April 2011

Snowmass Sale - April 25, 2011

Snowmass Sale - April 25, 2011

203 Blue Spruce Lane

Two Creeks

$6,400,000

Five bedrooms/five baths

$1,167 per square foot

Asking price $7,495,000

85% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on April 29, 2011 in
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Aspen Sales April 25, 2011

Aspen Sales April 25, 2011

800 Gibson Avenue, Unit B

$2,900,000

Four bedrooms/four baths

$849 per square foot

Asking price $2,995,000

97% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

 

 

Posted by gary on April 29, 2011 in
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Aspen Sales April 26, 2011

Aspen Sales April 26, 2011

Residences at the Little Nell

Unit F-407   $1,800,000

Unit F-600   $1,800,000

Unit F-500   $1,800,000

Unit F-400   $1,600,000

Photo by Gary Feldman

 

Posted by gary on April 29, 2011 in
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Aspen Sales April 26, 2011

Aspen Sales April 26, 2011

263 Park Avenue

Aspen

$6,462,000

Five bedrooms/six baths

$1,405 per square foot

Asking price $7,300,000

89% of asking price

1016 East Hyman, Unit 2

Aspen

$2,900,000

Four bedrooms/four baths

$1,195 per square foot

Asking price $3,400,000

85% of asking price

Riverview, Unit 9

$1,200,000

Two bedrooms/two baths

$1,111 per square foot

Asking price $1,435,000

84% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on April 29, 2011 in
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Aspen Sales April 15, 2011

Aspen Sales April 15, 2011

816/818 East Cooper

Aspen

$2,500,000

Two bedrooms/three baths

$797 per square foot

Asking price $2,750,000

Caribou Conominiums, Unit 5

Aspen

$1,800,000

Three bedrooms/two baths

$978 per square foot

Asking price $2,300,000

78% of asking price

Durant Condominiums, Unit 5, Bldg D

$1,725,000

Four bedrooms/three baths

$1,031 per square foot

Asking price $1,995,000

86% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman 

 

 

91% of asking price

Posted by gary on April 26, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale April 20, 2011

Aspen Sale April 20, 2011

Rome-Gik, Unit 1

617 N Fourth Street, Aspen

$2,025,000

Four bedrooms/three baths

$970 per square foot

Aspen price $2,250,000

90% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on April 25, 2011 in
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Aspen Sales April 22, 2011

Aspen Sales April 22, 2011

268 Mountain Laurel Drive, Unit A

Mountain Valley, Aspen

$2,500,000

Three bedrooms/three baths

$716 per square foot

Asking price $2,995,000

Residences at the Little Nell

Aspen

$1,800,000   Unit F-500

$1,300,000   Unit F-409

$1,300,000   Unit F-313

$1,300,000   Unit F-300

$1,170,000   Unit F-208

 

 

 

Posted by gary on April 25, 2011 in
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Significant Aspen Real Estate Closing - April 19, 2011

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closing - April 19, 2011

High Mesa Ranch

4001 Snowmass Creek Road, Old Snowmass

$13,250,000

200 acres; Main Residence with Pool and Pool House; Ranch Manager's Residence; Stable with Apartment

SOLD BY GARY FELDMAN

JOSHUA & CO.

Posted by gary on April 21, 2011 in
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Aspen Board of Realtors April, 2011 Observer

Aspen Board of Realtors April, 2011 Observer
ABOR ObserverApril 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 — Smaller Lift One proposal returns to P&ZPlans for a private club with lock off hotel rooms immediately below Lift 1A is expected to go before the Aspen Planning and Zoning Commission this month. The new plan is considerably smaller than the one approved conceptually by City Council last November, with 22 instead of 35 units and a little less than 85,000 square feet instead of 125,000. The proposal includes a restaurant, parking garage, affordable housing, public park improvements and a ski museum to be operated by the Aspen Historical Society. It also includes a skiing/snowboarding right-of-way through the middle of the property, allowing access all the way down to Dean Street. Chaffin Light, which is developing the property, would not purchase the Aspen Skiing Co.’s property at Lift 1A, and the lift would not move under the latest proposal.  Architecture firms rehiringPoss Architecture and Planning, Harry Teague Architects, Cottle Carr Yaw Architects and Design Workshop's Aspen branch have each hired three or four employees this winter, a sign that things are picking up.
The firms remain cautious about the business outlook, however. Bill Poss said he is getting more calls this year than last year from property owners in the Roaring Fork Valley who are considering building homes, but little actual activity. Partners in the other firms said business is up both locally and nationally.
 Housing board continues wrangling with uncooperative homeownerThe three-member housing board rejected a local homeowner’s attempt to buy his way out of a deed restriction on his property that is held by the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority (APCHA).

