May 2011

Aspen Sale May 23, 2011

Aspen Sale May 23, 2011

Mountain Queen, Unit 2



 $1,923 per square foot

Three bedrooms/three baths

Asking price $3,365,000

98% of asking price


Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on May 25, 2011 in

Snowmass Sale - April 26, 2011

Snowmass Sale - April 26, 2011

Stonebridge, Unit 644

Snowmass Village


$1,019 per square foot

Four bedrooms/three baths

Asking price $1,985,000

94% of asking price

Photo by Taylor Feldman

Posted by gary on May 25, 2011 in

Aspen Sale May 16, 2011

Aspen Sale May 16, 2011

Old Hundred, Unit E-113



Three bedrooms/three baths

$1,186 per square foot

Asking price $1,750,000

91% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on May 25, 2011 in

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closing - May 17, 2011

Significant Aspen Real Estate Closing - May 17, 2011

455 Thunderbowl Lane

Aspen Highlands


Five bedrooms/six baths

$1,640 per square foot

Asking price $15,200,000

92% of asking price

Posted by gary on May 25, 2011 in

Aspen Sales May 12, 2011

Aspen Sales May 12, 2011

979 Red Mountain Road



Four bedrooms/Four baths

$878 per square foot

Asking price $5,995,000

88% of asking price

Obermeyer Place, Unit 301



Two bedrooms/three baths

$1,480 per square foot

Asking price $4,300,000

93% of asking price

1260 Red Butte Drive



Asking price $3,250,000

78% of asking price

Alpenblick Townhouses, Unit 8B



Three bedrooms/three baths

$1,265 per square foot

89% of asking price

Fasching Haus, Unit 230/330



Two bedrooms/three baths

$796 per square foot

80% of asking price

Posted by gary on May 25, 2011 in

Joshua & Co. Joins Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®

Joshua & Co. Joins Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®

Joshua & Co. Joins Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®

Exquisite Property Provider Also Aligns with Luxury Portfolio InternationalTM


Chicago, IL (5/16/11)  - One of Aspen's most prevalent luxury real estate companies, Joshua & Co., has been selected as the newest member of Chicago-based Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. Joshua & Co. offers luxury rentals, estate and management & concierge services, a luxury ranch division and is known as Aspen's undisputed luxury real estate leader.


"Joshua & Co., which provides access to more than 850 real estate offices in over 40 countries, is now a LeadingRE affiliate," announced Joshua Saslove. "Being recognized as an elite independent real estate brokerage among the competition is what Joshua & Co. strives to maintain."


Pam O'Connor, president/CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® states, "Joshua & Co. is an exceptional brand in Aspen. Their sophisticated demographic and knowledgeable leadership, coupled with their exclusivity of clientele and properties, makes them a desired addition to LeadingRE."


Joshua & Co. has also joined Luxury Portfolio InternationalTM, an elite group of 200 companies within LeadingRE catering to the world's luxury property owners. Luxury Portfolio markets more listings over $1 million than any other luxury real estate network.


"Luxury Portfolio InternationalTM was essential to us joining LeadingRE," said Mr. Saslove. "It's unmatched in the global arena. Their online inventory of over $35 billion in luxury homes and the amazing amount of high net worth visitors that utilize will aide in attracting our desired affluent audience." 


"I am very excited to have Joshua & Co. join our network," notes Paul Boomsma, president of Luxury Portfolio. "Organizations like theirs, which harbors the most sought-after real estate in the world, are what help define Luxury Portfolio as an international brand. We believe the partnership will be exceedingly beneficial on both ends."

Posted by Lauren on May 16, 2011 in

Aspen Board of Realtors May Observor

Aspen Board of Realtors May Observor

ABOR Observer

May 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.



Mortgage Interest Deduction (Affecting Second Home Owners): NAR opposes any changes that would limit or undermine current law...

Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) harms creditworthy borrowers and housing recovery: In the midst of a very fragile housing recovery, the government is throwing a devastating, unnecessary and very expensive wrench into the American dream...


