The 10-year saga of the Auberge Resort Sun Valley hotel in Ketchum could continue through 2021 after hopes for a December 2018 opening washed away in winter 2016-17.
The Ketchum City Council on June 6 granted developer Jack Bariteau a three-year extension on his development agreement to build the Auberge, a project that has been in the works since 2008 and now is a roughly 40-foot hole in the ground. The project, which hasn’t been touched in a year, is across the road from the Limelight Hotel Ketchum.
Bariteau and the city signed the first development agreement for the 66-room hotel in 2008. Excavation at the south edge of downtown started in fall 2016 with a targeted December 2018 completion date.
Work summarily ceased as the unusually cold and snowy 2016-17 winter resulted in a high water table along Trail Creek adjacent to the Auberge site. This prevented contractor access to the site, Bariteau said.
Foundation work has not resumed because Bariteau didn’t want to start work in September or October with winter looming. Now he wants to assemble the last piece of equity financing for an undisclosed amount to restart the $75 million project.
He hopes to wrap up financing “as soon as possible. It’s an ongoing process every day.”
Bariteau said construction would take 21 months.
Bariteau in 2017 asked for a fifth amendment to the 10-year-old development agreement, which the city council grudgingly granted – with conditions. The building permit can be cancelled if construction does not start within 180 days of June 6, according to a city staff memo that the council approved.
The agreement also calls for Bariteau to:
* Submit an employee housing plan with 18 beds by Oct. 31. Bariteau said he has an option to buy property in Ketchum to build a mixed-use structure that would have retail, offices and employee housing.
* Have all power lines on the project site moved underground by Dec. 31. Bariteau said he has paid Idaho Power $800,000 to relocate overhead power lines underground.
* Have full financing for the Auberge project by Sept. 30, 2019.