‘Gates’ swinging shut? | VailDaily.com

‘Gates’ swinging shut?

Cliff Thompson
Bret Hartman/Vail Daily'The Gates' development on Hwy 6 near the Beaver Creek roundabout, has apparently hit some snags.

AVON -For the third time in its eight-year history, the building permit for a troubled Avon project expired without any construction taking place.Developers for the Gates, on Highway 6 just east of the roundabouts at the entrance to Beaver Creek, will be appealing to the Avon Town Council tonight to extend the 6-month-long life of the building permit. The developer, Dallas-based JMJ, has already paid building permits and other fees totaling nearly $50,000 to the town.The developer paid $20,000 for a permit from the town last summer and announced immediately that construction the project would begin in the autumn, but no work has occurred on the project in two summers.The project has had a checkered past since it was first proposed in 1997 as Chateau St. Clair. It encountered financial difficulties not long after that. Four years later, it experienced a revitalization of sorts and was reincarnated as the Geneva Crown Club. Since then it has remained an excavated hole in the ground, prompting some locals to label the project “Chateau Ain’t There.”

Another anchor to progress may be a foreclosure filed by one of the original investors in the project. Richard Mark of Malibu, Calif., is suing the new owners for $100,000. Suits like that can make it difficult to secure loans to develop the project, developers said. It was one of many lawsuits springing from the on-again, off-again project.In December, Tim Barton of JMJ said he believed construction would begin in February, adding that he had only recently received an approval from the town to delete affordable housing from the project in return for a $100,000 payment in lieu that could be used by the town to build affordable housing elsewhere.As last proposed, the six-story project would consist of 49 luxury residences and time-share units, underground parking, a spa, library and other facilities, Barton said in a previous interview.Barton could not be reached for comment.

Staff Writer Cliff Thompson can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 450, or cthompson@vaildaily.comVail, Colorado

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