Avon council members express regret over Wyndham bottom floor
AVON — After approving a rezone of the town core area commonly known as Lot B, council members expressed regret Tuesday over a neighboring project.
If developed, Lot B — a parking lot located between the Lodge at Avon Center and the Sheriton Mountain Vista property — would be the next project to activate Avon’s Main Street Mall, a $2 million effort which was intended to create a downtown corridor in Avon and unveiled last fall. That timing coincided with the completion of the the Wyndham Vacation Resorts property at the east end of the mall; council members Tuesday said the Wyndham project would have better served the area by including retail on the bottom floor.
“I think we made a mistake with the Wyndham,” Mayor Jennie Fancher said Tuesday. “I think having hotel rooms opening right up onto the mall is a mistake and doesn’t help lend vibrancy to that area.”
Vibrancy was a term used several times in the discussion.
“With this much density being brought into our community, you need the support of the retail, to help make the vibrancy of the community go,” councilman Buz Reynolds said.
“We have that Main Street Mall sitting there, and the thing it needs most is some vibrant retail uses, as many as we can get,” said councilman Matt Gennett.
The discussion came in the form of direction to staff following unanimous approval of a rezone of the area, the first step to what could eventually lead to Lot B becoming a building of some sort. The potential developer of that building, Treadstone Development, LLC., has envisioned a hotel project with no retail uses for the area, Avon Senior Planner Matt Pielsticker told the council on Tuesday.
While there was excitement for the potential for something other than a parking lot expressed at both Tuesday’s council meeting and in Planning Commission review of the rezone on April 7, Pielsticker said he wanted to receive direction to give to Treadstone before they fully committed to a plan to submit, which would be the next step in the development process.
Councilman Scott Prince said he was in favor of hearing anything Treadstone had in mind for the site.
“It’s their choice how they want to submit the application and prove their case,” he said.
Fancher said she could sense the council leaning toward a requirement of commercial on the ground level.
“I would not want the applicant to come in here thinking that he did not have to provide commercial and then have it be a ‘well, wait a second, we want commercial,’” she said.
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Councilman Buz Reynolds said the reason he voted against the Wyndham was because of the lack of retail on the ground level.
“I brought that up at the Wyndam and it was passed six-one,” Reynolds said. “I’m not changing my mind at this point either.”
Jake Wolf said he was among the six who voted against Reynolds, but he has come to agree with him in the years that followed that decision.
“I regret the Wyndham, that I voted no on that retail on the bottom floor,” Wolf said. “I’m totally for retail on the bottom floor of this building.”
RELATED: Walk the Avon Mall with Mayor Jennie Fancher:
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