Friday, March 25, 2011

Developers drop mixed-use project

Redhawk Landing was planned for central Ketchum

Express Staff Writer

An East Avenue view of the abandoned plan for Redhawk Landing in Ketchum. The building would have stretched from First to Second Streets. Graphic courtesy of City of Ketchum

The name Redhawk Landing should ring a bell.

The proposed 38,500-square-foot, four-story building along East Avenue in Ketchum would have stretched from First to Second streets. Twenty residential units—including four community-housing units—would have sat atop a ground floor of commercial space and an underground parking garage.

The city approved the building five years ago but it was never built, and any chance of that happening disintegrated Monday when Redhawk Landing LLC asked the City Council to undo what it had done. The land was originally four lots. The council had granted Redhawk's request in 2006 to erase the lot lines so the mixed-use building could be erected across the entire stretch of land. However, Redhawk asked the city Monday to reverse the lot merger, reverting the land back into its four original pieces.

"They're in bankruptcy," Ketchum Associate Planner Rebecca Bundy said at Monday's council meeting.

Idaho Bankruptcy Court records show that Redhawk filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October.

According to Redhawk's broker, Barrett Molter of Sotheby's International Realty, the company wants to split the land into separate parcels because someone wants to buy the two southernmost lots and remodel the house occupying the land. He said the two northern lots are for sale.

"Unfortunately, development isn't thriving right now," he said, "and having the largest developable plot in town doesn't mean a whole lot."

Bundy said developers of the town's remaining large-scale commercial projects—Bald Mountain Lodge, Warm Springs Ranch Resort, Hotel Ketchum and Sun Valley Resort's River Run base village—don't show any signs of folding their tents but they aren't yet moving forward either.

"All the others are just in holding," she said.

The council granted Redhawk's request Monday and divided the land into quarters. However, one of the four city councilman, Larry Helzel, wasn't on board.

"By reversing this, we're saying we don't want density," Helzel said, adding that the land is in the downtown, where the city wants buildings and businesses, not houses and yards.

The land is currently unused and mostly bare. Two unoccupied historic properties sit on the land: the James McCoy/Fran Gooding House, built in 1884, and the James Shaw and Obenchain House, built in 1910.

Trevon Milliard:

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