September 2011

Fall Colors At Aspen Highlands Village

Fall Colors At Aspen Highlands Village
Aspen's famous gold and green foliage show is nearing an end.  With a new suting of snowm on the Maroon Bells, Aspen highlands begins its preparation for another ski season.
Posted by gary on September 30, 2011 in
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Snowmass Sale - September 22, 2011

Snowmass Sale - September 22, 2011

53 North Ridge Lane, Unit B

Snowmass Village

$1,900,000

Three bedrooms/three baths

$834 per square foot

Asking price $1,990,000

95% of asking price

Photo by Taylor Feldman

Posted by gary on September 28, 2011 in
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Snowmass Sale - September 27, 2011

Snowmass Sale - September 27, 2011

39 Stanton Lane

Snowmass Village

$3,750,000

Four bedrooms/ Four and one-half baths

$820 per square foot

Asking price $4,450,000

84% of asking price

SOLD BY GARY FELDMAN

LISTED BY JOSHUA & CO

Posted by gary on September 27, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale September 15, 2011

Aspen Sale September 15, 2011

92 Eppley Drive

Starwood in Aspen

$2,200,000

Four bedrooms/three baths

$515 per square foot

Asking price $2,400,000

92% of asking price

1599 Juniper Hill

Brush Creek Village

$2,150,000

Four bedrooms/three baths

$616 per square foot

Asking price $2,750,000

78% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on September 27, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale September 7, 2011

Aspen Sale September 7, 2011

Residence at The Little Nell, Unit F304

Aspen

$1,070,000

Private Residence Club

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on September 27, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale September 23, 2011

Aspen Sale September 23, 2011

200 West Bleeker

Aspen

$9,600,000

Six bedrooms/Six baths

$1,687 per square foot

Asking price $11,500,000

83% of asking price

42520 Highway 82

Aspen

$7,100,000

Five bedrooms/six baths

$1,426 per square foot

Asking price $7,950,000

89% of asking price

1035 East Hopkins Avenue

$3,375,000

Three bedrooms/three baths

$1,145 per square foot

Asking price $3,650,000

92% of asking price

 

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on September 27, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale September 16, 2011

Aspen Sale September 16, 2011

240 Draw Drive

Aspen

$3,700,000

Five bedrooms/five baths

$924 per square foot

Asking price $3,950,000

94% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on September 27, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale September 19, 2011

Aspen Sale September 19, 2011

426 North Second Street

Aspen

$3,400,000

Three bedrooms/two baths

$1,411 per square foot

Asking price $3,495,000

97% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on September 27, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale September 9, 2011

Aspen Sale September 9, 2011

714 Oregon Trail

Aspen

$3,800,000

Four bedrooms/four baths

$820 per square foot

Asking price $4,450,000

85% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on September 16, 2011 in
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Aspen Board of Realtors September, 2011 Observer

Aspen Board of Realtors September, 2011 Observer
 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 —Council agrees on advisory status for AACPCity Council agreed that the updated Aspen Area Community Plan should be an advisory document, a significant departure from the current policy of using the AACP as a regulatory document. However, council also plans to concurrently adopt land use code amendments that enact the 2011 plan’s provisions. City officials are working to identify “gaps” between the current land use code and the 2000 AACP, which will be used as a guide in developing code amendments from the 2011 document.

Council pledged to avoid a lengthy adoption process. The document can be viewed by going to www.aspenpitkin.com and clicking on a link on the right-hand side of the page. Lift One Lodge receives P&Z blessing The Lift One Lodge has been recommended for approval by the Aspen Planning & Zoning Commission, sending it forward to City Council for final review beginning on Sept. 12. The revised proposal seeks 22 timeshare condominiums with lock-off capabilities for up to 84 rental rooms on the east side of South Aspen Street, below Lift 1A.  Amenities include heated sidewalks, affordable housing, public ski lockers and a 105-space underground parking garage. Additionally, Lift One Lodge developers have agreed to deed a ski/snowboard-right of way through the property and pledge $600,000, to be held in escrow, for the construction of a surface lift, in the event one is ever built. Development activity up sharply this summerThere are a number of major projects in Aspen that are being developed or about to start, signaling recovery in Aspen’s long dormant development sector.

The city recorded permit and land use applications totaling $107 million through mid June, compared to approximately $34 million through the same date in 2010. About $50 million or so of this year’s total represents work at Aspen Valley Hospital. But even without AVH permits, it is still well above the permit value of a year ago.


