With a new resident performing arts center underway and two successful residential developments supporting local growth, Willits is the ongoing hub for culture and real estate mid-Valley.
From the Aspen Institute to Theatre Aspen, the Aspen Art Museum to Aspen Music Festival & School, our arts and culture scene in Aspen Snowmass rivals many major metropolises, bringing the world’s most renowned musicians, authors, artists, and thought leaders to town year-round.
Beyond the downtown core, mid-valley residents in Basalt and Carbondale have had to make the commute to enjoy high profile programming. But thanks to the Arts Campus at Willits (TACAW)—a non-profit performing arts center in-progress on a 2.3 acre parcel of land in the booming commercial and residential development—the longtime void for closer-in-proximity-performances is already filling up.
“One thing Willits is not, is a bedroom community with a long drive to go out. We want arts and culture fully integrated into the lifestyle here,” says Michael Lipkin, founder of Willits Town Center, TACAW board member and Lipkin Warner principal, the developers of the nearby Park Modern Willits. “And we just have to acknowledge the fact that living in Aspen is getting harder and harder to attain. Change is inevitable, which is why the growth of the mid-valley is so important. The measure for me is that I’m creating a place that my kids can live and learn in someday.”
After a four-year conceptual planning process (fundraising is ongoing), the first phase of TACAW is complete at The Temporary—a 2,500 square foot space that can accommodate up to 140 guests in the heart of Willits adjacent to the Element Hotel. Finishing touches like exposed brick walls, raw floors, and dramatic chandeliers make the space feel more Brooklyn than Basalt.
The transformation of the blank space was a “true community effort with volunteers putting in countless hours” according to Lipkin. The project was finished in five short weeks and was spearheaded by Dick Carter, a TACAW board member, longtime valley resident, and artist.
“He worked in Los Angeles for years as a film production designer. So when we said we needed a space to preview our programming, he got it done,” says Lipkin. “I can’t say enough about his vision and ability to execute in a town where it seems to take three years to build a house! What he and our entire team did is a performance piece in itself.”
On the heels of a busy inaugural “soft opening” summer season featuring comedy, music, dance, film, and theater, managing director Ryan Honey sees a bright future ahead.
“Since opening The Temporary, the response from the community has been tremendous. We've enjoyed packed houses ever weekend and our Kids Kulture! series on Saturday afternoons has been especially well received,” says Honey. “The success we’ve seen with this program has been extremely gratifying as the Board of Directors, Artistic Director Marc Breslin, and myself are all committed to building the next generation of artists and audiences. Doing so starts with exposing children and students to get access to great art at an early age.”
There’s no shortage of offerings for adults, too. Ryan Honey disclosed a few of Honey’s highlights for the season ahead:
“We have a great play, Molly Ivins, coming on January 26 and 27, our first hip hop act, The Lique, is performing on February 18, and the amazing Tinsley Ellis is singing on March 8. These acts, and all of the performances at The Temporary, are a stepping stone for us to achieve our ultimate goal of a permanent performing arts center in Willits. I have no doubt that, with the continued support of the community, we will achieve this goal in the coming years.”
Save the date for The Temporary’s official grand opening featuring a performance from La Pompe Jazz with special guest Jeremy Mohney on Friday, December 15. For the full winter schedule of events and more information on TCAW, visit the events calendar at tacaw.org.
Living in Willits is in high demand – there are only a handful of homes and condos for currently sale. Here is a quick tour of the two premier developments in the Willits Area:
Park Modern Willits is an urban loft development featuring dramatic valley-wide views, contemporary design, dedicated underground parking and private terraces located just a short walk to Whole Foods and the shops and restaurants in Willits. 1, 2 and 3 bedroom single level lofts range from $535,000 to $1,175,000.
102 Evans Road Unit 206 is a 1 bedroom, 1 bath 2nd floor loft in Park Modern Willits featuring the development’s signature clean, contemporary palette, floor to ceiling windows and open living spaces.
102 Evans Road, Unit 204 is a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom ground-level loft with high ceilings and large windows.
Shadowrock is a mountain contemporary townhome development also within walking distance to the amenities in Willits, as well as Crown Mountain Park and the RFTA Bus Rapid transit system. Three and four bedroom townhomes range from $689,000 to $1,250,000.
The Residences on Overlook Ridge are the newest top-tier offering at Shadowrock available for pre-sale. This completely new mountain contemporary design is like nothing ever built at Shadowrock.
230 Overlook Ridge features over 2,900 square feet of luxury living, sweeping views of Mount Sopris, and soaring 13-foot ceilings.
The Juniper Trail Townhomes are nearing completion and just two of these six homes remain available. Thanks to an innovative and modern design, every Juniper Trail Townhome lives like an end unit. The design allowed the addition of windows that make the living spaces in each home light and bright.
114 Juniper Trail has 2,230 square feet of living space with three bedrooms including a private upper level master suite with a 10-foot deep covered terrace.