HB 1132 On-bill Financing for Energy Efficiency Improvements - OPPOSE - by Rep. Pete Lee (D-Colorado Springs) was postponed indefinitely by the House Transportation Committee. This bill would have allowed a public utility to finance the up-front costs of making one or more energy efficiency improvements to real property and to have the property owner repay the financing over time through direct charges on the owner's utility bills. The bill did not take into account a customer's credit worthiness and created a lien on real property that automatically transferred upon conveyance. Click here for Talking Points 

ABOR Exclusive -

Snowmass Village set to deny Fanny Hill Town Homes

The Town of Snowmass Village is poised to deny a proposal by the Aspen Skiing Co. to build a 10-unit townhome complex on Fanny Hill.


The Fanny Hill Townhomes were originally approved in 2004 as part of the Base Village approval, but that approval dictated that they were not to be built until considerably more of the overall Base Village project was complete.


The original idea behind the phased approval was to create triggers that gave the developer incentives to complete infrastructure and community amenities as they pulled permits for more lucrative free market components of the development.


Even though the land in question was not sold by the Skico as part of the Base Village sale five years ago to Westpack, the conditions of approval remained intact.  In short, the land that Skico wants to develop is tied to progress at the bankrupt Base Village project.


The Fanny Hill Townhomes are not supposed to be built until substantial curb and gutter improvements are completed on Wood Road, sufficient sewage capacity was installed to service that portion of the Base Village project, and a new bridge is built. Additionally, the town aqua center is supposed to be finished before a building permit is completed.


None of those required investments have been made, and both the Planning Commission and the town staff recommended against amending the original approvals.


Skico did not offer to complete the required improvements as part of its request for an amendment to the PUD. Instead, it offered to improve the pick-up and drop-off area next to Building 7, and to cover operating costs for the Skittles and Elk Camp gondolas for the next three years.


"This is a commitment from us that SV is still open for business," said Skico vice president of real estate Don Shuster. "The largest employer is investing in the community with capital and risk that nobody else will - or can."


But Town Council members were not willing at their May 2 hearing to consider abandoning the original conditions of approval, and the incentives they create for the Skico and whoever ends up owning the Base Village property to complete the necessary infrastructure improvements.


"I'm satisfied that this does not represent an enhancement to the original PUD," said Councilman Fred Kucker. He was joined by Mayor Bill Boineau and Councilmember Jason Haber in directing staff to draw up a resolution of denial.


"For the council to deny this small project - and you have to admit this is a small project - really shows anyone who is interested in investing in Base Village that Snowmass is not an easy place to do business," Skico attorney Dave Bellack warned. "If you can't get a 10-townhome project approved, you would be out of your mind to invest in Base Village."


Kucker rejected that logic, saying this denial had nothing to do with the overall Base Village project. Once the ownership issues are settled, the developer will find that this council is very willing to work with them to get the project completed. 



Given gone

A demolition crew tore down the Given Institute, a conference center owned and operated for nearly 40 years by the University of Colorado medical school. The demolition was required to close the deal between the university and Jonathan Lewis, who bought the 2.25-acre site overlooking Hallam Lake for $13.8 million. Lewis has not been specific about his future plans with the property.


Aspen, Pitkin County reject Centennial's free market appeal

Centennial Homeowners Association (HOA) representatives pushed local elected officials for removal of affordable housing deed restrictions and asked for millions of dollars in city and county subsidies to repair mold and water damage. Both requests were rejected, despite a study commissioned by the HOA indicates the units require $10 million, more than $100,000 per unit, to repair the damage from inadequate drainage and subpar seals.


City-hired experts told council members and commissioners that the repairs should cost closer to $7,000 per unit, or less than $700,000 total. The city's plan calls for spot repairs where problems currently exist, while the HOA wants more extensive repairs and replacement and new windows throughout the entire complex.

The city and county agreed to spend $50,000 to assess the situation.


City agrees to full environmental review for hydro plant

City Council withdrew its request for a "conduit exemption" from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the proposed hydro power plant on Castle Creek. The decision means the project will go through a more stringent licensing process that requires environmental review and federal oversight of the plant.


Opposition from Pitkin County government, the nonprofit conservation group American Rivers, neighbors and local environmental leaders like Connie Harvey and Will Roush led to the change. They were concerned that the plant would draw too much water from Maroon and Castle creeks.

City says Jerome owners acted fraudulently

In its tax dispute with the owners of the Hotel Jerome, the city of Aspen claims the ownership groups undertook a "fraudulent conveyance" of the property as part of a broader scheme to avoid paying a $405,000 real estate transfer tax.