Owner Larry Lawrence has for years refused to comply with a deed restriction on his King Street duplex in the Astor subdivision, which requires him to house a local in a one-bedroom affordable housing unit.  Lawrence offered to buy a unit in an affordable housing complex proposed on W. Hyman Avenue in exchange for being released from the deed restriction. He has previously offered to pay the city $380,000 to be released.
 The board voted 3-0 to enforce the rules rather than accept the deal. Aspen affordable housing regulations heading to Supreme CourtThe question of whether the Aspen/Pitkin County Affordable Housing Authority violates a state ban on rent control will likely end up before the state Supreme Court.
The case involves a property at Aspen Highlands owned by Arnold Meyerstein and his California-based Meyerstein Trust. Meyerstein sued the housing authority in 2008, challenging the constitutionality of a deed restriction that requires he rent the units to music students at below-market rates.
 The basis of Meyerstein’s arguments has been a 2000 Supreme Court ruling in a Telluride case that said government-imposed rent controls were not legal. Meyerstein is arguing they aren’t legal in Aspen either, even if the developer or property owner agrees to them. The building was already deed restricted when Meyerstein bought it in the mid-2000s, and a law passed by the state Legislature in 2010 allows below-market rents through voluntary agreements between public entities and private land owners.   Meyerstein lost his case in district court, and the state Court of Appeals subsequently  upheld that ruling.  But Meyerstein’s attorney, Herb Klein, expects to challenge the ruling in state Supreme Court on the basis that Meyerstein didn’t voluntarily agree to the deed-restrictions in his buildings.
Stage 3 development poised to continue
A revised proposal for the half built building on the former site of the Stage 3 theater sailed past the Planning & Zoning Commission, after the new owner proposed significant revisions in the overall design and scope of the building. Jeff Cardot purchased the property at auction in August for $3.6 million. He subsequently eliminated plans for a roof-top deck that neighbors in the Concept 600 building were protesting. That change means the building’s tallest point, atop its elevator shaft, will now extend to just 38 feet, down from 50 feet in the original proposal. The building will shrink by about 2,400 square feet altogether, including a 19 percent reduction in the third-floor space due to increased setbacks and larger decks on the units.

Aspen City Council holds a first reading on the proposal on April 11, with a public hearing on April 25.
 First- to second-home transition continues in AspenThe recently released U.S. Census reveals that demographic trends under way in Aspen since the 1980s continued during the 2000s, with population increasing in neighborhoods where affordable housing is located and declining in neighborhoods dominated by free-market housing. The number of free market units that are used as second homes grew considerably. In 2000, Aspen had 4,354 housing units, with 1,451, or 33 percent, being used as second homes. The 2010 Census determined that Aspen’s overall unit count grew to 5,929 housing units with 2,413, or 41 percent, being used as second homes. Aspen's overall population increased from 5,914 at the start of the last decade to 6,658 in 2010. Insurer denies Jimmy’s New Year’s bombing claimThe Continental Divide Insurance Co. is seeking dismissal of a case brought in local court by Jimmy’s An American Bar & Grill with a motion arguing the restaurant did not have the necessary coverage to recoup losses stemming from the he New Year's Eve bomb threat of 2008.
Jimmy's was one of dozens of Aspen restaurants police evacuated that night, when Aspen resident Jim Blanning planted four homemade bombs in the downtown core. The explosives were detonated by a bomb squad, and nobody was injured, but the year's most lucrative night for Aspen bars and restaurants was ruined for scores of businesses.

Blanning, 71, was later found dead in vehicle from a self-inflicted gunshot on New Year's Day.
 Ski areas oppose daylight savings proposalColorado Ski Country USA, a trade association representing 22 resorts, is mounting opposition to a bill in the state legislature to put Colorado on permanent daylight savings time, claiming it would have widespread negative effects on Aspen’s tourism industry.

Bill Tomcich of Stay Aspen Snowmass argued that the bill would make flying into Aspen from the West Coast during winter more difficult and lead to onerous scheduling issues for airlines coming in and out of Colorado. He and other local businesses are urging state Sen. Gail Schwartz, of Snowmass Village, to oppose the bill and voice the concerns of ski areas. 

