December 2010

Crown Family Buys Moore Parcel

Crown Family Buys Moore Parcel

The Crown family of Chicago, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co., along with other business interests in hotels, sports teams and other holdings, have purchased the 42-acre Moore parcel between the Aspen Recreation Center and the Moore Open Space, for $13 million.

The land is accessed by a semi-hidden dirt road across Maroon Creek Road from the Aspen football stadium and is one of the last remaining large parcels of land in the Aspen area with development potential.

Other potential buyers included the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation and Aspen Country Day School.

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on December 09, 2010 in

Aspen Sale December 8, 2010

Aspen Sale December 8, 2010

1395 Sierra Vista

Cemetery Lane Neighborhood


$644 per square foot

4 bedroom/4 bath half-duplex

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on December 09, 2010 in

Land Title's October, 2010 Summary of Pitkin County Property Sales

Land Title's October, 2010 Summary of Pitkin County Property Sales
Summary for the Month of October
  • $197,043,696 - total dollar volume for October, an increase of 55.63% from October 2009
    • Included in this total are some notable sales detailed below
  • 56 - total transactions for the month of October, a decrease of 28.21% from October 2009
  • $1,019,242,186 – total dollar volume through October, an increase of 12% from last 2009, same time period
  • 556 – total transactions through October, a decrease of 2.46% from same time period of 2009
  • Activity was the highest  for the county this month in Aspen with a reported 25 transactions and $159 million, Interval Units captured 13 of the transactions and nearly $3 million, Snowmass Village reported 8 transactions and $20.5 million, Carbondale reported 4 transactions totaling $9.1 million, Woody Creek also reported 4 transactions and $4.6 million, Old Snowmass and Basalt each reported 1 transaction with $650,000 and $188,042, respectively
  • Snowmass Village and Woody Creek were the only areas within Pitkin County that posted increases to both transactions and dollar volume over September
  • Notable sales for the month include:
    • $70 Million Commercial in Aspen Zone 1 (Aspen Residence Club & Hotel), $31.5 million Single Family Residence in Aspen Zone 1 (West Buttermilk Pfister), and a $11.9 million Single Family Residence in Snowmass Village (Hidden Meadows at Snowmass)
  • There was 1 bank owned sale for the month, this was a condo in Snowmass Village, totaling $565,000.  This represented 2% of the transactions and .3% of the dollar volume
  • The average single family home sold price through October totals $4,902,989, which is a decrease of 8% from 2009’s full year total of $4,902,989
  • The median single family home sold price through October totals $3.5 million, which is an increase of 11% from full year 2009’s total of $3,153,088
  • Fractional dollar volume for October totaled nearly $3 million, which is a decrease of 75% from October 2009
  • Fractional transactions totaled 13, a decrease of 58% from October 2009
  • Through October, fractional dollars total $75.1 million, a decrease of 57% same time period 2009
  • Through October, fractional transactions total 147, a decrease of 40% from same time period 2009
Posted by gary on December 06, 2010 in

Aspen Board of Realtors November 2010 Observer

Aspen Board of Realtors November 2010 Observer
ABOR ObserverDecember 2010 A rundown of the government and business activity over the last month, with particular focus on issues and items that are important to the Real Estate community. Aspen —$1.4 million ACRA marketing budget to be spread widelyThe Aspen Chamber Resort Association received City Council approval for a $1.4 million marketing budget, which includes funding increases for special events, public relations and advertising.

The budget is 50 percent larger than the 2010 budget of $950,000 and nearly three times the size of ACRA’s traditional destination marketing budget of between $500,000 and $600,000. The extra money comes with the approval of voters, who voted in favor a temporary sales tax increase dedicated to marketing.

ACRA officials said the increased funds will intensify current efforts and allow them to bring on better website and mobile marketing technology. ACRA also will try its hand at marketing the resort in the winter, which has primarily been the Aspen Skiing Co.’s job in the past.  Lift One Lodge back in playThe Lift One Lodge, a timeshare project planned for the base of Aspen Mountain, is back in the approval process after more than a year in hiatus.

