January 2011

Land Title'sDecember, 2010 Summary of Pitkin County Property Sales

Land Title'sDecember, 2010 Summary of Pitkin County Property Sales
  • $125,236,180 – total dollars for December, an increase of 54% from December 2009
  • 67 – total transactions for December, an increase of 11.7% from December 2009
  • For the year, $1,262,919,589 – an increase of 17.75% over 2009
  • For the year, 689 total transactions – a decrease of 1.9% from 2009
  • Aspen led the county in transactions for December with 36, Interval units accounted for 14, Basalt 6, Snowmass Village 5, Carbondale and Redstone each had 2, and Old Snowmass 1.  The remaining transaction for the month was a quit claim deed with a doc fee. 
  • For the year, Aspen led the county with 310 transactions; Interval units represented 176, Snowmass Village 96, Basalt 29, Redstone 18, Woody Creek 14, Old Snowmass 13, and Carbondale 12.  The remaining 21 transactions were quit claims with doc fees.
  • Aspen also led the county in dollars for December with $108.4 million, Carbondale followed with $6.6 million, Snowmass Village $5.7 million, Interval units $2.2 million, Redstone $920,000, Basalt $761,000, and Old Snowmass $650,000.  The remaining $8,000 was the quit claim transfer.
  • For the year, Aspen reported the highest transaction volume with $926.6 million, Snowmass Village followed with $176.9 million, Interval units $81.3 million, Carbondale $21.5 million, Old Snowmass $18.5 million, Woody Creek $17.2 million, Basalt $11 million and Redstone $6.7 million.  The remaining $3.2 million were quit claim transfers.
  • There were 2 bank owned transactions for December totaling $6.3 million – this represents 3% of the transactions and 5% of the dollars
  • For the year, there were a total of 13 bank owned sales totaling $19.3 million – this represents 1.9%of the annual transactions and 1.5% of the dollars
  • The average single family home sold price for 2010 was $4,341,199, a decrease of 11% from 2009’s $4,902,989
  • The median single family home sold price for 2010 was $3,175,000, an increase of 1% from 2009’s total of $3,153,088
  • Fractional dollar activity for December totaled $2,233,499 – a decrease of 11% from December 2009
  • Fractional transaction activity for December totaled 14 – an increase of 133% from December 2009
  • For the year, fractional dollars totaled $81,345,147 – a decrease of 55% from 2009
  • For the year, fractional units totaled 176 – a decrease of 35% from 2009
Posted by gary on January 31, 2011 in

Aspen Sale January 24, 2011

Aspen Sale January 24, 2011

Queen Victoria, Unit 204



Three bedrooms/two baths

$1,201 per square foot

Asking price $1,299,000

Photo by Gary Feldman 


Posted by gary on January 25, 2011 in

Aspen Sales January 20, 2011

Aspen Sales January 20, 2011

107 South Seventh Street



Five bedrooms/five baths

$958 per square foot

Asking price $9,950,000

201 South Seventh Street



Five bedrooms/four baths

$1,469 per square foot

Asking price $6,950,000

Photo by Gary Feldman



Posted by gary on January 24, 2011 in

Aspen Sale January 14, 2011

Aspen Sale January 14, 2011

Arrowhead Condominium, Unit B



Three bedrooms/three baths

$1,894 per square foot

Asking price $3,950,000

Posted by gary on January 24, 2011 in

Aspen Sale January 14, 2011

Aspen Sale January 14, 2011

1560 Silver King Drive



Four bedrooms/five baths

$979 per square foot

Asking price $5,350,000

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on January 24, 2011 in

Aspen Sales December 12, 2011

Aspen Sales December 12, 2011

Shadowview Condominiums, Unit C



Three bedrooms/Two baths

$835 per square foot

Asking price $1,655,000

Alpenblick Condominiums, Unit D-16


Three bedrooms/three baths

$1,085 per square foot

Asking $1,325,000

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on January 14, 2011 in

Aspen Board of Realtors January 2011 Observer

Aspen Board of Realtors January 2011 Observer
ABOR ObserverJanuary 2011 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 —Opt out of historic designation program added for post-WWII propertiesOwners of 34 post-World War II era properties that have been deemed as historic will likely be granted on opt out from the historic preservation program for 10 years.

