Vail says ‘yes’ to Crossroads
VAIL ” Crossroads finally got a “yes” from Vail’s Town Council.
After failing to win approval from the council last year, developer Peter Knobel got a thumbs-up the second time around for a controversial proposal that includes condos, movie theaters, a bowling alley and a public plaza.
The council gave the Vail Village project preliminary approval with a 4-3 vote Tuesday night. A second vote at a future meeting is needed to give the final approval.
The proposed building would have between 65 and 73 condos, a 10-lane bowling alley with an arcade, a three-screen movie theater, stores, restaurants and a public plaza/skating rink.
The building would be built under a special development district, which allows for more size in exchange for “public benefits,” which would include the plaza, street and sidewalk improvements and public art.
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Councilman Farrow Hitt, who voted for the project, said the Crossroads proposal is a great thing for local kids who need entertainment, and the tradeoffs are worthwhile.
“I just think in the long run, this is good for Vail,” he said. “It’s not bad for Vail, it’s not going to be the end of Vail, it’s not going to be the demise of Vail.”
Councilman Kent Logan, who voted against the project, said the town would be approving four times the allowed amount of residential space ” 153,000 square feet more than allowed. At $1,000 per square foot, that would mean $153 million extra for the developer, he said.
“Never before in the history of this town have we given away so much and gotten so little,” he said.
Mayor Rod Slifer and councilman Kevin Foley also voted against the proposal.
About 90 people filled Town Council chambers for the decision, with residents speaking both for and against the project. Peter Cook of Vail said the Crossroads project would give kids more things to do for fun.
“We do not have enough things for teenagers who come here and live here,” he said.
George Knox, owner of the Moose’s Caboose store in Vail Village, also said the council should approve the project.
“Vail is a beautiful place, and it just needs an improvement,” he said.
Judy Gold of East Vail said the building would be too big and it isn’t in keeping with the character of the rest of Vail Village.
“It’s the concrete jungle coming to Vail, and it’s very, very sad,” she said.
The building would be 99 feet tall at its highest point. It would be 58 feet tall at the peak of the building along Meadow Drive.
Merv Lapin, a former Vail councilman, said the project was too dense. He suggested that voters weigh in on the Crossroads proposal.
“I suggest that you put it to a vote,” he said. “The project is so out of character for the town in both architecture and size. Let’s see what the populace would want.”
Construction could begin in spring 2007 and last 18 to 24 months.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or email@example.com.