If approved, the Lift One Lodge would bring 35 timeshare condos, restaurants, retail shops, a ski museum and affordable housing to South Aspen Street at the base of Lift 1A. The three main buildings of the lodge total 114,000 square feet.

The project also would result in a new high-speed 1A chairlift that starts 160 feet further up hill, as well as a new surface-tow ski lift running through Willoughby and Lift One parks to the new lift’s terminal.

Aspen City Council on a 3-1 vote gave the project conceptual approval in November 2009.
 Fee increases under reviewThe Aspen City Council is scheduled to consider a wide range of fee increases at its Dec. 6 meeting.  The city staff has proposed raising fees in a wide range of departments, from the cost of playing at the golf course and the Aspen Recreation Center to development application and permitting fees charged by Community Development. Jazz Aspen Snowmass hires consultantJazz Aspen Snowmass has hired AEG Live, a division of Anschutz Entertainment Group, to assist in programming the Labor Day weekend shows in Snowmass.

AEG Live, which owns KSPN and KNFO, has recently promoted concert tours for the Black Eyed Peas, Britney Spears, and Paul McCartney. It co-produces the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and owns a number entertainment facilities around the world, including the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles and the O2 arena in London.

JAS will continue to present its June Festival on its own and will remain an independent nonprofit organization. Given proposal concerns Hallam Lake supporters A prospective buyer has come forward with a proposal that would preserve the Given Institute building by subdividing its campus into four parcels, three with new 5,000-square-foot homes. But the proposal has met some public opposition, primarily over concerns about the plan would impact the Hallam Lake Nature Preserve.
“Three homes would be a significant impact on the wildlife preserve that is not there today,” said Aspen Center for Environmental Studies director Tom Cardamone. He did not say whether he was in favor of the deal or not, and the ACES board has yet to discuss the matter.
The city’s planning and zoning and historic preservation commissions are set to review the proposal in January before making a recommendation to City Council.
 Lodging, sales tax up through SeptemberThe city of Aspen’s latest consumption sales tax report suggests that the local economy is improving. Taxable sales for 2010 show that Aspen is up 4 percent through September. Lodging tax collections through September 2010 are up 10 percent compared to 2009, according to the city’s report. City Council OKs legal expenses for building inspectorsAspen City Council  approved $50,000 to fund the defense of two building inspectors charged in the deaths of a family of four from carbon monoxide poisoning in Nov. 2008.
The deaths resulted from a broken pipe that was part of the home’s snowmelt system. The prosecutor’s office alleges that Erik Peltonen and Brian Pawl, building inspectors for the city and county, are criminally responsible for the deaths.
Peltonen and Martin Brown, owner of Roaring Fork Plumbing and Heating, are charged with four felony counts of criminally negligent homicide. Pawl is facing misdemeanor charges. First female patroller diesRoine St. Andre, Aspen’s first female ski patroller and an outspoken voice on local affairs, died from cancer last month at age 68.

St. Andre was born in Aspen to a family with roots going back to the silver mining days. She worked for the Aspen Skiing Co. for 37 years, patrolling on Buttermilk for 29 years, three of those as patrol director.  Fellow ski patrollers are mounting an effort to honor St. Andre by having a currently-unnamed line on Buttermilk Tiehack named “Ro’s Romp.”
  Pitkin County —                        Emergency funding OK’d for Droste purchaseAn emergency ordinance to borrow up to $10 million for the purchase of the Droste open space won initial approval from Pitkin County commissioners at the end of November. The ordinance allows the county to issue the bonds this year if necessary.

Open space officials are pushing to nail down the Droste land purchase even before the scheduled Dec. 29 closing date. Snowmass Village, where voters OK'd a property tax to collect $2 million toward what will be an $18 million acquisition, is threatening to pull out of the deal if it is not confirmed by Dec. 13.

