Edwards Corner to break ground this fall | VailDaily.com

Edwards Corner to break ground this fall

Veronica Whitney

County commissioners approved Tuesday a change of zoning for the 2.5 acres of the southeast corner of U.S. Highway 6 and the Edwards Village Boulevard where Mueller and his company, Remonov Developers, plans to build the $16 million retail and office building.

“We’re very pleased,” Mueller said after the approval. “We’ve worked on this project for nine years – four years in the design.”

Mueller, who also developed both the 94,000-square-foot Edwards Village Center and the 80,000-square-foot Edwards Commercial Park in the late 1990s, needed the change of zoning to allow for more parking and a change in landscape requirements for his new project.

County Commissioners Tom Stone and Michael Gallagher approved the zoning change. Commissioner Arn Menconi voted against it, however, saying employee housing included in the project isn’t appropriate. To compensate for the more than 150 employees his project will generate in Edwards, Mueller will have to pay the county $47,000 – instead of providing a unit of employee housing.

Although the county hasn’t yet adopted the proposed affordable- and employee-housing requirements, developers still have to provide either affordable housing or money in accordance to their development.

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“This is a very well-designed project, but it’s also our responsibility that we move forward to create affordable housing,” Menconi said.

“Our suggestion was a contribution of $300,000,” added Laurie Bower, a housing planner with Eagle County.

Menconi asked to table the project in order for the developer to investigate other affordable-housing possibilities and to mitigate traffic the project will bring to an already busy intersection. Access to Edwards Corner is planned from both Highway 6 and from Edwards Village Boulevard.

“Edwards Corner will generate about 3 percent of the traffic that goes through the intersection,” Mueller said.

Mueller told the commissioners he was ready to drop the project if they were planning to table it.

“If we table this, I’m about done,” Mueller said. “We’re at a labor cost that’s one of the lowest in years and this will allow me to build now.”

The commissioners approved the project with the condition that Mueller aligns the Edwards Village Boulevard with the access road to the Edwards Village Center – and the Gore Range Brewery – as recommended by county engineers.

“This will cost me an extra $25,000,” said Mueller, who was planning to locate the access closer to Highway 6.

Approximately 50 percent of the businesses Mueller expects, he said, will be existing businesses in the valley relocating to Edwards because it’s more affordable. Price of the retail space on the first floor and offices on the second floor will about be $27 per foot, he said.

In Vail Village, by contrast, lease prices per square-foot can be as high as $105. In Vail’s Crossroads Shopping Center the prices range from $40 to $78 per foot.

“This is the final piece of Edwards Village Center and a key element in the commercial core of Edwards,” Mueller said.

Edwards Corner

– The $16 million project will have 25,000 square feet of retail space and 30,000 square feet of office space on two floors. There will be underground and outdoor parking.

– Architectural drawings for Edwards Corner show building facades fronting the roadways with a mix of flat and gabled roofs, balconies, and indented areas. The historical feel of the buildings will include artistic components depicting Eagle County’s past.

– Lighting for the project is designed to project downward with minimal impact on neighboring areas.

– Conceptual architectural drawings for the project have been prepared by Gies Architects of Edwards, designers of the buildings in the built-out portions of Edwards Village Center.

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at vwhitney@vaildaily.com.

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