Crane up at Aspen hospital

Installation last month of a 150-foot crane on the Aspen Valley Hospital grounds signals the beginning of a multi-phase expansion project. The crane is powered by electricity and won't generate any notable sound, according to the hospital. A rotating light at the top of the crane is required by the Federal Aviation Administration for safety reasons. Aspen’s retail economy stabilizingThe January tax revenue report released by the city of Aspen’s finance department suggests that the local economy is stabilizing.  Sales tax revenues in Aspen were down 1 percent from 2010, and the transportation lodging tax is down 3 percent compared to last January. But year-to-date collections of the housing real estate transfer tax are up 31 percent from 2010.  Boomerang on back burnerThe group wanting to build a three-story, 46-unit building with 33 underground parking spaces at the former Boomerang Lodge site along West Hopkins Avenue, requested to continue the hearing in order to answer questions raised by City Council. The proposal has gone through months of delay as a result of complaints by neighbors who object to the design and parking plans. The proposal will go before City Council in June.
Bears out early
Mild weather over the first half of March is coaxing drowsy bears out of hibernation earlier than usual. Kevin Wright, an officer in the Aspen area for the Colorado Division of Wildlife, urged residents to adopt bear-friendly habits immediately. Once bears emerge, they are in a phase called walking hibernation where their digestive systems are limited after going months without eating anything or excreting much waste. After a couple of weeks, they get hungry. AACP nearly final?City and county officials released a new draft of the Aspen Area Community Plan based on input from recent public meetings, surveys and local business leaders. The public is invited look over and comment on the latest draft by logging on to www.aspencommunityvision.com. Four Planning and Zoning Commission reviews are scheduled in April and May; the first will be from 4:30-7:30 p.m. on April 12 in the Rio Grande meeting room.
Wheeler restaurant space goes to Fiercely Local; Valley Fine Art to remain
Fiercely Local, operators of Specialty Foods of Aspen & The Cheese Shop on East Hopkins Avenue, won the support of Mayor Mick Ireland and councilmen Steve Skadron and Torre, gaining the necessary three votes to secure the restaurant space currently occupied by Bentley’s. Part of the deal requires continued use of the neighboring retail space by Valley Fine Arts. Mayor, council races setThere are six City Council candidates in the upcoming election, including Scott Writer, Cliff Weiss, Marcia Goshorn, L.J. Erspamer, Adam Frisch and incumbent Steve Skadron. And three people are running for mayor, incumbent Mick Ireland is seeking a third and final term, with Andrew Kole and Ruth Kruger looking to unseat him. Mayoral terms are two years, while council terms are four years long. Aspen Area Community PlanYou are invited to attend the upcoming Planning and Zoning Commission public hearings beginning on April 12 at 4:30pm in the Rio Grande meeting room.  The complete schedule for public hearings is available on www.aspencommunityvision.com. 
Pitkin County —Opposition to Crystal mine proposal growsThe state Division of Wildlife, the Pitkin County Commissioners and two Crystal River Valley groups have come out against proposed year-round operations at an alabaster mine along the Crystal River.  Both the county and the state DOW submitted letters outlining objections to expansion of mining activity in above Avalanche Creek, an area 6 miles north of Redstone where access is currently limited in winter months to protect a struggling bighorn sheep population. The new owners are seeking approval for year-round operation and the ability to work underground 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with five permanent campsites for employees. County amending code to protect building rightsPitkin County Commissioners and staff are working on a code amendment to extend vesting rights that are set to expire in the first five months of 2011. There are ten such projects currently on the books. A similar extension last year protected the viability more than 50 residential development projects.

A yet-to-be-built, 15,000-square-foot West Buttermilk home facing expiration of its vesting rights was approved in 2005, before the county passed rules in 2006 capping home sizes at 5,750 square feet. If the approval expires and the home went through the process today, the developer would be required to purchase four transferable development rights.

Three commissioners — Rob Ittner, Michael Owsley and Rachel Richards — hope to extend the building deadlines for such projects, but force them to obey current laws, including paying for the additional development rights above the 5,750 square foot limit. Commissioners George Newman and Jack Hatfield disagreed and argued that the county should hold fast to the deadlines on projects expiring in 2011, forcing them back into the review process.
 Feds commit $9.1 million to runway extensionPitkin County secured a $9.1 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, allowing the planned extension of the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport runway to proceed this spring. Local money from the airport fund will be used to cap wells used by West Buttermilk homeowners and cover connection fees to Aspen’s system.  Construction began April 4 and is expected to be finished by November. The airport won’t be shut down, but some service disruptions in the fall are anticipated.

Airport redevelopment begins to take shapeOfficials are writing a 20-year master plan for the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, and holding ongoing public meetings seeking input from residents about their needs and preferences for the future. The future facility as currently envisioned may someday have a new terminal, new hangers and a 1,500-car parking garage.  Woody Creek caucus opposes pedestrian bridgeThe Woody Creek Caucus sent a letter to Pitkin County opposing the design of a proposed pedestrian bridge on the Rio Grande Trail, and its members are attempting to slow down a construction plan that is otherwise expected to break ground this summer.

