Icon building may soar near Minturn
MINTURN A developer wants to construct a condominium building that may rise 60 feet higher than the tallest building in Eagle County. The Ginn Development Co.s icon building, proposed south of Minturn near Bolts Lake, may be up to 195 feet tall. The company has said in the past that the building would be up to 150 feet tall. Ginn wants to build 500 homes, 1,200 condominiums and a private ski resort and golf course on more than 5,300 acres of private land on Battle Mountain, south of Minturn.Minturn town councilors are expected to vote on whether to annex Ginns property into Minturn before an upcoming Town Council election in April. Out of 13 total buildings at Bolts Lake, Ginn calls the tallest its icon building thats not its official name because the building will have restaurants, shops, Ginn offices and a gondola nearby that takes skiers to Ginns ski resort, Ginn representatives said. The building, in which Ginn may build no more than 702 condominiums, is tall because of its steep roofs, Ginn representatives said. Ginn will construct an impressive building like this because it wants to sell its condominiums, said Chris Statzer, who lives in Minturn. The buildings location makes it OK, he said. If it was right here downtown, I would say I have a problem with it, he said.
The building could be seen on a 1.5-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 24 between Gilman and Minturn, but will not be seen from Minturn or Red Cliff, said Dominic Mauriello, planner for Ginn. Even at that its kind of hard to look down and see it, Mauriello said. Ginn has done laser imaging and digital mapping to show the places where the building can be seen along Highway 24. The steep roofs, wood, stucco, stone, steel and glass buildings design is called Grand European, and is inspired by Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, Ginn representatives said. Ginn has said building the condominiums taller and clustering them would conserve land and impact the environment less, and the nearby 10,484-foot Battle Mountain and surrounding mountains will dwarf the icon building at Bolts Lake, which is at 8,120 feet.The building along with other structures and a golf course clubhouse, around which Ginn will not build homes sits on about 62 of 541 acres, said Brian Judge of VAg Architects & Planners in Vail, which designed the buildings. Residents may play golf there and use the paved bike path that will go to Red Cliff, but Ginn does not yet know whether residents may use other trails at Bolts Lake. No buildings will be built within around 50 feet of the Eagle River and none more than 30 feet high will be built around 50 to 75 feet from the river. At Bolts Lake, Ginn will sell townhomes and condominiums, which range from studios to four-bedroom condominiums.Town councilors also will have control over the design of the buildings, not a common accommodation by local developers, Judge said.
To compare the proposed icon building to others in the area, the 135-foot, flat-roof Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa sits in the middle of Avon. Its context makes it look probably bigger than it is, Mauriello said about the Westin, now under construction. But the icon building would compete with the scenery of Battle Mountain and surrounding mountains, said Pavan Krueger, a Vail architect. I dont think its beautiful like the mountains, she said. The Westin Riverfront was built after other tall buildings were built, she said. The homes in Minturn, Red Cliff and Gilman are tiny, she said. If you came in 30 years ago and put the Westin in, people would be shocked, she said. I think thats what this is akin to.Judge said buildings around Bolts Lake will be several different heights. We do not want a building to go from ground zero to 80 feet, such as the Westin, or ground zero to 135 feet, such as the Westin, he said.
Construction around Battle Mountain should result in some pluses for the environment after the areas mining past. Ginn wants to dig up the arsenic, cadmium and lead all toxic to humans at Bolts Lake area and bury most of it at Rex Flats across the Eagle River from Tigiwon Road. Another waste pile would go next to Minturn. Some of it also would be buried under the golf course and under buildings nearby.With Ginns pledge to build the building to meet standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a green building rating system, and the contaminated mine waste clean-up, Minturn resident Rebecca Callender said she doesnt mind the building. You cant go on that property anyway, Callender said. Its an ecological disaster.Hell make good use of property that you cant even walk on, she said. Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.