restaurant would be a two-floor, 5,447-square-foot commercial building planned for 131 Washington Ave. Its sole use would be for the restaurant, which is now located on North Main Street. A large glass solarium would front Washington Avenue, and the building would include an elevator, bar and seating for more than 100.

Finally, the McCoy Building would be a three-story, 24,180-square-foot mixed-use building at 500 Washington Ave. The stucco, stone and cedar building would include underground parking, ground floor professional and retail space and upper-floor residential space.

Because of its size, community housing is required, and two units are proposed on the second floor: a 1,039-square-foot unit and a 1,295-square-foot unit. Further community housing requirements would be provided via a $174,735 in-lieu payment.

Pre-application design review hearings are not approval-level hearings. They are initial meetings between developers and the P&Z in which the city board can offer preliminary feedback to give developers ideas about what they will need to change before submitting for final design review approval.

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