Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In with the new and old in Ketchum

P&Z approves design review for 2 buildings

Express Staff Writer

The proposed 231 Sun Valley Road Building, above, would be next to the Bigfish condominium building on the corner of Sun Valley Road and Washington Avenue. Courtesy rendering.

If the Ketchum City Council follows the recommendations of the Planning and Zoning Commission, the city could see a significant change to the portion of Sun Valley Road west of Main Street.

At a meeting on Monday, April 28, the commission approved a design review application for a remodel of the building sitting at the northwest corner of Sun Valley Road and First Avenue, which used to house Scott USA, the Ketchum Post Office and, most recently, Price Asher.

The commission also approved design review of the 231 Sun Valley Road Building, which would be on the lot adjacent to the Bigfish condominium building on the corner of Sun Valley Road and Washington Avenue.

The former project would receive its facelift from 311 First Avenue LLC, represented at the meeting by Ketchum developer John Sofro. Architect Bill Bridwell presented plans in which the interior of the building would be split into three units for retail space. As well, a 150-square-foot addition would be added to create a rooftop garden and display space for sculptures.

The façade of the building would also receive a major overhaul, as it would be covered with a combination of brick veneer and stucco, and two large entrances would be added on the southern face to provide access to two of the retail spaces.

Because of the slope of the road, two small ramps leading to those doors are included in the design. The council would have to issue an encroachment permit since the ramps extend four and six feet into the sidewalk. The same goes for six marquees and a number of light fixtures that extend over the sidewalk.

While the parking lot that sits across the alley to the west would be improved to include nine spaces and a landscape buffer, the developer would not be required to provide parking should that lot ever be redeveloped. Commissioner Sam Williams said the parking requirement should not apply, as the remodel would preserve a building that has stood in Ketchum since the 1960s.

Just over a block to the east, an entirely new building has been proposed by Greenside Sun Valley LLC, represented at the meeting by architect and part owner Douglas Burdge.

Since the pre-application meeting in January, the design of the 231 Sun Valley Road Building underwent some changes, including a more conservative wooden colonnade, which wraps around the building from Sun Valley Road to the alley between the lot and the Bobbie Burns building.

As well, the developer decided against the original plan to include an on-site affordable housing unit, choosing instead to negotiate an in-lieu payment when the project goes before the City Council.

The 9,269-square-foot, mixed-use building would have a large retail space along the ground floor and three residential units on the second and third floors. The project would contain two parking spaces, with in-lieu payments provided for two more.

It was unclear when Burdge would commence construction if he receives approval from the council, though he did say that he planned on finishing the architectural drawings some time this fall.

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