February 2009

January Sales Increase due to Fractional Sales

January Sales Increase due to Fractional Sales

Buyers are beginning to reemerge in the Aspen real estate market, after a near absense during the poor economic times over last year. 

The pace is still not up to par with previous years, but brokers are showing more property, and writing more contracts, and closing more deals than in previous months.


“It seems the market is starting to sputter back to life,” said Gary Feldman, managing partner of Joshua & Co. “The showings picked up the second week of the holiday season and those deals are just now closing.”

Fractional sales made up 60 percent of the transactions in Pitkin County, with multiple Aspen large projects closing in January. The Residences at the Little Nell closed 41 of the 78 transactions, accounting for $64 million. The number of fractional transactions was up 57 percent over January 2008, and the dollar volume was up almost 1,200 percent, from $5.2 million in 2008 to $65 million in 2009.

One factor that’s sparking the interst in prospective buyers is that prices are starting to drop from the record highs set last year.

A spec home at 1377 Sage Court recently saw a substantial price reduction. The price dropped from $12 million to $6.99 million. The 9,131-square-foot, six-bedroom estate is now selling for $766.50 per square foot for new construction, which can approach $2,000 per square foot in this area.

Joshua & Co., which has offices in Aspen and Snowmass, reports it has a half-dozen contracts pending and that it closed several deals last week, including one for about $4.5 million and another for $6.5 million.

“The market that seems to be moving right now is the $3 [million] to $7 [million] range,” Feldman said. “We’re also seeing an increase in activity in the $20 [million]-plus range. ... Some of these buyers we know are historically bona fide buyers and some of them we just don’t have a clue.”

He said one luxury property Joshua & Co. has listed recently received an offer of more than $20 million, but that the prospective sale is still in negotiation.

While the frenzied deal-making of the last four years is now a thing of the past, brokers are breathing a sigh of relief there is any deal-making at all.
 

This post was derived from an article in the Aspen Daily News which was authored by Troy Hooper.

Posted by rebecca on February 25, 2009 in
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Deal of the Week

Deal of the Week

561 Meadowood Drive, Aspen

Price $6.5million

Subdivision Meadowood

Total Heated Area 8,202 Square Feet

Characteristics 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms

Selling Agency Joshua & Co.

Posted by rebecca on February 24, 2009 in
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Skybeam Replaces Sopris Surfers

Skybeam Replaces Sopris Surfers
Sopris Surfers, the long standing provider of Internet services on the Western Slope, is merging with its sister company from the front range and will take their name of Skybeam.  The company offers high speed Internet and digital telephone service throughout much of Colorado.  There will be no cost increase to customers. 
Posted by rebecca on February 24, 2009 in
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Three days of luxurious events and goodwill marked the launch

Three days of luxurious events and goodwill marked the launch

February 21, 2009 (Aspen, Colorado, USA) – February 20 marked the successful finale of the much-anticipated, three-day worldwide launch of Aspen One, the first luxury timepiece introduced by Swiss-based company, Aspen Jewelry and Watches. Aspen One, the limited edition Swiss-made timepiece retailing for $38,900, is a tribute to Aspen’s rich heritage in its design and to its crown jewel, Aspen Mountain.  Aspen One LaunchPress from countries including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, and the US documented Aspen One events at a plethora of local establishments. The itinerary began with lunch at D-19, where musician John Oates, Aspen Film Executive Director Laura Thielen, former mayor Helen Kalin Klanderud, and Aspen Chamber’s Eric Klanderud made opening remarks about Aspen’s heritage. The press toured homes priced up to $60 million with Aspen realtors Gary Feldman and Joshua Saslove, and dined at Piñons. Press were the first to see the Aspen One timepiece at a media-only unveiling of not only Aspen One, but of the new www.aspenjewelryandwatches.com at Meridian Jewelers, the first of fifty exclusive retailers worldwide. Press then visited the Aspen One monument, which was placed on Aspen Mountain’s Black Diamond Lode, designed to display the names of each buyer, along with their number, which represents one virtual foot of Aspen Mountain’s 3,276 feet. The Aspen Mountain Club was the location of the launch event, where model and entrepreneur Elle Macpherson was presented with the diamond version of Aspen One, retailing at $49,900. With a multitude of press documenting the event, Elle presented the watch as a donation to representatives of two area nonprofits: Challenge Aspen CEO Houston Cowan and Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club (AVSC) Executive Director Mark Cole. 