According to documents filed in district court, Jerome Property LLC took the unusual step of foreclosing against its wholly-owned subsidiary, Jerome Ventures LLC, after the city determined the sale of the Hotel Jerome wasn't exempt from its 1.5 percent Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT).


The two limited liability companies contend that the foreclosure "extinguished" any lien for a RETT the city may have held. The city claims otherwise.


Planning commissioners answer AACP concerns

A panel comprised of members of the real estate and development communities, speaking at the Aspen Business Luncheon, called on the city and county governments to put the brakes on the rewrite of the Aspen Area Community Plan to allow for extensive changes.

Construction company owner John Olson said he interpreted the AACP to be an "absolute freeze" on development or construction.  Former City Councilman Tim Semrau criticized what he said were the plan's outdated economic assumptions. Broker Penny Evans Carruth said the regulations and policies will negatively affect market values, and potentially put her out of business.

All of the panelists believe the AACP should be an advisory document, with no regulatory authority. They also expressed concern about the document's language on "mass," "scale" and "character."


However, the people who have been working for two years on revisions to the AACP - planning commissioners from the city and county - say it accurately reflects the expectations of the overall community. Those expectations were measured through a series of small- and large-group public meetings, "clicker sessions" with very large groups of citizens and second homeowners, and resident surveys.


City P&Z Chairman Stan Gibbs challenged the idea that the plan should be revised to reflect current economic conditions, as some critics like Semrau have suggested. Gibbs pointed out that the AACP is a 10-year plan that needs to remain relevant through different times and economic conditions. "I feel it would be a mistake for us to believe that basing any of our output on the current economic state would be any more valid than doing it on the 2007 economic state," he said.


The commissioners also said that the plan is primarily an advisory document, with action items that call for amendments to the land use code, which requires further legislative review.


Comments are still being accepted. Copies can be picked up at City Hall or downloaded at


Dancing Bear developers sue lender

A complaint in U.S. Bankruptcy Court against WestLB - filed by DB Capital Holdings LLC, Dancing Bear Development LP and Dancing Bear Land LLC - accuses the German lender of causing the fractional-ownership project kitty corner to Wagner Park in Aspen to go bankrupt and lose millions of dollars.


The suit seeks at least $30 million from WestLB, which is accused of defrauding the Dancing Bear concerns through a loan-to-own scheme that led to bankruptcy and foreclosure.

The complaint also says publicity about Dancing Bear's struggles have spooked potential buyers and it will cost the firm millions of dollars to re-establish its position locally and in the industry through a marketing and public relations campaign.


Stage 3 site redesign OK'd

Aspen City Council approved the redesign at 625 E. Main St., opening up the possibility that work on the idle, half-finished construction site will resume this year.


The revised approval allows three free-market condos instead of five, and two family-friendly affordable housing units instead of five smaller units. All of the residential units will be larger. Commercial space will be included on the basement, first and second floors. The amended plan eliminates a fourth-floor rooftop deck, which had been a concern for residents of the nearby Concept 600.


Museum construction on hold while fundraising continues

As of April 4, the Aspen Art Museum had raised $35 million in pledges for a new museum son the site of what was once the Weinerstübe Restaurant.  Museum Director Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson said $50 million is needed before construction starts - $30 million for the new 30,000-square-foot building, and $20 million for an endowment. She hopes construction will begin later this year.


Election delays Lift One Lodge review

Chaffin and Light's proposal to build 27 units below Lift 1A at the base of Aspen Mountain was put on hold until after this spring's municipal election. Two members of the Planning and Zoning Commission, Cliff Weiss and Marsh Goshorn, are running for City Council. If they were to review the application as P&Z members, they would be not be able to do so as Council members.


Valley Fine Art to stay at Wheeler

Valley Fine Art will be offered a 500-square-foot retail storefront on the Mill Street side of the Wheeler Opera House. That is a smaller space than currently occupied by the gallery. The lease is being reworked as part of a plan to remodel the restaurant and retail portions of the Wheeler and bring in a new restaurant operator.

Economy shows signs of growth

Aspen's sales tax revenues indicate a 1 percent rise in retail sales this February when compared with February 2010. Collections on the two real estate transfer taxes in Pitkin County are up 18 and 20 percent respectively.

Dogs, owners remain leashed in winter

Pitkin County open space officials declined last month to relax the leash law during winter months on several trails, including a section of the Rio Grande Trail.

