November 2011

Aspen Sale November 10, 2011

Aspen Sale November 10, 2011

The Gant, Unit C-105

Aspen

$975,000

Two bedrooms/two baths

$1,000 per square foot

Asking price $1,275,000

76% of asking price

SOLD BY JOSHUA & CO 

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on November 17, 2011 in
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Cattle Drives Live On In The Roaring Fork Valley

Cattle Drives Live On In The Roaring Fork Valley

An unusual but not rare sight on Main Street in Carbondale, Colorado this morning as a seasonal cattle drive was under way.

Aspen, Carbondale and the Roaring Fork Valley have a rich ranching history dating back to the late 1800's. 

During the summer, Snowmass Village and Carbondale have weekly rodeo events.   Bring your boots and hat.

Photo by Amy Feldman

Posted by gary on November 16, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale November 9, 2011

Aspen Sale November 9, 2011

98 Mountain Laurel Court

Aspen

$1,575000

Three bedrooms/two baths

$547 per square foot

Asking price $1,899,900

83% of asking price

1134 Cemetery Lane

Aspen

$3,550,000

Five bedrooms/five baths

$834 per square foot

Asking price $3,850,000

92% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on November 14, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale November 9, 2011

Aspen Sale November 9, 2011

Mclain Flats Road

Aspen

Lot 17, Block 2, White Horse Springs

Building Site Only

$2,000,000

Asking price $2,750,000

73% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on November 14, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale November 10, 2011

Aspen Sale November 10, 2011

Concept 600, unit 408

Aspen

$1,160,000

Two Bedroom/two bath

$1,221 per square foot

Asking price $1,299,000

89% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on November 14, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale October 28, 2011

Aspen Sale October 28, 2011

1404 Crystal Lake Road

Aspen

$6,675,000

Four bedrooms/four baths

$1,259 per square foot

Asking price $7,500,000

89% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on November 09, 2011 in
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Snowmass Sale - October 31, 2011

Snowmass Sale - October 31, 2011

Woodrun V #33

Snowmass Village 

$2,500,000

Three bedrooms/four baths

$818 per square foot

Asking price $$2,895,000

86% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on November 09, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale October 31, 2011

Aspen Sale October 31, 2011

53 Thunderbowl Lane, Unit 11

Aspen

$3,900,000

Five bedrooms/five baths

$680 per square foot

Asking price $4,250,000

92% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on November 09, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale November 7, 2011

Aspen Sale November 7, 2011

501 West Buttermilk Road

Aspen

$6,000,000

Seven bedrooms/seven baths

$778 per square foot

Asking price $6,950,000

86% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on November 09, 2011 in
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Aspen Board of Realtors Observer - November, 2011

Aspen Board of Realtors Observer - November, 2011
ABOR ObserverNOVEMBER 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 —City amends hydroelectric plant applicationThe city of Aspen has amended its application for a hydroelectric plant on Castle Creek, agreeing to a more thorough review process with the federal government.

The application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission now seeks a minor water power project license, instead of the “conduit exemption” originally sought. Council also approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Colorado Division of Wildlife requiring a minimum stream flows in both creeks.

 CEO Kaplan calls for more new lodgingAspen Skiing Co. CEO Mike Kaplan told Aspen City Council that the community needs more hot beds — fractional ownership units and hotel rooms — in order to compete against resorts like Vail and Steamboat Springs.  Both competitors generated more new business last year than Aspen/Snowmass.  Kaplan pointed out that other resorts have been adding to their hot bed base during the economic downturn, while Aspen's has seen little such growth.

Developer pushes for demolition of Benton BuildingAspen Core Ventures contends the Historic Preservation Commission had no authority to review its plan to demolish the Benton Building, because it is not on the list of historically designated properties. Plans to build a 31,739 square foot mixed-use structure in place of Little Annie’s, the Benton Building and the gravel parking lot to the east has run into resistance over demolition of both buildings.
City planner Sara Adams pointed out that the buildings used by La Cocina and Cooper Street Pier, as well as the Mountain Plaza Building, went through similar reviews to the Benton Building. The land use code gives HPC authority to review and deny demolition in certain parts of town, including the downtown historic district where those two buildings are located.
 City Council denied the appeal of the Benton Building decision, and is considering overturning the HPC’s decision to allow demolition of Little Annie’s. Lodge at Aspen Mountain officially deadOwners of the South Aspen Street parcel once planned for a large hotel have scrapped that idea and are now proposing 14 townhomes and 17 affordable housing units.

