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Battle North says puzzle pieces falling together for new Minturn neighborhood

November 1, 2020, 11:05 am
The Bolts Lake area of the proposed Battle North project south of Minturn.

The proposed Battle North development south of Minturn issued the following press release late last week:

MINTURN, Colo. – Oct. 29, 2020After a year of multiple living-room conversations in Minturn, Colorado – that evolved into virtual calls once the global COVID-19 pandemic fell upon this small mountain town and shut down in-person gatherings – Lorne Bassel and Tim McGuire say the puzzle pieces of an extraordinary vision are coming together.

Sometime this winter,Bassel, principal with Crave Community and general partner for Battle North, and McGuire, who serves as Battle North’s vice president of development, plan to submit a new land use application for their Bolts Lake site that stretches 540 acres from Minturn’s Maloit Park to the south and west and includes portions of the Eagle Mine superfund site.

“We have made great strides to decouple from grandiose plans shaped more than a decade ago and are now able to start anew our focus on Bolts Lake,” explains McGuire. “Over the past several months, the town has made significant progress in understanding and beginning to implement upgrades to its water system, and we are working on several options to allow the construction of a reservoir at Bolts Lake as well as remediation of portions of the superfund site.”

Upon water resolution, McGuire says they will resume community discussions to flesh out the right neighborhood plan for Bolts Lake followed by a thorough public review process of their application.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down our community gatherings last March, we were engaged in very thoughtful dialogue with residents and business owners to bring a truly dynamic offering that includes a variety of housing, wildlife enhancement and greater recreational opportunities, including trail connectivity, to the south end of town,” adds McGuire. “We are excited to incorporate the valuable input we recieved from the people of Minturn into our Bolts Lake plans, and that is exactly what we plan to do in the coming weeks and months.”  

Another reason McGuire and Bassel can return their focus to Bolts Lake planning is that they recently entered into a transaction with a private individual who is purchasing Battle North’s East Parcel comprised of about 4,600 acres east of U.S. Highway 24.

The parcel spans 4,619 acres. In 2017, Battle North rezoned the mountaintop acreage for one for 35-acre lot development with onsite wells and septic systems. This results in a significantly reduced potential development footprint of likely less than 50 units, eliminating the need to rely on infrastructure services from the town. Previously, Minturn had approved more than 1,000 residential units in addition to significant commercial development on the parcel.

“In 2017, we rezoned the mountaintop acreage to reflect our and the community’s wishes for a lighter footprint on the land and open space preservation,” says Bassel. “I patiently searched for the right purchaser who shared the same values with Minturn residents and who would commit to our new ideas.

“The purchaser, Phil Hadley, is a longtime Vail Valley homeowner and outdoor enthusiast,” explains Bassel. “He has fallen in love with the Rocky Mountains, Minturn specifically, its open space and wildlife. While he has no immediate plans, I am confident he will be a tremendous community partner.”

In retaining the Maloit Park and Bolts Lake areas, Bassel says he wants to bring the same lighter footprint philosophy to their planning. Originally these parcels were approved for 750 units of luxury housing, a 13-story hotel, a golf course and significant commercial. 

“What was approved to be built in 2008 when all of this land was annexed into the town of Minturn is not reflective of what we or its residents feel is right for today and for the foreseeable future,” says Bassel. “After infusing more than $4 million into the community for numerous Town improvements, a scholarship fund and road and water system funding, I could not be more invigorated to reset, put these puzzle pieces together and carry out a vision and appropriate public benefit for Bolts Lake that is truly reflective of Minturn’s character and its priorities.”

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