“Challenge Aspen was honored to be a co-beneficiary with AVSC from the generous gift of the Aspen One watch given by Elle Macpherson and René van Ass, CEO of Aspen Jewelry and Watches,” says Cowan of Challenge Aspen. “The proceeds from this watch will scholarship more than 50 families with disabilities to enjoy Challenge Aspen’s winter and summer programs. Elle and René have truly helped us take the ‘Dis out of Disability’ for some very special young people.” As a result of the donation, the Aspen One watch will be presented in Washington DC at the Kennedy Center for the launch of Challenge America on June 8th, 2009. Vince Gill and Amy Grant along with other entertainers are hosting the event and Honorary Chairs are Former Presidents Carter, Bush Sr., Bill Clinton, along with Colin Powell, Bob Woodruff, and former Senator Bill Frist. Challenge America is a national movement to initiate and support programs and services to meet the needs of our returning wounded warriors and their families. “Aspen One is honored to be a part of this challenge and participate in this very important cause,” states René van Ass

Mark Cole states, “As a mother and skier, Elle knows how important it is for all children in the valley to have the opportunity to experience our mountains in winter.  Her wonderful generosity and the amazing cooperation from Aspen Jewelry and Watches means AVSC can help the many families who need support this year.  What a beautiful way for them to give back to the community which has become special to them.“ The second watch will be given to the Quality of Life Foundation, based in the Netherlands, which has already raised more than $10 million for children’s cancer research. The trip ended with lunch at Sneaky’s Tavern in Snowmass and dinner at the Hotel Jerome. Aspen One-The TimepieceFounder and CEO René van Ass states, “Aspen is internationally known for its natural beauty, perfect slopes, and the glamorous appeal of its famous visitors. Aspen is a brand…a very strong brand. Aspen Jewelry and Watches has been granted the worldwide license to use the Aspen name for the collections we are introducing, the first being Aspen One. By marketing this collection, we are marketing Aspen as it is...and what it was. We will emphasize Aspen’s rich history and we want people all over the world to fall in love with Aspen even more.” Images from the Berko collection are part of the Aspen One brochure. The precious Swiss-made timepiece, offered in four-color combinations of 18 kt white or rosé gold, carries unique features that communicate elements specific to Aspen. A specially-designed compass shows you where you are once on top of Aspen Mountain, and the watch tells you when it is time to change your ski-strap to your après-ski strap (done in a few seconds with a patent-pending technique similar to removing a ski from a boot) at four o’ clock. Orange is the color of the number four on the dial, which in the tradition of the Ute Indians, indicates prosperity, and it would be later known to represent mountain safety. Four is also the time that Aspen Mountain closes its lifts, marking the time for après ski. On the mountain and around town, Aspen One also presents gloves, specially designed to showcase the face of the watch.  

Aspen One Design and Technical Features:v  18kt goldv  Limited Edition: numbered 3,267 pieces with owners name inscriptionv  Case Size: 45 mmv  Water Resistance: 3 ATM (30 m)v  Glass watch front and inside: sapphirev  Glass compass and back: HR 900 (height resistant)v  Compass has a ring around it with engraved, Aspen-specific locations v  Movement: ETA chronograph automatic 2894-2 chronographv  Separate dials for seconds / minutes / hoursv  Size: round calibre 12 1/2’ (diameter 28.60 mm)v  Vibrations per hour: 28’800 (4 Hz)v  Jewels: 37v  Power reserve: approx. 42 hours (with chronograph OFF)v  Compass: Swiss Trek liquid floating discv  Aspen area indicationv  Temperature resistance: 50 ?C / 122 ?Fv  Straps: ski: calf skin / calf skinv  Après-ski: alligator skin / calf skinv  Change technique: watch “skibinding technique” - patent pendingv Gloves: Castelijn & Beerens U.S. deerskin watch gloves for Aspen Onev Unisex stylev Luxury case houses oldest map of Pitkin County and luxury glovesv Varieties in color champagne pink/caviar grayv Pricing ranges from $38,900 for red gold to $49,900 option to dress with white/champagne/black diamonds  For more information, visit www.aspenjewelryandwatches.com.

