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136 apartments proposed for Carbondale’s Main Street

The developer who plans to build a 247,000-square-foot shopping center on Highway 133 wants to construct approximately 136 new apartments southwest of the site.

The apartments would be built on a 7.8-acre parcel on west Main Street that Crystal River Development LLC has under contract to buy from its current owner, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, said Crystal River Development attorney Eric Gross.

Apartment design and a rezoning application are still two months away, Gross said, but Crystal River Development hopes to begin construction next year.



In a press release, Colorado Rocky Mountain School said the school has just completed a strategic planning process.

“Deferred maintenance for our 50-year-old campus has grown in recent years, and we have outgrown the facilities required to educate our students and house our faculty,” said CRMS Board President Ralph Beck, a 1973 alumnus.



The press release said Crystal River Development made an unsolicited offer on the property, whose purchase is contingent on rezoning. The purchase price is not being released.

“The CRMS Board of Trustees continues to consider a number of funding measures to make necessary improvements, including issuing bonds and planning a capital campaign,” the press release continued. “This unsolicited offer … provided the trustees with the opportunity to address some of the school’s immediate needs.”

CRMS also sold Crystal River Marketplace the land for its shopping center.

Gross said the apartment project and the adjacent shopping center are not linked. “They are stand-alone projects.”

The apartments do tie in with Crystal River Marketplace, however, in that they can provide housing for new workers the shopping center will attract.

“We’re happy to provide housing,” Gross said.

Gross said market research showed a nearly zero vacancy rate for apartments, and that no new apartments have been built in substantial numbers in years.

“There’s a desperate need in the community,” Gross said.

The apartment site is across Main Street from Crystal Village Plaza, which includes City Market. “It’s within walking distance of shopping, town services and public transportation,” Gross said.

Gross said the developer will submit an application for subdivision and rezoning from the existing open space zone district. “It is identified in the Carbondale comprehensive plan as a future development area, he said.

As for Crystal River Marketplace, Gross said preliminary and final plats have been submitted, and he hopes the project can go to the town Planning and Zoning Commission in March.

The project plan calls for footprints for 124,000-square-foot and 61,000-square-foot stores, plus others from 3,000 to 39,400 square feet.

Gross said he doesn’t expect tenants to sign leases until after the developer, Brian Huster, receives final approval.

Huster withdrew a much larger mixed-use Crystal River Marketplace proposal last year after massive public protests.


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