The deal has been delayed by title issues related to a lawsuit filed by a Virgin Islands company that loaned money to the Droste family in 2005.
 County names airport facilities groupA county-appointed committee to look at the existing terminal and other facilities at Pitkin County Airport, and act as a “sounding board” for staff and consultants working on a master plan, includes members who have a financial stake in the outcomes.

The committee includes business concerns at the airport such as Atlantic Aviation, the fixed-base operator; SkyWest Airlines, Hertz, Netjets, DOM Pacific Jet Aviation which wants a hanger at Sardy Field and A-J Aviation which wants to become the second fixed-base operator.

The panel also includes representatives from Basalt, Aspen and Snowmass Village, plus the Aspen Skiing Co., Aspen Chamber Resort Association, Roaring Fork Transportation Authority and neighborhoods near the airport. The Federal Aviation Administration will participate as well.

It is scheduled to hold its first meeting Dec. 9.
 Open space looks to preserve fishing accessPitkin County is purchasing 2.72 acres of land along the Roaring Fork River near Basalt to preserve fishing access along both sides of the river for more than 1,000 feet.

The parcel is a small piece that is separate from the main parcel of the Cerise family’s St. Judes Ranch, on northeast side of the river just above the upper Highway 82 bypass bridge in Basalt. The deal includes a fishing easement on the other side of the river.

Woody Creek Trailer Park considers taxing districtResidents of the Woody Creek trailer court appear to be in favor of establishing a special taxing district to repay a loan for infrastructure improvements.

The HOA is on the hook for $2.8 million in loans for capital improvements including irrigation and landscaping. Many residents have been unable or unwilling to pay the $340 monthly fee needed to repay the loan.

If residents approve the metropolitan district, the loan would instead be repaid through additional property taxes over a 15-year period.
 Hidden Gems Wilderness endorsed by BOCCThe Pitkin County commissioners voted 4-0 to endorse the local portion of the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal, capping over a year of public debate on a plan to designate more than 64,000 acres of local forest as federal wilderness — the strictest available land designation.

A crowd of about 50 members of the public broke into spontaneous applause after the unanimous vote in favor of the sometimes controversial proposal. Wilderness Workshop’s Sloan Shoemaker said the endorsement allows the proposal to move on for review and possible introduction by Congressman-elect Scott Tipton.
 The Gunnison County commissioners recently directed their staff to draft a letter in support of protecting 36,000 acres there with wilderness designation. Air traffic drops 18 percent in OctoberThe Federal Aviation Administration’s ongoing troubles with replacing navigation equipment last month led to an 18 percent drop in passenger volume this past October, when compared to October 2009.

The decline bucked a year-long trend of increased passenger loads in and out of Pitkin County, which is poised to be the highest since 1998. Through the end of October, the county airport has had more than 200,600 enplanements, up 4.4 percent when compared to the first 10 months of 2009.
 Hunter Creek trail extension mulledEasements acquired by Pitkin County Open Space and Trails allow for the extension of the Hunter Creek Trail into town where it will link up with the Rio Grande Trail. 

The project is in the county's work plan in 2012, but Open Space and Trails is hoping to move that up a year with the help of the city. The project's $200,000 cost, which will be paid for with county open space funds, includes a bridge to link the existing Hunter Creek Trail to the extension on the north side of the creek.
 Congressman-elect to meet with county, RFTACongressman-elect Scott Tipton, the Republican from Cortez who unseated incumbent John Salazar earlier this month, will meet with local leaders on Dec. 17.
Commissioner Michael Owsley, who reached out to Tipton’s office following the election, has set up two meetings, one with the county commissioner and another with Roaring Fork Transportation Authority leaders. The transit agency is counting on $24.16 million in federal funds that would match voter-approved local tax collections to implement the valley’s bus rapid transit system.

