Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More mixed use in Ketchum?

New building proposed for Fifth Street

Express Staff Writer

This rendering shows the proposed design for a mixed-use building on Fifth Street, between the Dollhouse consignment shop to the west, shown here on the right, and an alley to the east. The three-story building, with a partially below-grade basement, would house two townhomes and nearly 2,500 square feet of commercial space. Photo by

The old could once again make way for the new in downtown Ketchum.

Architect Stephen Pruitt presented plans to the Ketchum Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday for a proposed new building that, if approved, would take the place of the approximately 70-year-old house that now sits at 140 Fifth St. E., near the corner of First Avenue.

In a pre-application design review meeting, Pruitt, representing two Seattle-based families, showed renderings of the modern-looking, three-story building, named Maison de Fraise, which would contain commercial and residential space.

Currently, a wood house estimated to have been built in the 1930s sits on the site and would be demolished as part of the project. City Planner Stephanie Webster said that while some elements of the existing structure may be recycled, it is in such a state of disrepair that it no longer has a use.

Because the 3,300-square-foot lot is steeply sloped from east to west, an additional basement floor would only be partially underground.

The property is bordered by an alley to the east and the Dollhouse consignment store to the west.

As designed, the bottom two floors would house 2,500 square feet of commercial space, which could be used for retail or offices. The top two floors would be split into a pair of townhomes, which Pruitt said would be used by the families that own the property and would not be for sale.

City Planner Mark Goodman said that this was the third time the project had come before the city with a pre-application design review, as the owners had recently charged architects and the design of the building.

The commission made very few comments on the design, but asked for further detail on large glass paneling that would cover an internal stairwell facing Fifth Street.

"I personally think it would be a nice addition to our community," Commissioner Rich Fabiano said of the wood, metal and glass design.

The building would be approximately 40 feet high and within the city's zoning regulations, so it does not need approval by the City Council.

The project will likely be back before the commission in December for design review.

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