JACKSON, Wyo. — On Monday, May 17 the Jackson Town Council will again be presented with the construction management plan (CMP) for phase 2 development of Hotel Jackson.

Hotel Jackson, owned and operated by the Darwiche family, is planning to redevelop the property at 145 N. Cache Street. They purchased the property in 2004. The first phase of the hotel was completed in the summer of 2015, at 120 Glenwood Street. Wapiti Construction is the contractor working on the project.

At a March 15 Town Council meeting the CMP was denied after the Council heard public comment from nearby business owners. Councilmember Jessica Sell Chambers said, ”I am alarmed, I am absolutely alarmed.”

Local attorney Trey Overdyke spoke on behalf of St. Johns Episcopal Church and Browse ‘N Buy during the May 15 meeting. “We learned about the staff recommendation today. We also learned about the construction management plan today. I learned tonight from Mr. Lenz this project has been undergoing discussions and negotiations for two years, and this is the first time the Church and Browse ‘N Buy have learned that there was any intent to block pedestrian access in front of the building.”

Despite this, Overdyke asked the Council to continue the approval of the plan. During the meeting on March 15, he said, “St. John’s and Browse ‘N Buy have a positive relationship both with the applicant and the town and I think we can sit down in short order and work out a plan that gives St. John’s business some kind of voice.”

Overdyke denied a request for comment for this article.

Another attorney, Jim Lubing, spoke during the March 15 meeting. Lubing represents some of the Gaslight Alley owners. “It is concerning to me that among the public comment is commentary from me and Mr. Overydyke, the two lawyers who are here representing the immediate adjacent owners. They were all surprised by things that have occurred.”

The Darwiche Family owns the majority share of Gaslight Alley. Gaslight Alley is a corporation explained, Lubing, “It’s a complicated lease structure, but they [his clients] own portions of Gaslight Alley.”

The timing of the project seemed to be the biggest issue for business owners in Gaslight Alley. “The applicant’s own construction schedule said it was going to be a winter-summer-winter [project], now it is going to be a summer-winter-summer,” said Lubing. Other merchants spoke during the meeting, asking to avoid the “loss” of two summer seasons due to the construction.

The construction was originally slated to take 18 months, with a portion of the public right of way on Cache Street expected to be blocked for eight months while demolition and excavation occur.

According to the revised CMP, dated April 23, 2021, the project will now take 24 months citing, “changes to the CMP may increase the total time for construction.”

The new schedule outlines a construction timeline beginning this month, May 2021, with the project expected to be completed in April 2023. In the original CMP, the applicant hoped for demolition to begin on April 1 at the earliest.

According to the Town Council staff report, “The current CMP includes heavy and frequent trucking during the summer season (June 15 through September 25) and it will be the contractor’s responsibility to work with the high traffic and pedestrian volumes present during those times.”

A 25-30 foot deep two-story basement will be built, housing a new underground parking garage, a gym and a spa. A rooftop bar and more restaurant areas will also be developed, along with more hotel rooms and convention space.

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.