New and approved in Silverthorne: Town gives 114-room hotel preliminary OK | SummitDaily.com

New and approved in Silverthorne: Town gives 114-room hotel preliminary OK

A new 114-room hotel might be the headliner for a handful of construction projects that took steps forward last week in Silverthorne.

Silverthorne Town Council gave the hotel preliminary approval Wednesday night shortly after deciding to back a six-unit apartment project and another plan to redo the Arby's fast-food restaurant in town. At the same time, a 90-plus condo project called "River West" was sent back to planning.

The Element Hotel by Westin is being spearheaded by Hotel Silverthorne Partners, LLC, which owns the land at 195 Meraly Way in Silverthorne. O'Bryan Partnership Architects in Frisco has been hired for design.

The proposal outlines a 101,201-square-foot hotel with 114 rooms and two subsurface parking garages.

Designers are going for a contemporary look with many of the same features one might see at a typical Element Hotel, while also trying to maintain an aesthetic appropriate for Summit County's mountain environment.

Council unanimously approved the project with members expressing that the hotel would make for a nice addition to the community.

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Assuming the Element Hotel project secures final approval and continues to move forward, it would put the Element Hotel next door to the Hampton Inn & Suites, south of Exit 205 on Interstate 70.

Because they have a common owner, the Element Hotel would go up above a parking lot that currently serves the Hampton Inn. By sharing amenities and parking facilities, the two hotels can maximize the available space on a somewhat tight, tricky site while still following town guidelines, said Silverthorne town manager Ryan Hyland.

Beyond the hotel, council gave a new six-unit apartment complex on the Blue River the thumbs up too, this time on final approval.

The developer, Tom Ethington, came to council for preliminary site plan approval last December. The elected officials initially were less than lukewarm and suggested that Ethington should consider scaling back the project, perhaps even reducing the number of units.

He did exactly that. With those revisions, he got preliminary approval in January and now has council's blessing to move forward on the final site plan. Support wasn't unanimous, however, with Councilman Bob Kieber casting the lone vote against the project.

At the same time the hotel and apartments both got approved, so too did a slight revision in the plans to redo the Arby's fast-food restaurant.

The Arby's at 165 Stephens Way is scheduled for a coming remodeling project. Council has previously approved a request to modify the existing building, but after Arby's decided to redo a retaining wall on the property, the fast-food restaurant had to come back for council's approval on that work as well.

While those projects all took steps forward, council sent the River West condominiums sent back to planning.

The developer, TG Developments, LLC, had requested preliminary approval to build 97 condominiums across seven, three-story buildings on four undeveloped lots — between 890 and 970 Blue River Parkway — next to the Blue River.

The lots are currently undeveloped after three single-family homes constructed in the 1960s were previously demolished, according to the town.

But there were some concerns that the new condo buildings could wall off the Blue River from the Blue River Parkway, one consideration that's specifically outlined in town code for riverside development. Before getting his apartments project approved, Ethington had run into some of the same issues.

Worries that the River West condos would be a barrier on the Blue River, along with other design issues, ultimately led council to hold off voting on the project. They instead opted to send the blueprints back to the town's planning commission for further review.

According to the town, council had previously approved a request to develop the land in December 2008. That project consisted of 17 residential units with 4,543 square feet of commercial space, but council's approval expired in 2009 for lack of action.

After stalling the River West condos project, council gave final site plan approval for Maryland Creek Park, a 20-acre public park that's to be owned and maintained by the town at Summit Sky Ranch, a high-dollar neighborhood going up in northern Silverthorne.