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Developer courting Basalt’s Pan and Fork property throws in the towel

It’s back to the drawing board for Basalt’s Pan and Fork property. The developer at the table, Lowe Enterprises, said Thursday it’s out after failing to see eye-to-eye with the town.

The Pan and Fork parcel is 2.3 acres, smack-dab in downtown Basalt. A nonprofit, the Roaring Fork Community Development Corporation (CDC), owns it.


Lowe Enterprises wanted to buy the land and the CDC wanted to sell it to them to the tune of $3 million. Lowe, however, is walking. Jim DeFrancia, a partner with Lowe Enterprises, said the Basalt Town Council wouldn’t allow a project that’s “economically feasible.”


“I never had any indication from the town as to what level of development was acceptable that translated into $3 million for CDC,” DeFrancia said.  


Lowe was interested in building a condo-hotel hybrid on the property. The town council wasn’t having it, said Michael McVoy, board president of the CDC. He said the anti-development sentiment that exists on the council makes negotiating development a big challenge.


Basalt Mayor Jacque Whitsitt said Lowe never even submitted a development application. The town, in other words, had nothing to officially say yes or no to.


Jim DeFrancia agreed.


“Why would I, when I’m told in advance that the application is not acceptable?” he said.


The CDC is ready to move on. The town has even talked about buying the property, even though voters shot down a 2016 bond measure that would have allowed this.


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