2018 Election

2B- Ballot Question on Enterprise Fund Bonding

2C - Ballot Question on Franchise Agreement

2D - Ballot Question on Location for City Offices

Ballot Language: Which proposal for City Office Space location and construction do you prefer? (Choose only one.)

OPTION A: Office space at 517 E. Hopkins Avenue and 204 S. Galena Street under contract for purchase and reconstruction, with remodel of City Hall (Project at former Daily News Building).

OPTION B: Office space at 427 Rio Grande Place and 455 Rio Grande Place approved pursuant to Ordinance No. 4, Series of 2017, with remodel of City Hall (Rio Grande Project).

What is this ballot question asking?

The City of Aspen requires more office space to run its operations and more efficiently serve residents and customers.   Consolidating operations and building office space is less expensive than leasing commercial space. This question asks where voters prefer to construct new office space.  Regardless of which location voters select, the 20,000 square feet of current City Hall will be renovated and will remain an integral part of City operations.

Option A - 517 E. Hopkins Avenue and 204 S. Galena Street

In this option a local developer sells the City a newly constructed building at 517 E. Hopkins Ave. along with a renovation of the adjacent 2nd floor space at 204 S. Galena (former Aspen Kitchen). Twenty-five hundred square feet of the street level of 517 E. Hopkins Ave. will remain commercial space not owned or operated by the City.

Option B - 427 Rio Grande Place and 455 Rio Grande Place

In this option the City renovates the current Rio Grande Building (Old Aspen Youth Center) and constructs a new building in former ACRA/Stay Aspen Snowmass offices, which extends to the northern edge of Galena Plaza. The two buildings will be connected. The new building will not exceed 46 feet and will be at a lower height than the Pitkin County Library addition.

Option A - Hopkins/Galena
Option B - Rio Grande Place
37,542 gross square feet of office space 40,000 gross square feet of office space
City buys privately owned property
City owns land and current buildings
City purchase of commercial buildings takes away retail/private office opportunities
Increases size of Galena Plaza green space

If City builds here now, community removes this land from other public uses in the future (Public Zone District)
Currently approved for development, so construction can occur on this parcel regardless of City’s purchase
Construction occurs here now only if Option B is chosen, otherwise land is banked for future use
Three municipal offices for customer service
Two municipal offices for customers service
ACRA returns to space in front of parking garage
ACRA included in new office space
$49-52 million estimated cost including City Hall renovation
$46-49 million estimated cost including City Hall renovation
City will address Affordable Housing Mitigation
City will address Affordable Housing Mitigation
City offices in Old Powerhouse and Mt. Rescue cabin vacated
City offices in Old Powerhouse and Mt. Rescue cabin vacated

Option A - 517 E. Hopkins Avenue/204 S. Galena Street

517_204

Option B - 427 Rio Grande Place and 455 Rio Grande Place

galena plaza view
rg view final

Map of Proposed Locations

map for fact sheet city offices

For additional questions contact: Mitzi Rapkin, Community Relations

Pro and Con Statements Submitted by Aspen Voters for City Ballot Issues

No Comments Received for ballot issues 2C and 2B

Below are Pro and Con Statements* for 2D - City Office Space Location

*Please know that these are citizen statements that have not undergone any fact checks and may contain errors.


  1. Steve Goldenberg Pro/Con
  2. Bert Myrin Pro/Con
  3. Ward Hauenstein Pro
  4. Marcia Goshorn Pro/Con
2D - City Office Space Location
Steve Goldenberg Statements
In favor of Question 2D, Option A:

1.    The Hopkins Ave. space (Option A) is directly across Hopkins Ave from the Armory (current City Hall). The Galena proposal is 4X further away and across Main Street. Option A will save lots of staff time and money.
2.    The Hopkins Ave. proposal (Option A) preserves the beautiful Galena Plaza Public Open Space in back of the library.
3.    With the land cost removed from both proposals, the Hopkins Ave. space (Option A) is less expensive in total dollars and cost per square foot. (The same is true if the land cost is included in both proposals.)
4.    The top floor offices of the Hopkins Ave proposal (Option A) will have spectacular views. The other floors will have nice views of Aspen Mtn.
5.    Voting for Option A means only one new office construction project will occur. Voting for Option B means two new office construction projects. Voting for Option A means one less construction project in Aspen.
6.    The Hopkins Ave proposal (Option A) will be built at a guaranteed fixed price by a professional developer, not the City staff which is notorious for humongous cost overruns on ballot issue estimates.
7.    The Hopkins Ave proposal (Option A) allows the construction free reuse of 10,600 square feet that will be vacated by the ACRA, Ski Aspen/Snowmass and the top two floors of the old Aspen Youth Center.

In opposition to Question 2D, Option B:
8.    Option B removes 17 parking spaces now in front of ACRA building and 3 garage parking spaces.
9.    Option B does not honor the 2 story height limit, enacted by City Council. The City does not play by the same mass and scale rules that it imposes on the private sector.
10.    The distance to the Armory (City Hall) is 4X greater than Option A. and requires staff to cross Main St. twice on every round trip.
11.    Option B requires the demolition of the ACRA building and trucking tons of that demolition debris to the dump.
12.    Option B uses up the Galena Public Open Space preventing use as open space or for something else.
13.    Option B does not have a fixed price. City construction estimates for ballot elections are notoriously underestimated.
14.    Option B will add an extra 45’ tall office building with all the traffic congestion and affordable housing requirements that go with that.

Public Q and A

What is the appraised value of 517 E. Hopkins? The City of Aspen got a verbal appraisal of $18-20 million for this property.  The City Manager's statement on this value is here.

What is the appraised value of the second floor space of 204 S. Galena St? The appraised value is $7 million.  The full appraisal document is here.

If you have a question, email mitzi.rapkin@cityofaspen.com.