‘Vertical’ project planned at Edwards | VailDaily.com

‘Vertical’ project planned at Edwards

Scott N. Miller
Special to the DailyThe "West End" property at Edwards is now home to a mobile home park. New plans for the property include condominiums, retail and commercial space, and, perhaps, an access point to the Eagle River Preserve open space property. The Eagle County Planning Commission will discuss the plan on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

EDWARDS ” A Longmont-based company is thinking big about a piece of land near the main Edwards intersection.

Midtown Development has proposed a project with condominiums and commercial space for land now occupied by the small mobile home park just west of the Gashouse restaurant.

The project, called “West End,” would be a variation on the “live/work” theme the Eagle County Commissioners are now looking at in the Vines at Vail project in Wolcott.

“The traditional ‘live/work’ idea is where shops are connected to the homes above,” said Brian Bair of Midtown Development. “That’s not what we’re proposing. This is more of a live where you work idea.”

To do that, the West End proposal puts shops and offices on the first floor, offices on the second floor, and condos on the third and fourth floors of the buildings. Resident parking would be underground, with parking for the shops and offices on the first floor level.

“Our goal is to bring a linked community, with a large amount of housing, to Edwards,” Bair said. “It’s an opportunity to bring housing to the commercial core.

“The housing choices in Edwards are a bit limited,” Bair said. “There’s not a lot of mixed use, other than Riverwalk.”

Bair and his colleagues would like to start work on the project in the summer of next year. But there’s a long way to go before Midtown’s project is approved.

The Eagle County Planning Commission earlier this summer asked Midtown for bring more information about water supplies, parking and traffic plans to its next meeting, set for Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Eagle.

Besides dealing with the county’s various rules and regulations, Midtown may also find itself part of a county plan to come up with ideas for developing all the property on the northwest corner of U.S. Highway 6 and the Edwards Spur Road.

“We’re looking at doing more with design for that area,” County Planner Allison Ochs said.

While Eagle County doesn’t have design regulations in its land use rules now, Ochs said some guidelines could be put into the county’s comprehensive plan, which presents the county government’s ideas of where to put development and what kind of development should take place on different pieces of private land.

Since compliance with the comprehensive plan is now part of the county’s land use regulations, the county may end up with a form of design rules.

The end result, Ochs said, will probably be less than the stringent rules now in place in Vail, but more than the county has now.

Asked whether being the first up in that county process was a problem or an opportunity, Bair sounded optimistic.

“It’s definitely an opportunity,” he said. “We didn’t approach our site as one project, but as a part of what ultimately would happen on that corner with the other three property owners.”

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or smiller@vaildaily.com.

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