New county manager namedJon Peacock, former Mesa County administrator, is expected  to take over as county manager in Pitkin County in early 2011, succeeding longtime manager Hilary Fletcher who left in September for the private sector. Peacock, 39, served in the Mesa County post from 2005 to 2010, stepping down in July to attend to family matters.  Snowmass Village —Dinosaurs power Snowmass Village PRSnowmass Village got a fresh shot of national and statewide publicity just before the big storms rolled into the Central Rockies in mid-November, when the Denver Museum of Nature and Science held a press conference to tout the fossils pulled from the Ziegler Reservoir this fall.

It was the first time the Snowmass bones had been displayed in Denver for the media.

“Not only will [the find] completely shape our understanding of life in the Rockies during the Ice Age, but it will become forever iconic for the kids of Colorado,” said Dr. Kirk Johnson, the museum’s chief curator and vice president of research and collections in a press release.

The updated list includes eight to 10 American mastodons, four Columbian mammoths, two Ice Age deer, four Ice Age bison, one Jefferson’s ground sloth, one tiger salamander, and “distinctly chewed wood that provides evidence of Ice Age beavers.”

Crews also found iridescent beetles, snails, and microscopic crustaceans called ostracods, as well as large quantities of well-preserved wood, seeds, cones, and leaves of white spruce, sub-alpine fir, sedges, seeds, and other plants.
 New Elk Camp restaurant envisionedThe Aspen Skiing Co. is seeking permission to build a new restaurant at the base of Elk Camp to replace Café Suzanne.

The proposed building is the same size as the existing 17,500-square-foot Café Suzanne building, but would be moved across the hill and wrapped around the upper gondola terminal. That would allow it to function as both a 250-seat restaurant and a special event hall for private groups. It would operate winter and summer, day and night.
The new building includes a 4,345-square-foot great room, with a 43-foot-high peaked roof to help capture views up the mountain of Hanging Valley.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) has recommended that the building should be open no later than 10 p.m., and not midnight as proposed by SkiCo. DOW and the U.S. Forest Service are responsible for wildlife in the area, including the Burnt Mountain elk herd.
 Base Village take over likelyJim DeFrancia, the receiver for the foreclosed Snowmass Base Village, expects a consortium of European banks to gain control of the project this month and then ask his firm to develop a plan to sell the assets.

A foreclosure auction for the one-million-square foot Base Village project, with 610 approved ski-in, ski-out condos and condo/hotel rooms, has been set for Dec. 15. DeFrancia expects Hypo Real Estate Capital Corp. in its lead role for the European banks, to submit a “creditor’s bid” for $387 million and gain full control of the Base Village project.

If the Hypo-led consortium takes ownership, Lowe Enterprises could be hired to serve as project manager and master developer for Base Village. The job likely would include finding buyers for different parts of Base Village in the coming year.
Posted by gary on December 06, 2010 in

Daily Update of Significant Sales

Daily Update of Significant Sales
Finally, after two years of slow sales, recent real estate activity warrants a daily update of significant sales.  Starting today, all Aspen and Snowmass Village real estate sales will be reported as soon as they are announced.  Actual street addresses and actual price per square foot information will be included.
Posted by gary on December 06, 2010 in

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings - November 15 through November 30, 2010

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closings - November 15 through November 30, 2010

69 Shady Lane



Building Site

900 Waters Avenue



$1,435 Per Square Foot

West End Townhomes, Unit 102



$1,574 Per Square Foot

232 Woods Road



$607 Per Square Foot

Silverstream Townhomes, Unit 1



$1,082 Per Square Foot

215 Maple Ridge Lane

Snowmass Village


$522 Per Square Foot

Aspen West Condos, Unit 5



$1,161 Per Square Foot

Shadow Mountain Village, Unit 16



$1,223 Per Square Foot

Park Central West, Unit 1



$1,073 Per Square Foot

Aspen Alps South, Unit 304



$864 Per Square Foot

Aspen Alps West, Unit 205



$857 Per Square Foot

Posted by gary on December 06, 2010 in