Supporters of the proposed relaxation maintain that the Hunter Creek and Lani White trails can be slick and treacherous in the winter, particularly while holding onto a dog. But the Open Space and Trails department and the Colorado Division of Wildlife both objected, citing the need to balance public recreation with wildlife protection.


Overeynder steps down as utilities director

City of Aspen utilities director Phil Overeynder is stepping down from his departmental leadership role due to health issues. Dave Hornbacher, who is now the deputy director of utilities and environmental initiatives, will serve as interim director.



Pitkin County -

Backside of Aspen Mountain in foreclosure

A court-appointed receiver took control of two mining lode properties on the back side of Aspen Mountain after owner Jeffrey St. Johns missed payments on promissory notes in February and March, according to a lawsuit filed by Castle Creek Investors (CCI) in Pitkin County District Court.

St. Johns bought the 37-acre Sacramento and 36-acre Iron Mine lodes, located off Midnight Mine Road, from CCI last January, through promissory notes totaling $1.85 million. The property contains numerous cabins that are rented to locals. Wintertime access requires a snowmobile.  A foreclosure sale is scheduled for July 20.


County says "No" to downvalley solar option

Pitkin County will not to allow homeowners in unincorporated areas to offset energy use on their property by investing in a downvalley solar farm, such as the one in El Jebel.

The issue is under debate in both the county and the city of Aspen, which require owners to install onsite renewable energy systems or pay a fee for homes that are above a certain size or have outdoor energy uses like heated pools and driveways.

Carbondale-based Clean Energy Collective, a private-sector operation that built a community solar farm in El Jebel and is working on others, has urged the city and county to allow homeowners to buy into its projects as an alternative to installing their own.


The county commissioners said allowing such investments exports the impacts of renewable energy development downvalley. City Council has yet to decide whether off-site mitigation is an acceptable alternative.


Massive Redstone dam proposal abandoned

The West Divide Water Conservancy District and the Colorado River District abandoned most of their conditional water rights for 200,000 acre feet of water for two reservoirs in the Crystal River Valley.

The decision removes the prospect that two Ruedi-sized reservoirs will someday be built on the Crystal River, including the proposed 129,000-acre-foot Osgood Reservoir that would put Redstone underwater.

The water districts did maintain rights for enough water to build a smaller reservoir - 4,000 acre feet - on the upper Crystal River at Placita, the site of an old coal mine at the bottom of McClure Pass.


Airport considers role in wooing commercial service

Aspen-Pitkin County Airport Director of Aviation Jim Elwood proposed the airport undertake a Commercial Air Service Development Strategic Plan to better position itself to maintain competitive service. Two of four airlines serving Aspen have pulled out since 2008, and one of the remaining two, Frontier, has threatened to leave.


Tax assessments fall

Pitkin and Eagle County property owners recently received new property tax valuations that are considerably lower. Aspen area properties saw a drop of 20 to 30 percent, and Basalt area home values fell anywhere from 29 to 60 percent. The notices reflect property values as of June 30, 2010, and are based on sales of similar properties, and the real estate market was in a slump at that point.

"This is the first time in my 20 years that we've actually substantially lowered values," said Pitkin County Assessor Tom Isaac.


Fire codes tighten

Area fire officials convinced Pitkin County commissioners to adopt the International Fire Code and incorporate it into the county's building and land use codes. Other counties and municipalities have adopted the international code, leaving Pitkin County as the sole hold-out. The change will give fire districts more authority on a variety of fire safety issues.

Woody Creek pedestrian bridge to be built

Woody Creekers say they don't see the need for a new pedestrian bridge on the Rio Grande Trail in their neighborhood, and pressed the county to seek a less conspicuous design if one is to be installed. But a custom bridge would cost an extra $33,000, so the Open Space and Trails board voted to move forward with the original plan to install a prefabricated bridge.


County, feds consider new restrictions along Maroon Creek

The Forest Service and Pitkin County are considering new limits on the number special events held on Maroon Creek Road during summers. Officials are concerned about the growing frequency of complete road closures that keeps people from accessing the Maroon Bells and trailheads along the road.


Redstone coke oven restoration under way

Full blown restoration has started with four historic Redstone coke ovens.. The project will return them to their original appearance in the early 1900s, and will also stabilize an additional 56 of the brick, beehive-shaped ovens. The site, located across Highway 133 from Redstone, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.