City moving ahead with tax on housing rentalsCity officials are working toward adoption of new rules to govern vacation rentals in residential neighborhoods around town. Vrbo.com, the website that stands for “vacation rentals by owner,” has upwards of 300 rentals listed in Aspen, many  unreported and located in neighborhoods that don’t permit lodging rentals. The city finance department estimates that the government is losing out on nearly $100,000 sales and lodging taxes because of unreported property rentals.

The code amendment under consideration will allow rentals in residential areas, as long as owners apply for a business license and a revocable permit. They would be required to pay 11 percent in local and state taxes on their revenues. An owner’s representative or property manager will need to be on call, and adjacent neighbors will need to be notified that a property is being rented.

Benton Building, Little Annie’s OK’d for demolitionCity officials declined to give historic landmark status to the Little Annie’s and Benton buildings on E. Hyman Ave., opening the way for both to be demolished as part of an expected redevelopment plan. Little Annie’s doesn’t have the necessary architectural merit for protection, while the Benton Building has been so altered over time that its historic integrity was lost, the city determined. Chabad Aspen renews plans for center on Main StreetChabad Aspen Jewish organization is moving forward with plans to build a new community center on Main Street, with a hearing before the Historic Preservation Commission on Sept. 14.

The Jewish Community Center was first approved in 2006, but the project stalled. Now Chabad Aspen is seeking to phase 15,000 square feet of new construction and redeveloping the block currently home to the L’Auberge d’Aspen tourist cabins.
 Boomerang approval challenged in courtA lawsuit by opponents of the Boomerang affordable housing project alleges that the Community Development Department violated due process because it released the approval ordinance just a few hours before the July 25 public hearing and final vote.  Neighbors along W. Hopkins also allege the council “abused its discretion and exceeded its jurisdiction” by rezoning the Boomerang property to allow a 40-unit development. The lawsuit asks for a court declaration that the ordinance allowing the Boomerang project is “void and unenforceable.”  Fornell affordable housing approvedCity Council approved an affordable housing project for 518 W. Main St. that makes use of the new affordable housing credit program. Developer Peter Fornell plans to rehabilitate and relocate a 19th Century miner’s cottage on the 7,500 square foot lot, creating two units, and construct two more buildings containing nine additional units . The proposal still needs final approval from the Historic Preservation Commission. Aspen Walk shrinksThe developers of Aspen Walk brought a revised, smaller project before City Council last month, after the previous design was criticized for being too large, with affordable units that were too small.

One free-market unit and three affordable housing units have been eliminated. The affordable housing units have been increased in size by an average of 52 square feet. The net size reduction in the overall project is close to 2,000 square feet. The developers also broke up the free-market units into two buildings, making three total buildings on the East Aspen site. Council members indicated they liked the changes. The next public hearing is on Sept. 12.
 June retail and lodging sales up sharplyJune collections from the Aspen's 2.1 percent sales tax totaled $713,804 — a 9 percent increase compared with June 2010. Meanwhile, hotels and lodges experienced a 6 percent boost over the same month last year. The improvement is partly credited to the fact that the Aspen Ideas Festival ran the last week of June this year, instead of in July as it has in years past.  Sales tax collections over the first six months of 2011 are 4 percent higher than they were over the same period in 2010. Local Community Banks soldCommunity Banks branches in Aspen, Basalt, Glenwood Springs, Eagle, Edwards and Avon are among the 16 locations sold to NBH Holdings Corp. of Boston.

It's the corporation's second major purchase of troubled banks in Colorado. Community Banks was under an order from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City to increase its equity or sell out to another bank. It met that order by selling 16 of its 35 branches.

The local branches will continue to operate under the Community Banks name, and staff at the branches are expected to keep their jobs, according to a statement from NBH.
 American Airlines enticed with cash, marketing incentivesAn incentive package that helped entice American Airlines into the Aspen market includes $150,000 in cash and $275,000 worth of marketing support, using marketing tax dollars raised in Aspen and Snowmass Village. The deal also included an undisclosed amount of cash and advertising support from the Aspen Skiing Co.

Wheeler renovation on schedule, over budgetCity Council approved an additional $665,000 for the interior renovation of the commercial spaces and basement offices of the Wheeler Opera House, bringing the project’s total budget to $2.85 million.

The extra funds were requested to deal with shoddy mechanical and duct systems encountered during the remodeling. The spaces are being renovated so a new restaurant tenant can take over the former home of Bentley’s at the Wheeler. Valley Fine Art will return to a smaller space next door.

