Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bald Mountain Lodge back on track

Ketchum City Council corrects clerical error


By ERIC AVISSAR
Express Staff Writer

The plans for the Bald Mountain Lodge call for an 87-room luxury hotel on Main Street in Ketchum. Courtesy graphic

The Ketchum City Council’s correction Monday of a clerical error made last spring will enable the developer of the proposed Bald Mountain Lodge to obtain an already-agreed-upon waiver of the city’s employee-housing requirements.
Bald Mountain LLC plans to build the five-story luxury hotel on the west side of Main Street between First and River streets.
Eager to obtain a downtown luxury hotel, the city granted certain concessions to the developer when it approved the project in 2010. In addition to the employee-housing waiver, those included a promise to spend property-tax money generated by the development on surrounding infrastructure such as sidewalks. In return, the developer agreed to a diminution in value of those concessions as time passed, and to a four-year absolute deadline to the agreement.


They are proceeding with all haste to find a partner so they can break ground.”
Lisa Horowitz
Ketchum community and economic development director




The original deadline to obtain a building permit was October 2014. As the developer has encountered financing difficulties, the date has twice been extended, most recently last May, when the council intended to approve an extension to May 2017. However, it inadvertently extended the deadline only to November 2016. That meant that the deadline for obtaining a 100 percent employee-housing waiver would have expired in November 2013.
Both Councilmen Michael David and Jim Slanetz said they thought the extension to May 2017 had already been granted, and were unaware of the error.
In an interview, Community and Economic Development Director Lisa Horowitz said the developers were “pretty nervous that they thought they had lost six months.”
“Now they are proceeding with all haste to find a partner so they can break ground,” she said.
Eric Avissar: eavissar@mtexpress.com




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