Developer kills plan for Crossroads
VAIL ” A new Crossroads is dead.
Developer Peter Knobel Monday informed town officials he is withdrawing his proposal for a new Crossroads. Knobel said the 1970s-vintage building will stand indefinitely.
“It’s not for sale. It’s never for sale,” said Knobel, the sole owner of the building.
The Vail Town Council voted against Knobel’s latest proposal at its Aug. 2 meeting, and planned to talk to Knobel at a work session Aug. 16 about revising the project.
Council members who opposed Knobel’s design continued to object to the building’s height. At its tallest point, the building would have risen 113 feet from the plaza along East Meadow drive.
Knobel said a unanimous recommendation from the town’s planning commission in April should have erased those worries, especially following a meeting in June.
“The council asked for some changes,” Knobel said. “We made them, and we thought we were there.”
But through two hearings that lasted more than four hours each, critics continued to hammer the proposal as too big and not in keeping with the “human scale” of Vail Village.
One of the most vocal critics is Joe Staufer, former owner of the Vail Village Inn hotel and developer of the Village Inn Plaza shops and condominiums.
“That’s good news,” Staufer said when he learned Knobel had pulled his application. “I hope he comes back in with something that makes sense to him, and makes sense for the community.”
But, Knobel said, there isn’t going to be another plan. “This is the plan we worked out with the staff and the planning commission,” Knobel said. “This is the plan we have.”
At some point, Knobel might re-submit the plan. When that might be is anyone’s guess.
“It might be another 10 years,” said Dominic Mauriello, Knobel’s lead planner on the project.
The news of the new Crossroads’ demise was a disappointment to Bob McNichols, the developer of the One Willow Bridge Road project across the street.
“It was a good project,” he said. “It seemed like he got a lot of support in town. I was hopeful they’d get together Aug. 16 and work something out. I thought they’d come to some sort of compromise.”
For McNichols, the prospect of a delay on a new Crossroads means people who buy the condos at his project will face roughly two years of construction work right across the street some time in the future.
When, or if, the project is built, it will also take a lot of goods and services out of the village for two years or more.
“Our street front will be a market place,” McNichols said. “But it won’t fill the missing theater, the galleries or the parking.”
For now, though, Crossroads is as it has been.
“It just stays what it is,” Knobel said.
Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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