City considers employee housing assistanceThe city of Aspen is considering a shared-equity program and loan assistance to help its employees purchase homes. The shared-equity program would involve the city loaning an employee money with no repayment schedule. It would be paid back when the unit sells on the open market, with the city receiving a pro rata share of the appreciation that was realized on the home. Both the city and the employee would have to agree on the sale price. Council will likely discuss a pilot program during its 2012 budget meetings later this fall.

Homeowners association sues over smoking tenantThe Tailings Condominiums’ homeowners association is suing an owner who rents her unit to a woman whose boyfriend has been caught smoking three times.

The owner, Nina Merzbach, owes $600 and, because of the previous warnings, must evict the renters, the lawsuit says.

The association in 2008 voted to restrict smoking within 35 feet of the buildings. The boyfriend was caught smoking on the unit’s balcony on Dec. 10, 2010, prompting a warning. After he was seen smoking March 21 near the building, Merzbach was fined $500. The boyfriend was caught smoking again on July 1, outside the front door.

A trial in small claims court is scheduled for Sept. 28.
  Basalt ­—Pan and Fork’s days are numberedThe town of Basalt and the Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. teamed up to buy the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park for $3.25 million last month, beginning a process that will replace the neighborhood with open space along the Roaring Fork River and a new community center closer to town.  The development corporation, a nonprofit based in Carbondale that oversaw redevelopment of the Third Street Center, bought the entire 5.3 acre neighborhood. The town then used $1.2 million in open space funds to acquire 2.9 acres from the nonprofit organization.

The Pan and Fork is located between Two Rivers Road and the river, bounded by the Midland Avenue bridge on one side and the Taqueria el Nopal restaurant on the other. Much of it is located within the flood plain. Gun range noise mitigation postponedA plan to reduce noise at the state-owned shooting range at Lake Christine has been postponed. The town of Basalt has canceled a contract with Noise Solutions Inc. to build three-sided enclosures around the rifle and pistol ranges after the firm was unresponsive to design concerns. An alternative bid is being sought from Action Targets Inc., an experienced range designer. Senior community planned in BasaltThe Aspen Valley Medical Foundation is expected  to use 9 acres near Basalt High School for a retirement community. It will provide independent living for retirees, an assisted-living program for those who can live independently but need some help, and a skilled-nursing facility for those who require nursing-home care.

The foundation received a $2 million anonymous gift last year to apply toward purchase of the property and construction of the facility, which is expected to take between three and five years to complete.
 June sales rise in BasaltRetail sales in Basalt, one of the valley’s most battered economies, rose to $273,300 this past June, an improvement of 5 percent over June 2010.

General retail businesses, which includes small shops, saw sales jump 11.5 percent for the month. Restaurants with bars saw an increase of 9 percent in June. Sporting goods retailers registered a 2.3 percent increase. Building materials sales showed a solid gain at 8 percent. Sales by liquor stores and retail food outlets — which include City Market and Clark's Market — were flat. Basalt OKs bag feeBasalt became the first valley community to adopt a fee on plastic bags, although the amount remains to be set. The town will return some of the revenues from the program to the grocers to cover their extra costs from administering the program. Remaining revenues will be used for education about the program and other efforts to reduce waste.  Resident allowed to keep chickensThe Basalt Town Council decided to let Jen Riffle keep her flock of hens, even though she constructed a coop in the backyard of her Sopris Drive home after being told not to by the town code enforcement officer.

The council voted 3-2 to let Riffle keep the chickens for one year, and then review the situation. If there are any complaints from Riffle's neighbors or any cases of predators causing a problem in the neighborhood specifically because of the chickens, she will have to get rid of them.
  Snowmass Village —New roundabouts top capital plan in Snowmass VillageSnowmass Village Town Council members got their first look at the $62 million capital improvement plan and the top of the list are roundabouts on Brush Creek Road at its intersection with Wood Road and Owl Creek Road. Officials have long viewed the Wood Road intersection as problematic, and made a roundabout a condition of the 2004 approval of the Base Village development. Of the estimated $4.2 million cost, the town is on the hook for $800,000. The developer must pay for the rest.  A pedestrian trail along Brush Creek, to give people an alternative to walking along Brush Creek Road between the Creekside condominiums and the mall, is also a high priority, according to town officials. In all, there are 23 projects on the list, with very little actual funding in place to cover them. Life a little less sweet in Base VillageThe Sweet Life candy store and restaurant in Base Village will not reopen for business, after a nearly three-year run at the bottom of Fanny Hill. “It was purely a financial-numbers decision. The finances were just too stressful,” owner Jennifer Hayes said. The original Sweet Life in Telluride remains open.    Pitkin County —Assessed value of Pitkin County divesAbout $10 billion in property value, or 24 percent, vanished in Pitkin County between mid-2008 and mid-2010, according to the county assessor’s office. The numbers, which total the most recent assessments of the county’s 22,787 taxable properties, show $26.96 billion in local real estate value, down from the $36 billion in 2010.