The ordinance, set to be adopted by Aspen City Council early this year, requires homeowners of the 34 properties in question to go through up to a 120-day negotiation period if they plan significant renovations or demolition. The idea is to give the city time to negotiate an arrangement to protect the property as part of the local historic inventory in exchange for development bonuses and other considerations.
But it also allows homeowners who are on the list to opt out of the program for 10 years if they so choose.

Susie’s Limited site under new ownershipAustin Lawrence Partners — with principals Greg and Jane Hills — bought 623 E. Hopkins Ave. in November for $2.5 million. Three buildings sit on the property, including popular consignment store Susie’s Limited, a hair salon, and Susie’s on the Alley.  Susie’s proprietor Susan Harvey has leased the property for her consignment shop for 20 years. Greg Hills says he has not figured out how exactly his company plans to redevelop the property. In September, his firm also purchased 205 S. Spring St., the corner lot next to Susie’s, giving his development firm control of half of the East Hopkins Avenue block. Boomerang affordable housing plan advancesThe Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-1 to recommend that the Boomerang Lodge site on West Hopkins Avenue be used for an employee-housing development.

Critics of the project packed the meeting to air concerns about size and density, parking and the effects of a 46-unit building on a low-density neighborhood and street that is designated as a bicycle/pedestrian byway. The P&Z did recommend that the project architect study ways to reduce its overall size. City Council has the final say.
  2011 development fees still not setCity Council unanimously approved a new fee schedule that raises prices by a little less than 3 percent for services that range from dog licensing to use of the recreation center to cost of purchasing a mailing list. Community development fees for 2011 have not been set, however. The council is scheduled to to discuss a new fee schedule for development early this year.  More commercial space OK’d in renovated Crandall buildingA little used view of Aspen Mountain through the round window in the second story of the Crandall building at 630 E. Hyman Ave. will be closed to the public for good, once the building is renovated. City Council voted unanimously to allow the space to be remodeled to accommodate a commercial use.  The building, designed by Aspen artist Tom Benton, is home to Sandy’s Office Supply, the Aspen Barber Shop and other businesses. Once redeveloped, all of the commercial spaces will be deed restricted as affordable. A free-market penthouse planned on the top floor has been pre-sold.

Homeowner sues city over ResidencesThe owners of a home up hill from the Residences at Little Nell on Aspen Mountain filed a lawsuit against city officials last month, claiming building approvals for the fractionally-owned Residences were improper or illegal. Betty and Preston Henn allege the city’s building department did not follow city code, International Building Code and federal law when it signed off on the Residences construction. The crux of their claim is that city building officials should have known that excavation of a steeply sloped hillside would damage the homes situated uphill from the project.   What makes a berm?An Aspen homeowner on Homestake Drive and the city of Aspen have been in a legal dispute for two years over a berm in her front yard.

Carole Fisher filed a lawsuit in March 2008 after the officials told her to remove a built-up earthen mound in her front yard because it violated city rules barring man-made berms. Fisher’s suit points out the city granted her a certificate of occupancy in January 2007 without any mention of the front yard. The heart of the complaint is that the land use code does not specifically define a berm.

Planning and pre-sales effort delay Burlingame voteIt will be at least November 2011 before Aspen residents vote on whether the city should bond for $100 million to build phase two of the Burlingame Ranch affordable housing project. The city is currently developing detailed plans and construction estimates, and working toward a first-ever “pre-sales” program for affordable housing. The pre-sales effort to determine the level of community demand. Pitkin County —Agricultural structure allowances to increaseProposed regulations to allow larger agricultural buildings in Pitkin County are gaining traction with county commissioners, and may be codified early this year. A county staff proposal would allow up to 2,384 square feet for barns and other outbuildings on a 20-acre parcel, 3,978 square feet for a 35-acre parcel and 6,472 square feet for a 100-acre parcel.

