The developer of a planned hotel project in Ketchum is in discussion with other management companies, meaning that it may not be an Auberge Resort Collection property once it’s built and operating.

    Jack Bariteau and his company Trail Creek Fund LLC are developing the hotel on Main Street at the southern entrance to downtown Ketchum.

    The project had retained Auberge as the company that would take over management and operation after the building is constructed. In a letter to Ketchum Planning Director John Gaeddert dated Oct. 4, Bariteau said he’s been talking with other management companies.

    “The hotel brand operator and manager will not necessarily be Auberge Resort Collection and could … alternatively be one of several hotel management entities that we are [in] discussion with at this time,” Bariteau wrote.

    A representative for Auberge did not return a request for comment for this story. The company website still lists the hotel as an Auberge project, with a planned opening in 2020. The hotel will have 62 rooms and 12 residences.

    Bariteau presented an amended employee housing plan to the City Council on Monday night. The council voted unanimously to approve the plan.

    Bariteau wrote that he has acquired a new property for the employee housing.

    Bariteau owned two properties that split a vacant lot on the corner of First Avenue and Sixth Street, but has sold both to a developer from Portland, Ore. The developer, WDC Properties, is proposing an 18-unit apartment building and is planning to get a building permit from the city in March. The owner of WDC Properties, Mark Madden, owns the northernmost property at Sixth and First Avenue, which is not included in the apartment project.

    Bariteau wrote that he acquired a property at 391 First Ave. on Oct. 1. The property is directly to the south of Perry’s Restaurant and had been owned by Boise City Councilman Scot Ludwig’s real estate company, Asset Enhancement.

    Bariteau is proposing a project that will include employee housing, office, retail space and for-sale penthouse residences, with underground parking for 34 vehicles. The site is 16,500 square feet.

    He wrote that his project is in preliminary concept design, but he plans to submit it to the city planning department by the end of November. That would begin the process for design review.

    Bariteau wrote that he will submit plans with different building heights, and asked for flexibility in how the city measures the maximum building height for the property.

    “At a time when the need for workforce housing is at crisis levels, I believe that the city should look seriously at every opportunity it may have by being flexible in its approach to creating more density wherever possible even if it requires special consideration by the City Council of how the building height should be measured at this particular location,” Bariteau wrote.

    As part of the hotel project, Bariteau pledged to fund undergrounding of Idaho Power utility lines on the east side of Highway 75 from Gem Street to River Street. The undergrounding work is required under a revised development agreement approved by the council earlier this year.

    On Oct. 8, Idaho Power’s Ryan Adelman wrote a letter to Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw that Bariteau had made the full payment for the work, which is underway and should be finished in 2019.

    “On Sept. 18, 2018, our contractor started staging equipment and materials to complete the underground conduit and splice boxes necessary to relocate the overhead lines to underground,” Adelman wrote. “This work will also include any pavement and trenching repair resulting from construction activities. To date, we believe the contractor is about 20 percent complete. Idaho Power anticipates this work will be completed by December 2018. Due to winter weather, the remaining portion of this project, pulling and terminating the conductor (wire) and removal of the existing line, will be deferred.

    “Idaho Power will competitively bid the remaining portion of the project this fall and be ready to start the final phase as soon as the appropriate permits are received in the Spring.”

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