The county commissioners and the open space board have approved a basic design for a prefabricated, 110-foot-long, 14-foot-wide bridge. It will built across the creek on a section of trail between Upper River Road and McLain Flats Road, which also is slated to be paved this summer. A railroad trestle once stood in the same spot.
 Open Space program moves into management modeFollowing a banner year of new land acquisitions in 2010, including the landmark $17 million Droste purchase, the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails program will likely devote most of its time this year on developing and implementing management it new properties.

The 850-acre Droste property is the centerpiece of 2,500 acres of contiguous public lands between Aspen and Snowmass Village. County open space officials are currently drafting a management plan that includes horse, hiking and biking access, as well as seasonal wildlife closures and habitat restoration projects.

County treasurer Tom Oken said that even though funds are tight, the county can still finance purchases by issuing bonds, borrowing from the general fund against future tax collections, or signing contracts to buy land while putting off payments until 2012 or beyond.
 Development slowdown slows down County CourthouseThe Pitkin County commissioners canceled one of their bi-weekly meetings last month due to a lack of items requiring a formal decision from the board. County Manager Jon Peacock credited the cancelation to the recession-caused slow-down in applications to build on and develop land, as well as the “natural ebb and flow of county government.”  Snowmass Village —Snowmass Mall, Center thriving compared to Base VillageRecently compiled sales-tax data indicates that while the Snowmass Mall was affected by the opening of Base Village, the older shopping and dining area remains the choice of most visitors for shopping and dining. And the local-serving Snowmass Center is the most vibrant in terms of sales per square foot.

The sales report shows that gross sales per square foot was $186 in Base Village for 2010; $279 in the Snowmass Mall; and $443 in the Snowmass Center, $443.

Sales per square foot in Base Village increase between 2009 and 2010, from $172 to $186. Over that same period, sales per square foot dropped slightly at Snowmass Mall businesses, from $281 to $279.
 Judge rules against Viceroy developerA district judge ruled that Viceroy Snowmass units were advertised as being larger than they actually were, and ordered the developer to pay the 65 buyers interest and attorney fees.  Judge Denise Lynch's latest ruling follows her March 1 order that the buyers get their deposits back and be able to terminate their purchase agreements.

“A reasonable buyer of a condominium unit would consider the square footage of the unit to be important in making a decision as to whether to buy the unit,” Lynch wrote in Wednesday's ruling, disagreeing with receiver Lowe Enterprises' position that the size of the unit was not material to the buyers' decision to purchase them.

The plaintiffs, who had sued developers — Base Village Owner LLC and Related Westpac Real Estate LLC — maintained that they were on the hook for between $7 million and $8 million in lost square footage because of the plat discrepancies.

Plaintiffs attorney Matt Ferguson said the interest his clients will receive approaches $3.9 million, plus another $1.5 million in attorney fees. He said the plaintiffs still plan to seek treble damages under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, along with other monetary awards.
 VP Biden praises veterans in SnowmassVice President Joe Biden delivered a brief speech to disabled veterans in Snowmass Village at the end of last month. Biden, who was in the area for a weekend vacation with his family, made no mention of current events such as the U.S. military's involvement in Libya. Rather, he paraphrased early passages from John Steinbeck's novel “East of Eden” to emphasize the sacrifices that have been made by U.S. military veterans. Timbers Club expansion notable in down economyThe success of the Timbers Club in Snowmass Village, which opened nearly a decade ago, has catapulted the Carbondale-based development company into a worldwide developer and operator of boutique, private resorts and residence clubs.

The company’s portfolio includes properties in mountain and ocean resorts at 10 locales around the world. The firm’s latest endeavor is the Sebastian hotel and residences club in Vail. The Marti family of Mexico bought the property in 2010, and following an $8 million renovation partnered with Timbers Resorts to manage it.
 Timbers Resorts employs 25 people in Carbondale and another 150 at its sites around the world. Base Village foreclosure delayedThe Snowmass Base Village foreclosure sale has been postponed until April 27 after the four lenders on the stalled project, led by Germany's Hypo Bank, requested the delay. The developers of Base Village are saddled with a $386 million debt, and the lenders are trying to put together a company that can take title on the project.  
Posted by gary on April 06, 2011 in
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Significant Aspen Real Estate Closing - April 4, 2011

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closing - April 4, 2011

200 West Hallam

Aspen

$12,300,000

Seven bedrooms/seven baths

$1,852 per square foot

Asking price $13,450,000

91% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on April 06, 2011 in
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