The Snowmass-Capitol Creek Caucus has proposed 2,974 square feet on a 20-acre parcel, 5,498 square feet for a 35-acre parcel, and 7,462 square feet for a 100-acre agricultural property. The caucus proposal allows approximately 1,000 square feet for an equipment shed for any property of at least 20 acres, which is not part of the county proposal.

The county’s proposal for revising the code would also allow for hay storage and livestock “loafing sheds” — shelters where animals can get out of the elements. In addition, the definition of “livestock” would be broadened to include cows, horses or other animals kept or raised for “use, profit or pleasure.”
 Skico seeks significant property tax reductionsThe Aspen Skiing Company claims Pitkin County overvalued the Little Nell Hotel by more than $40 million, and has petitioned the Colorado Board of Assessment Appeals to reassign the property’s value.

A hefty property tax bill is at stake in the dispute — the company paid $598,516.32 in property taxes on the Little Nell for 2009, based on an assigned value of $82 million. In the 2007 assessment, the value of the Little Nell was set at $63 million, and since then, all 92 rooms have been renovated.
 If the Skico prevails, the hotel could be revalued at $40 million and its taxes returned.  The company is also trying to get the value lowered for two parcels at the base of Lift 1A in Aspen and for the Snowmass Club.  At Lift 1A, the county valued a 15,600 square foot parcel near at the top of Aspen Street at $2,340,000, and a 27,300-square-foot parcel in the Eames Addition Subdivision at $4,095,000; Skico maintains they are worth just $5,301 and $9,282, respectively. The Skico and the County will make their cases before the state board early this year.  Pitkin County to map orphan trails, easementsMore than 100 “orphan” easements — places where the public may not even know it has access to a trail or a stretch of river — will be the focus of a mapping effort this spring by the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails program.

Many of the easements were acquired by Pitkin County as part of long-ago land-use actions that secured trail connections through private property as part of land use approvals. They predate the formation of the Open Space and Trails Program, and thus have had no agency formally assigned to keep tabs on them.
 As it turns out, the orphan recreational easements outnumber the ones that Open Space and Trails has formally acquired during its two-decade existence. Most are associated with trails and fishing access, but some are winter-season Nordic skiing easements and at least one offers backcountry access. County acquires Droste ranchPitkin County used an emergency ordinance as the year closed to authorize a $17 million purchase of 841 acres of undeveloped land from Peter Droste and his family.

The Droste property forms a two-mile long ridge between the Owl Creek and Brush Creek valleys and is considered a key elk migration corridor each spring and fall.
 The cost will ultimately be covered by Pitkin County, Open Space and Trails, Great Outdoors Colorado, Snowmass Village, the city of Aspen, Aspen Valley Land Trust and private donors. Homeowners fight housing impact feeThe owners of a Lower River Road home have sued Pitkin County for “wrongfully and illegally assessing inflated employee housing impact fees upon numerous property owners and residents of Pitkin County for the past five years.”

The housing impact fees were codified in 2005 as a way of making developers pay for impacts that result when home of more than 5,750 square feet. A county study in 2000 showed that homes that size generate measureable employment and demand for housing from housekeepers, gardeners, nannies and other staff.
 The lawsuit was filed after community development officials declined a permit for an 1,100 square foot addition to the 9,900 square foot house until the homeowners paid $65,714 for housing mitigation. The suit argues that the fee should only apply to the addition, not the entire home. Starwood tree removal plan under scrutinyAspen-Sopris District Ranger Scott Snelson assured Pitkin County commissioners last month that a plan to remove 3,000 dead trees from Starwood subdivision is not a case of the Forest Service favoring the wealthy.

The project moved to the top of the list because private funds arranged by homeowners and the National Forest Foundation are available.

“Is the Forest Service policy, if an element of the community comes up with the money, they'll jump on it?” Commissioner Jack Hatfield asked pointedly. “Can the wealthy… can they buy access. Is that what this is?”

Snelson said the addition of the Starwood project represents the difference between doing a little in response to the beetle epidemic, or doing a little more; but it didn't “leapfrog” other planned work. The Forest Service is taking comments on the project until Jan. 18. The county has also raised concerns over plans to manage the dying forests on the four ski areas, which will be paid for by the Aspen Skiing Co. “Eco huts” proposed for Ashcroft areaJohn Wilcox, longtime owner of Ashcroft Ski Touring and the Pine Creek Cookhouse, wants to add eco cabins to his facility in upper Castle Creek Valley.