Posted by rebecca on February 23, 2009 in
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Whole Foods, Basalt Still in Limbo

Whole Foods, Basalt Still in Limbo

As the time nears for the developer to hand over a building shell to Whole Foods at the Willits Town Center, it becomes evident that the developer will default on their lease agreement.  The original lease stated that the developer would hand over a building shell to Whole Foods in June 2009, which they in turn would convert into a Whole Foods Grocery store, slated to open in last 2009 or early 2010.  However, driving by the property, it is evident that the hole in the ground will remain just that for an undisclosed amount of time.  The developer claims lack of funding has prohibited them from proceeding with construction on the building.  Defaulting the lease will allow Whole Foods to renegotiate their terms or terminate their contract all together.

 

Posted by rebecca on February 19, 2009 in
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New Emergency Warning System in Place in Pitkin County

New Emergency Warning System in Place in Pitkin County

An emergency notification system that aims to better inform the public during major crises and related events, debuted Friday in Pitkin County.  Officials refer to the new system as Pitkin Alert.

They system alerts residents and business owners via text messages, email wireless and standard telephones of major crises. 

People can register for the free alerts at www.pitkinalert.org.  Alert options range from severe weather alerts to road closures and evacuation notices. 

Posted by rebecca on February 16, 2009 in
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Sabra's Deli Provides an Alternative Lunch Option

Sabra's Deli Provides an Alternative Lunch Option
Sabra's Deli opened in June 2008 next to Clark's Market.  It fills a few niches in town: It is a much needed lunch spot, it is the only Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant in town.  They also serve a late breakfast and early dinner, which includes options such as falafels, kebabs, couscouses and more.  The counter service allows for a quick bite in town beyond a basic sandwich or slice of pizza.
Posted by rebecca on February 16, 2009 in
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Wienerstube Revised

Wienerstube Revised
Founded in 1956, the Aspen Wienerstube enjoyed decades of glory before heading into mediocrity over the past few years.  New owner Harald Neuwet, and Austiran-born chef and restaurateur purchased the 'Stube in July 2008.  You can't go wrong by ordering the most Austrian sounding items off of the menu - the schnitzels, the sausages and the pickled salads are all true to their Austrian roots.  For more information visit the Wienerstube website.
Posted by rebecca on February 16, 2009 in
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Real Estate Industry Consolidation

Real Estate Industry Consolidation

Over the past two weeks consolidation has hit the real estate industry in Aspen.  The first major announcement came last week that Joshua & Co. purchased Coates, Reid and Waldron, followed two days later by the news that Morris & Fyrwald purchased the franchise rights to Sotheby's.  Aspen Sotheby's, a local firm who once employed 50-60 brokers, is no longer in business.

The changes come as no surprise after a decline in  local real estate sales in 2008 drastically effected several local firms. 

Posted by rebecca on February 12, 2009 in
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January Snowfall Above Average

January Snowfall Above Average

January 2009 snowfall was almost double the average according to the city water department.  Exactly forty two inches of snow, or three and half feet  fell in January.  The average snowfall for January is twenty-two and a half inches.

Local ski hills recorded forty-eight to seventy-three inches of new snowfall in January.  Snowmass came out on top with a little over six feet of new snow and Aspen mountain recorded just under six feet of snow.

Posted by rebecca on February 12, 2009 in
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