Overall taxable assessed property value in Pitkin County stands at $2.79 billion for 2011, down from $3.68 billion in 2010. Taxable value is determined by taking the total actual value and dividing according to a formula set by the state.
 Healthy Community Funds tax increase going to votersPitkin County voters will decide in November if they want to raise property taxes to continue supporting social services.  The question to renew the Healthy Community Fund tax, which has been in place for nearly a decade, also includes an increase. If approved, it would collect $5.50 annually on every $100,000 of property value, up from the current level of $4.19.

The fund supports a variety of services, ranging from child protective assistance and at-risk youth programs to help for seniors and substance abuse counseling.

County eases rules for ag buildingsPitkin County overhauled the county code related to agricultural buildings, capping off more than two years of work.

The new rules grant additional square footage for agricultural buildings, based on acreage. The change does not affect the amount of residential space allowed on a qualifying property. The amended code also increases the allowed height for a barn to 28 feet in most rural zone districts. Properties of more than 20 acres are now permitted an unlimited number of loafing sheds, used for horses.

The amended regulations also set square footage rules for hay storage buildings, barns and equipment storage structures, and ease the approval process for permitted structures.
 Appraisal indicates open space purchase was a good dealA professional appraisal of the 841-acre Droste open space found it is worth $2.9 million more than the $17 million than the public paid for it.

The Droste family attempted to sell the property and approvals for nine homes for $24 million before selling it to local governments. The appraisal by Mark Weston of Greenwood Village found the property to be worth $19.9 million. The Drostes will be able to claim the difference between the selling price and appraised value as a charitable donation to the open space fund.
 Redstone hydroelectric plant nominated as “endangered”A hydroelectric plant built more than a century ago along the banks of the Crystal River near Redstone has been nominated as one of Colorado's Most Endangered Places.

Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, which owns the crumbling powerhouse, is seeking the endangered designation from Colorado Preservation Inc., which each year compiles a list of sites around the state that are of historic significance and in danger of being lost.  Designation is considered a first step toward securing a State Historic Fund grant to help rehabilitate the structure.

Investment planned for Redstone riverfront parksPitkin County won a $156,000 federal grant to revamp Redstone’s riverfront parks, beginning next spring. The plan is to transform Elk Park and Redstone Park, providing a seamless corridor of pedestrian-friendly open space along Redstone Boulevard and across the Crystal River to the Redstone Coke Ovens Historic Park. Other investments will be made in a popular climbing area and badly eroded riverbanks of all three parks.

Downvalley and beyond —Final vote on Carbondale mall development imminentThe long-debated and heavily negotiated Village at Crystal River mixed-used development could be headed toward a final vote by the Carbondale Town Trustees in October.

The 24-acre site on the west side of Highway 133 and north of Main Street is proposed to include up to 125,000 square feet of commercial space, including a new 58,000-square-foot City Market grocery story. The developer is seeking approval for 164 residential units and 15,000 square feet of office space as well.
 Strang Ranch to host sheep dog finalsThe Strang Ranch outside Carbondale will host the National Sheep Dog Finals, scheduled for Sept. 13-20, drawing as many as 12,000 spectators and participants to the area. The event will draw competitors from around the U.S. and Canada, competing for more than $40,000 in prize money. “It's the Superbowl for doggies,” said event manager Tom Boas.

Senator promises action on Hidden GemsU.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced last month that he plans to begin work on a law that will protect the Pitkin and Gunnison County portions of the Hidden Gems wilderness proposal. Hidden Gems calls for protection on about 62,000 acres of federal land in Pitkin County and nearly 40,000 acres in Gunnison County.
Bennet praised the outcome of the sometimes-heated debate over the Hidden Gems proposal. “I think the process has been very, very helpful,” he told to more than 100 constituents at a Carbondale town hall meeting.
Posted by gary on September 10, 2011 in
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