Wilcox is seeking approval to build 10 huts that would be rented by cross-country skiers during winters, and hikers and cyclists during summers. The huts would be between 600 to 1,000 square feet each. He also wants to convert the Star Peak Cabin, located at the end of Castle Creek Road, from a single-family residence to a luxury cabin available for rentals.
 Crowns buy Moore parcelThe Crown family of Chicago, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co., have purchased the 42-acre Moore parcel for $13 million.  The property, located off Maroon Creek Road between the Aspen Recreation Center and the Moore Open Space, is one of the last remaining large parcels in the Aspen area with development potential. The site contains one home built into a hill. It attracted six legitimate offers, including tenders from the Aspen Medical Foundation, Aspen Country Day School and the city’s open space program.  Foreclosures hit record levels in Pitkin, Garfield countiesA record number of foreclosures were processed in Pitkin and Garfield counties in 2010.  Pitkin County had 144 foreclosures, up from 105 in 2009. The previous record of 143 was set in 1982, when 143 properties went into foreclosure. In Garfield County, 632 properties went into foreclosure, shattering the record of 408 set in 2009.

Settlement allows gate at Mollie GibsonAn agreement negotiated between Pitkin County and three property owners at Smuggler Road and Sesame Street allows a gate to remain in place and puts a deed restriction barring development on the county-owned 1.6-acre Mollie Gibson Park parcel.  In exchange, landowners Alain DeGraeve, Thomas Figge and Chuck Rowars paid the county $950,000.  The agreement ends a five year dispute.

Airport raises landing, parking feesLanding fees are slated to increase 5.1 percent next year at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport. The landing fees are based on weight and apply to commercial and private aircraft.  Jim Elwood, the county airport director, said the hike shouldn't translate into higher airfares for consumers, which are set by market forces unrelated to landing fees.
Parking at the airport will also be more expensive next year. Lot A will carry a daily maximum of $12 per day, up from $10. Lot B will rise from $5 to $6.
  Snowmass Village —Ice Age “Tusk Force” appointedThe Snowmass Village Town Council announced appointments to an Ice Age “Tusk Force” to capitalize on this fall’s discovery of an ancient buried ecosystem in the Ziegler Reservoir.

The significant paleontological find includes tusks and teeth from mammoths and mastodons and the bones of a huge Ice Age bison and a Jefferson’s ground sloth, among other Ice Age treasures.

The task force will be charged with developing a business plan to take advantage of the discovery and provide an educational opportunities for children and adults.
 Task force members include:-                          Rhonda Bazil, attorney and an elected board member of the Snowmass Water and Sanitation District, which owns the reservoir.-                          Kirk Johnson, vice president of research and collections and the chief curator at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.-                          Russell Forrest, Snowmass Village town manager.-                          Susan Hamley, the town’s director of tourism.-                          Julie Ann Woods, former director of community development in Aspen.-                          Stan Kornasiewicz, the president of the Alpine Bank branch in Snowmass Village.-                          State Sen. Gail Schwartz will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee. The Town has yet to select members for a citizen-at-large seat or an educational seat. A facilitator will likely be hired to run the task force meetings. Viceroy settlement reached; viability questionedBuyers of 62 units at the Viceroy hotel who are part of a class action suit to extinguish their purchase and sale agreements and get $13.7 million in deposits back have reached a settlement with Base Village Owners (BVO), LLC, a subsidiary of developer Related Companies of New York. But objections by the project lender may derail the deal. The settlement, which took five months to negotiate, would give the prospective buyers their deposits back with minimal interest, and not the required 3 percent interest specified in their purchase and sale agreements. Attorneys for the prospective Viceroy buyers would waive about $500,000 in legal fees resulting from the 15-month-long legal fight. Hypo Real Estate Capital Corp. — which is now foreclosing on the stalled base area project — has legally objected to the proposed settlement.  Elk Camp to stay open till midnight despite wildlife concernsTown of Snowmass Village council members sided with the Aspen Skiing Co. over the Colorado Division of Wildlife about whether the on-mountain restaurant at Elk Camp should be able to host parties and other events late into the night.

