Changes afoot for old Main St. Bakery property in Aspen
Plans for the old Main Street Bakery building not only call for a new diner but more than doubling the net leasable space of the historic property.
A proposal that planners are billing as a minor redevelopment of the Aspen building, which was built in 1889, was set to go to a hearing before the Historic Preservation Commission on Aug. 14. It has been postponed until Sept. 11 so that the applicants, led by developer Mark Hunt, can alter the proposal’s elements as suggested by the Aspen Development Review Committee, according to Mike Kraemer, a senior planner with the city.
“We’ll review their response and then make a recommendation,” said Kraemer, explaining how the process works.
The staff could recommend that the HPC vote to approve or deny the proposal, though the decision rests squarely with the board, which has jurisdiction over the matter due to the historic elements of the building, which has stood on the corner of Main and Aspen streets for 130 years. Should the HPC approve the proposal, it could, in theory, be reviewed by Aspen City Council in the event of what’s referred to as a “call-up.”
Hunt previously told The Aspen Times he plans to find a diner to operate from the space. The current proposal seeks permission to expand the building’s commercial leasable space from 2,286 square feet to 5,334 square feet. It also requests an expansion of the floor area from the existing 2,713 square feet to 3,633 square feet; the maximum square footage allowed there is 8,967, according to the application.
The exterior of the 201 E. Main St. building is partially boarded up and the former outdoor dining area is shielded by construction fence. It most recently was home to Main Street Bakery and Cafe, a restaurant and local gathering place run by Bill and Jane Dinsmoor from the late 1980s until they closed it in October 2016.
Hunt, who has a number of downtown commercial properties in the development pipeline, paid $5.5 million for the building in March. The seller was the estate of the late Leslie Rudd, who had intended to restore the property and open it as a organic grocery store and cafe. Stabilization work on the property had been underway when Rudd died in May 2018.
The approvals remain in place.
“The property is currently boarded up and the landmarks are stabilized as part of an active repair permit for a full shoring and stabilization plan,” wrote Sara Adams, a senior planner with the Aspen firm BendonAdams, in a proposal application dated June 7 to the HPC. “A full basement has been already been excavated beneath the landmarks, pursuant to the repair permit.”
The application “proposes one building along the alley to fully enclose the trash/recycle area and for an employee breakroom/restrooms for outdoor diners.”
Setback variances also are sought under the application, which also seeks new net leasable space in the building’s basement. Adams could not be reached last week regarding what possible changes the proposal could see before it goes to HPC next month.
In a memo to the HPC in advance of its Aug. 14 meeting, Kraemer said the Development Review Committee wanted certain changes to the site plan “for the property and employee housing calculations.”
The application, in its form last week, sought affordable-housing credits equivalent to 1.7 full-time employees to satisfy the city’s mitigation requirements.
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For the last decade Ken Murphy kept building on his plans for a River Outfitting store.