Avon’s Main Street Mall unveiled to community
AVON — Town staff enjoyed the first of what they expect will be many productive walks down Main Street Mall with members of the community on Tuesday.
Main Street Mall is the new, $1.9 million walkway connecting Avon Road to the Avon Recreation Center, a path which was conceived in 2007 as a way to create a “downtown” Avon, and is scheduled to finally celebrate completion with a grand opening ceremony on Dec. 5.
The mall consists of several different major areas, including Possibility Plaza near Avon Roundabout No. 4; Lettuce Shed Lane, which connects to the town’s transit center; and a blacktop section passing The Seasons building and The Skier Building, a 16,000-square-foot building recently approved for purchase by the Avon Town Council for the purposes of relocating town hall.
“I can’t believe how quickly it came together,” said Tom Beaver, a Town Council candidate who took the mall tour Tuesday.
Evans Chaffee Construction Group began work on the mall in August.
STILL MUCH TO BE DONE
While it is mostly walkable now, Town Manager Virginia Egger said there’s still much to be done before the Main Street Mall vision is complete.
• At the east end, the 58-unit Wyndham timeshare project will create a major focal point when complete, connecting Possibility Plaza to Lettuce Shed Lane. The five-story building is expected to reach the final stages of construction soon and be fully operational by the end of 2014.
• Further west, a remodel of the Skier Building includes plans to create a bathroom corridor for visitors to the mall.
• Adjacent to The Seasons building at the far west end of the mall, a playground at the Prater Lane Play School will be reworked to create a better line of sight from the mall to Nottingham Park.
• And finally, at the Avon Rec Center, a grass and parking lot area will become an ice rink, Egger said, adding that the town’s insurance will not let Avon prepare the ice on Nottingham Lake when there’s thin ice present. “We researched how much it would cost to leave that rink open, and it was a lot, given the limited number of days we’re allowed to skate,” Egger said. “We want more skating, so we’ve planned a rink (outside the Rec Center).”
‘BIG, AND REALLY FORWARD’
Avon residents along on the tour included art enthusiast Sarah Straub, who has been living in the Vail Valley for nearly 30 years, and concerned taxpayer David Strandjord, an eight-year resident.
Strandjord said the mall tour, which included a detour into The Skier Building, revealed an impressive but extremely ambitious plan.
“It all looked great, but the problem is we don’t have an unlimited amount of money,” he said.
Straub said her favorite element of the new mall is the enormous, 52-foot-by-66.5-foot Carrie Fell mural on the side of The Seasons building facing Lettuce Shed Lane, a larger than life tribute to the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
“It’s big, and really forward,” she said. “We should paint (The Skier Building) in a way that goes with it, big and red, or something. Think South America.”
The Main Street Mall doubles as the genesis of a creative arts district in Avon. The Carrie Fell mural, along with several bronze sculptures along the mall, come together to complete an art walk experience for art enthusiasts like Straub.
“To me, this is what Cancun looked like 35 years ago when it first opened. There were only three hotels, initially. … They brought in the internationals, and now look at it. The possibility for that is here, and I say let’s take it in that direction.”