Coke is the solid residue resulting from roasting coal, and is used as a reducing agent in the smelting of iron and production of steel. Originally, more than 200 ovens were built and operated in Redstone between 1900-09 by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Co.



Snowmass Village -       

Snowmass Club joins destination property network

The Snowmass Club, a fractional residence resort, has affiliated with The Registry Collection, a network of 180 destination properties around the world.

The Registry Collection program facilitates exchanges between owners in condominium hotels, high-end fractional resorts, private residence clubs and fractional yachts. The Residences at Snowmass Club sells 1/7 and 1/8 fractional ownerships.



Basalt and beyond -

Willit's residential vesting extended by a decade

The Basalt Town Council extended vesting rights in the residential portion of the Willits development by 10 years, and gave developer Michael Lipkin new flexibility in the type of multi-unit project he can build. Lipkin and his partners have already built approximately 200 condominiums and townhouses in the residential portion of Willits. Their approvals from 1996 allow 84 additional multi-family units totaling 125,000 square feet.


Midvalley rec center advocates defend ambitions

Proponents of the proposed midvalley recreation center are urging voters to keep an open mind about the proposal even though it was condemned by elected officials from Basalt and Pitkin County.

The first phase of the proposed Crown Mountain Recreational Center is 61,000 square feet that includes a 4,400 square feet of meeting rooms, a dance studio, 14,000 square feet of indoor swimming pools, a full gym and fitness facilities. Later phases in the plan call for an ice rink and tennis facilities.

If approvals are granted by Eagle County, voters will be asked to approve a property tax increase to pay for a construction bond of between $25-$30 million. That amount only covers the first phase

Elected officials expressed concerns about the size and cost, and doubts that it can operate without a significant subsidy, in the order of $500,000 per year.


Basalt agrees to Pan and Fork MHP deal

Basalt town government agreed to buy about half of the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park for $1.2 million, contingent on a nonprofit organization's acquisition of the entire trailer park in June.

The 38-unit mobile home park is under contract for purchase by the Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. (RFCDC) from RNR Ltd., a company headed by Basalt resident Renee Ritchie.

The town will use open space funds to purchase and convert 2.95 acres of the trailer park and create a public park along the Roaring Fork River. RFCDC will keep the remaining 2.3 acres for development of a nonprofit campus as well as a modest amount of commercial space.


USFS promises river access in El Jebel with land sale

About 52 acres of riparian habitat along the Roaring River near El Jebel will remain protected from development and accessible to the public, even if the Forest Service ends up selling it.

White River Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams reversed an earlier position and agreed to require public access as a condition of sale. The 81-acre parcel in question is one of a handful of under-utilized administrative properties in the area that may be sold in order to raise money for capital improvement projects in the White River National Forest.

Posted by Lauren on May 06, 2011 in

Gary Feldman Quoted In Aspen Business Journal - May 4, 2011

Gary Feldman Quoted In Aspen Business Journal - May 4, 2011
Aspen Real Estate: March Numbers Show Slight Pullback
ASPEN, Colo. — According to the recently released data from Land Title, Pitkin County real estate activity fell slightly in March with 68 transactions totaling $89 million – a decrease of 13.7 percent from March 2010.
Following a string of ultra-luxury sales earlier in the year, Aspen continued to dominate the market with 28 transactions totaling $58 million versus 15 transactions in Snowmass totaling $18.7 million.

Gary Feldman, long-time Aspen Realtor and managing partner of Joshua & Co., sees incremental improvement throughout the valley. For Feldman, playing matchmaker in Aspen's high stakes market is getting easier.

"The Aspen/Snowmass real estate market continues to steadily improve and the gap between what buyers are willing to pay and sellers are willing to accept has dramatically narrowed," said Feldman.

Despite the improved conditions, bank sales showed a notable increase in Pitkin County with a reported 12 sales for the month totaling $9.9 million, which accounted for 11 percent of total volume.

Still, the average single-family home price for Pitkin County year-to-date rose 6 percent to $4.6 million.

Fractional real estate was a bright spot in March, totaling $4.6 million – an increase of 74 percent from March 2010. Despite a difficult few years, existing fractional projects in Aspen have seen a strong resurgence. Some early reports are suggesting even stronger numbers for April.
Posted by gary on May 04, 2011 in