Plan for Crossroads: Condos, shops, fun |

Plan for Crossroads: Condos, shops, fun

Scott N. Miller

Peter Knoble doesn’t want to take his kids to Denver to play any more.To keep some miles off the family car, the Vail-based developer has proposed tearing down and rebuilding the Crossroads shopping area in Vail Village and replacing it with a new complex.As proposed, the new Crossroads is envisioned as a place where kids and grown-ups can play, with a four-screen movie theater, climbing walls, and video arcade as well as shops and restaurants.The slogan for the project is “Bringing people back to Vail,” a goal Knoble said he’s serious about. After a trip to an arcade/restaurant in Denver with his kids, Knoble, who has lived in Vail the past three years, said he started wondering why he, and others, were doing all that driving. “Why can’t we create an entertainment center that would bring people in from Georgetown to Glenwood Springs,” he said. “The town of Vail could turn into a 365-day destination.” To help spur use of the new crossroads, current plans call for more than 500 underground parking spaces, about 150 more than required by town codes. The parking will be on three levels. Also underground will be climbing walls, a 10-lane bowling alley/nightclub and a four-screen movie theater Knoble calls “the largest capacity and highest quality on the Western Slope.”The theater is being planned with Steve Lindstrom, who owns or operates all the movie screens in the valley. “A re-done Crossroads could be the epicenter of Vail,” Lindstrom said.But a new theater in Vail would need to have first-run movies first, Knoble said, adding that he’s still talking with Lindstrom about getting the opening-weekend crowds to the eastern end of the valley.While Lindstrom will run the theater and shops will be operated by other proprietors, Knoble said he and his associates – including chef Paul Ferzacca of La Tour Restaurant – will control most of the dining and entertainment.And the entertainment could be impressive. The bowling alley will double as a nightclub, and a 20,000-square-foot arcade area could provide kids a place to play while the grownups enjoy dinner or a movie. In the winter, a skating rink will occupy the space now devoted to surface parking. That rink will be a pond in the warmer months, and Knoble, a native New Yorker, envisions kids playing with remote-controlled boats as they do in Central Park.If current plans come to pass and a new Crossroads and Vail Plaza Hotel are built, that part of the village could become a much bigger part of the village scene.”I really think Meadow will be Main Street in Vail before too long,” Sunland Silver gallery owner Marty Stewart said.”Crossroads is a disaster the way it is,” Stewart said. “To have somebody finally come in is great, and Peter has the guts to do it.”While the retail, dining and entertainment parts of the project are expected to pump big money into the town’s sales tax coffers, Knoble said the driver of the whole project will be the 80 or so condominiums planned for the top floors.Those condos, all three-, four- and five-bedroom units, will be served by a 24-hour concierge, Knoble said.A handful of those condos may be purchased by former owners of the existing condos at Crossroads. Knoble said, although of the 22 owners he bought out to control the entire property, only four or so asked for options on the new units.While the new Crossroads project may look good on paper, it is just starting what promises to be a complex trip through the town’s approval process.While Knoble said he’s spent a year planning the project, he does expect challenges. The biggest, he said, will be getting people to understand what he’s asking for.”I’m not asking for anything different than the Four Seasons or the Plaza got,” he said.While changes are inevitable as the project moves through Vail’s Design Review Board, Planning and Environmental Commission and Town Council, Lindstrom said he hopes those boards understand what Knoble is seeking.”It kind of needs to be the package he’s putting together,” Lindstrom said. From his own perspective, the success or failure of the Crossroads plan could be the difference between having movie screens in Vail or not. And, maybe, Crossroads could be a difference-maker in Vail’s renovation over the next few years. ============By the numbers (All subject to change through the town’s approval process):• 505 underground parking spaces• 20,000 square foot arcade area• 84 condominiums• 4 movie screens• 10 bowling lanes• $1.6 million projected sales and property tax revenue• 2006 Projected construction start• 2008 Projected opening====================

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