Five applicants wanting to occupy space in the Old Power House building in Aspen will move onto the next round of review. Aspen City Council looked over recommendations Tuesday night from a committee charged with reviewing the proposals. The City-owned building used to house the Aspen Art Museum.
The building’s attractive because of it’s location and potentially it’s price. The Aspen Art Museum paid $1 a year to occupy the space alongside the Roaring Fork River.
It’s not clear whether a new occupant would pay that little. Still, using the building is a popular idea. Fifteen organizations and individuals submitted ideas on how to fill the space. The committee reviewing the applications culled it down to four including a performing arts space, science center, John Denver museum and media center.
City Council tossed out the John Denver idea but kept the other three and added two additional proposals - a brewery and a community center. The council emphasized a desire for a long-term tenant who’s willing to collaborate and adds something to the community that doesn’t already exist.
Pete Louras chairs the committee examining the proposals. In the next round of review, he says the group will look closely at whether the ideas are financially sound.
"On this round we had a simple question about finances and people answered it in fifteen different ways. But in order to get a tenant in this building, we’re going to need more specifics. And specifically, we want to know how much of the financial burden the City is going to bear and how much the organization is going to bear."
The next round of review will be more challenging for the applicants, demanding time, effort, money and commitment. The committee will come back before council with more information before the elected leaders make a decision, possibly at the beginning of next year