Avon’s tallest building may be in works | VailDaily.com

Avon’s tallest building may be in works

Veronica Whitney
Special to the Daily

A developer from Florida has plans to build a residential and commercial building in the core of Avon that, if approved by the town, could rise above all buildings in the valley.”It could be 250 feet, the tallest building between Denver and Salt Lake City,” Keith Jennings of Pelican Bay Development told the Avon Town Council at a meeting Tuesday. Jennings has lot 61, a one-acre lot that sits between The Seasons and the Avon Center buildings, under contract. His plans are to build 280,000 square feet of residential and commercial space.The $65 million project includes 120 condos, some with unobstructed views of Beaver Creek Mountain, and retail space.Though Jennings mentioned a tall building, Michael Hazard, the owner of lot 61 and one of the architects who would design the building, said the final height is flexible. “The building doesn’t have to be 250 feet tall. We have to reach the appropriate height, a balance between site coverage and mass,” Hazard said. “We want to work with the town in a cooperative fashion. We’re talking about a great looking building.”

But to go ahead with the project, the developers need to clear two hurdles. One is a lawsuit filed by the Avon Center homeowners association; the other one is a change to the town’s zoning code to allow a taller building. The current height limit on that lot is 105 feet – nine stories, similar to the Avon Center.In March, the homeowners association filed sued Avon and the developer because the town approved higher density for the lot.George Pakozdi, an Avon Center homeowner who’s president of the homeowners association, said his organization is ready to settle.”We’re on the verge of a settlement providing some issues are addressed,” Pakozdi said. “The developer has talked to me and assured me that rather than cover the whole lot, he will build a tall, slender building that will preserve a lot of our views.”I don’t have a problem with height as long it’s a slender tower,” Pakozdi added. “Better tall and slender than one big block.”The new building would be an asset to the town, Pakozdi said.”We want a vibrant Avon and this will get everyone’s attention,” he said.

Jennings called lot 61 “beach-front property,” saying one day it could be connected by ski lift to Beaver Creek Mountain. He also said buyers could get a condo there for half the cost of a similar home in Beaver Creek.”We will also be able to bring national retail chains to anchor the commercial area,” Jennings told council. Avon Councilwoman Debbie Buckley said she would consider allowing additional height.”But I want to see how this building would fit with the rest of the town and how the community would benefit,” she said.Avon Mayor Buz Reynolds said parking would be a challenge. Jennings plans to provide each condo with two parking spots – that means 240 parking spaces plus some more for the retail area.”And going 250 feet in town would be a challenge,” Reynolds said.

Councilman Peter Buckley agreed.”Two months ago we had the controversy over a 150-foot flagpole. It’s going to be a tough sale,” Buckley said.”You need to sell it not only to the council, but to the people in the community,” Reynolds told Jennings.Councilman Ron Wolfe said the town of Avon needs renaissance and growth.”But I’m concerned about how small the lot is,” Wolfe said.24-hour conciergeHazard said their intent is to submit in October a preliminary proposal to the town’s Planning Commission, which advises the Town Council on development projects. Marketing could begin early in 2005 with construction beginning that summer, he said.”We’re going to create a landmark that, done correctly, can provide a major invigoration for Avon’s residential and commercial markets,” Hazard said.The project includes: 100 to 120 condominiums reached. The homes will average approximately 1,650 square feet with larger 2-story units. They will all have balconies and several will feature landscaped roof terraces. Residents will have 24-hour concierge and room service access, a full spa and a private theater.Staff writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or vwhitney@vaildaily.com. Vail Colorado

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