DOW’s Kevin Wright said his agency was concerned that loud noise and lights would disturb area wildlife like elk, deer, coyotes and pine marten. The agency is particularly worried about increased recreational and development pressures on what was previously safe refuge for wildlife.

Skico planning director David Corbin said the company considers the issue a matter that has been settled with the Forest Service. He also pointed out that the on-mountain structure is “allowed by right in the master PUD.”
 The Town Council agreed to allow operations at Elk Camp to remain open until midnight, as the Skico requested. Development moratorium extended in Snowmass VillageThe Snowmass Village Town Council has extended a development moratorium on the Snowmass mall and the Snowmass Center for six more months, through June 2011.  The moratorium, which has been extended seven times, has been in effect since 2007 to allow the town to develop comprehensive plan and then amend the land use code.  Foreclosure pushed back in SnowmassThe foreclosure date for Base Village has been pushed back for the second time in as many months, and is now set for Jan. 26. The delays are the result of the parties involved wanting to make sure that everything is in order, according to Jim DeFrancia of Lowe Enterprises, the court-appointed receiver for the project.  More rooms at Viceroy available for rentalThere will be substantially more rooms available at the Viceroy this winter, because the court-appointed receiver of the property has determined that the disputed condominiums at the Viceroy Snowmass should be placed in the rental inventory. The determination adds 80 rooms to the 98 already available for rental.

DeFrancia now says Viceroy has met its obligations under the purchase contract by recording the condominium plats, although the buyers now claim the units are smaller than promised at the time of sale. Sixty-two buyers are currently suing to get out of their purchase agreements.

Posted by gary on January 08, 2011 in

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

Land Title's November, 2010 Summary of Pitkin County Property Sales
Summary for the month of November 
  • $118,441,223 – total dollars for the month – increase of 45% from November 2009
  • 66 – total transactions for the month – decrease of 8% from November 2009
  • Through November, dollars total $1,137,683,409 – increase of nearly 15% from same time period 2009
  • Through November, transactions total 622 – decrease of 3% from same time period 2009
  • Aspen captured 30 of the transactions, Interval units totaled 15, Redstone posted 8, Snowmass Village 6, Basalt 4, Woody Creek 2, and Carbondale 1
  • Aspen, Intervals, and Basalt each reported increases in transaction activity over October
  • Aspen dollars totaled $91.2 million, Snowmass $12.6 million, Woody Creek $5 million, Intervals $4 million, Carbondale $2 million, Redstone $1.9 million, and Basalt $1.8 million
  • There was a notable commercial sale totaling $17,750,000 for Benton Building Condos (Unit 1 & 2) – in Aspen
  • There were 2 sales in November that listed banks as the grantor totaling $575,000 in volume, representing 3% of the transactions and only .5% of the volume
  • The average single family home sold price in Pitkin County totals $4,328,538 through November, a decrease of 12% from full year 2009
  • The median single family home sold price in Pitkin County totals $3,175,000 through November, an increase of 1% from full year 2009
  • $3,986,718 – total interval dollars – a decrease of 27% November 2009
  • 15 – total interval transactions – a decrease of 25% from November 2009
  • Through November interval dollars total $79,111,648, a decrease of 56% from same time period 2009
  • Through November interval transactions total 162, a decrease of 39% from same time period 2009
Posted by gary on January 06, 2011 in

Snowmass Sale - January 4, 2011

Snowmass Sale - January 4, 2011

Interlude, Unit 302-A

Snowmass Village


Three bedrooms/Three baths

$615 per square foot

Asking $1,195,000

Photo by Taylor Feldman

Posted by gary on January 05, 2011 in

Aspen Sales January 3, 2011

Aspen Sales January 3, 2011

1205 Tiehack Road

Maroon Creek Club, Aspen


Four bedrooms/Five baths

$647 per square foot

Asking price $4,475,000

670 Moore Drive

Five Trees, Aspen


Building Site

Asking price $1,995,000


Posted by gary on January 05, 2011 in