Friday, November 21, 2008

Construction on Ketchum building delayed

Spring groundbreaking anticipated


The developers of the proposed Gallery 260 building, which would be located at the corner of Sun Valley Road and First Avenue in Ketchum, are now looking to break ground next spring.

Scott Roberts, a partner with 260 First LLC, which owns the development, said his company anticipates breaking ground on the mixed-use project in April or May.

The revised schedule came on the heels of a Ketchum City Council meeting on Monday, during which the council approved a new building permit application for the project, as the original was set to expire on Dec. 29.

Roberts explained at the meeting that obtaining financing for the project was taking longer than expected and requested that the $55,000 already paid to the city as a non-refundable deposit for its building permit be applied to the new application.

Mayor Randy Hall said he supported "rolling over the fees" on account of the exceptional circumstances surrounding the national economy and debt markets.

Ketchum Building Official Dennis Keierleber explained that the developers originally applied for a building permit at the end of 2007, which gave them six months to obtain the permit, and subsequently applied for and were granted a six-month extension. As only one extension is allowed, the developers are required to submit a new application.

The modern-looking, 60,000-square-foot building, located at 260 First Ave. N., just west of the Copper Ridge Building, would likely house an art gallery and other retail space on the ground floor and contain 22 market-rate condominiums and seven deed-restricted residential units.

The development has caused some controversy due to the designed fourth story, permissible through the purchase of transferred development rights.

This use of TDRs has been a matter of serious concern for the owner of the Copper Ridge Building, KGF Development, which has filed a court action against the city of Ketchum, claiming the municipality's TDR ordinance is illegal. The fourth floor would block views of Bald Mountain from the high-end Copper Ridge condominiums. If the litigation is successful, KGF could prevent 260 First LLC from building its fourth floor. However, the litigation has yet to be resolved.

Roberts said that while his company is watching the litigation closely, it is not causing it to alter construction plans. He said the necessary TDRs wouldn't be purchased until construction is underway.




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