The 2.4-acre property has a standing approval for the residential units, but the owners want to build seven affordable housing units at the Aspen Business Center, instead of onsite. As an incentive, they are offering to build an additional employee unit at the ABC, bringing the affordable housing total for the project to 18.
 Geothermal drilling moves ahead over neighborhood objectionsCity Council will allow test drilling for geothermal energy, despite concerns of neighbors living near Heron Park.  Underground water in the area is believed to range from 90 to 140 degrees, enough to heat and cool buildings.  Drilling will occur for 20-30 minutes daily over a six to 10 day period, on the gravel parking lot at the city-owned Prockter Open Space. The drill will be surrounded by sound walls to shield neighbors. Aspen Walk still not walkingEven though the Aspen Walk proposal is a public-private partnership with the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority that will replace older employee housing on Park Circle at no cost to taxpayers, City Council sent the developer back to the drawing board to reduce the mass and scale of the proposal. As the proposal stood last month, the 12 free market and 14 affordable units add up to about 40,000 square feet  — versus the 17,600 square feet of development that currently sits on the properties.  Aspen, Carbondale won’t let you bag itAspen City Council and the Carbondale Town Trustees banned the use of plastic grocery bags at local stores. Both ordinances, which take effect in May 2012, also impose a 20-cent fee for paper bags. The ban does not apply to other types of bags and wraps provided by grocery stores, such as produce and bakery bags and meat wrappers. Basalt imposed a 20-cent fee on plastic and paper grocery bags, but that rule is being challenged by a citizen who is gathering signatures to force a vote. Forest Service may sell lots in West EndA plan to redevelop the U.S. Forest Service property in Aspen's West End includes creation of four free-market lots.

The agency plans to replace its visitor center and administrative offices, employee housing and other structures at the corner of Seventh and Hallam. It owns the entire block except for a corner piece where a Victorian home that was formerly Poppies Bistro is located.
 Ranger Scott Snelson said no decision has been made about whether to sell the lots to help finance the project, but the idea is under serious consideration. Free buses remain between Aspen and SnowmassThe Elected Officials Transportation Committee agreed to continue funding free bus service between Aspen and Snowmass for another year and a half, despite the cost. The decision is part of a $4.7 million budget for transit projects in 2012.  Funding was also committed to X Games bus service and RFTA operations. Sales picture in Aspen improvingAspen’s economy continued to show signs of improvement, with August sales tax collections up 6 percent over last year.  Clothing, general retail, automobile and miscellaneous all had double-digit percent increases. Restaurants also came in strong.

The year-to-date housing real estate transfer tax collections through September are up 5 percent from 2010.
 Snowmass, Buttermilk tops in snowboarder pollFor the third straight year, Snowmass has been named the top overall resort in Transworld Snowboarding’s 2011-2012 rankings. Buttermilk came in third overall and was honored for having the best terrain park facilities.  The rankings are determined by tallying 4,700 online reader surveys.  Chamber kills Wintersköl sloganFollowing a number of community complaints, Aspen Chamber Resort Association nixed its apocalypse theme for the upcoming Wintersköl celebration, including the official slogan, “Wintersköl 2012: To Die For,” that was selected through a communitywide contest.
Mark Thomas’ slogan played off worries that the world will end in 2012, as the Mayan calendar suggests. He will keep the $1,000 prize, even though the contest has been re-launched.
 Polo championships set for Rio Grande ParkThe World Snow Polo Championships have a green light from City Council for a Dec. 17-18 event in Rio Grande Park. The Roaring Fork Polo Club has staged the event for 10 years on various city properties the week before Christmas. This year, however, the parks department denied an application to use either Wagner or Rio Grande park. The council’s OK overturns that decision. “Before Aspen” theme at center of Skico marketing Christian Knapp, Aspen Skiing Co.’s new vice-president of marketing, says the company’s new advertising campaign, “Before Aspen”, aims to convince readers to put their money down on a trip to Aspen/Snowmass.

Several different new ads for national magazines include rich photography and witty phrases highlighting Aspen and the resort’s unique locale in the psyche of skiers and snowboarders.
 For example, one ad shows families skiing at Snowmass and says: “Before Aspen, happily ever after didn’t look like this.” Another shows a skier carving through deep powder. It says: “Before Aspen, you had friends on a Powder day.”

Aspen to pocket $250K on affordable housing saleThe city of Aspen expects to make $258,362 on a affordable housing unit on the free market, provided the sale closes.
 
The unit at 910 W. Hallam St. was the only publicly-owned unit in an otherwise free-market complex. It came under public ownership after renovation fees and homeowner dues forced the previous owners to sell the property. City Council last week approved a contract to sell the unit for $525,000.
  Snowmass Village —Skico, Centurion among Base Village biddersCenturion Partners, developer of the Residences at The Little Nell in Aspen, submitted a bid to purchase Base Village, becoming the second potential buyer with local ties. The Crown family, owners of the Aspen Skiing Co., has also submitted a bid.
The $400 million senior note on Base Village now is held by an agency of the German government and a bank it manages. Sale of the note is set for December.

Snowmass explores sister city relationship with Japanese resort The Snowmass Village Town Council is discussing the possibility of becoming a sister city with Katsuyama City, Japan.

The conversation comes in response to outreach from Katsuyama City. With nearly 30,000 residents, the Japanese community dwarfs Snowmass Village, but they have some things in common as well. Both are home to a ski resort, and historic dinosaur excavation sites.  Membership in the Sister Cities program provides marketing opportunities for its members, and adds economic activity with student and cultural exchanges.

Base Village receiver sues project buildersDestination Snowmass Services, the court appointed receiver of Base Village, filed against CFC/PCL, a joint venture of PCL Construction Services and Colorado First Construction, which served as general contractor on the Viceroy project. Denver-based RK Mechanical and UCC Group, a Florida construction company, are also named in the suit.

The lawsuit, which seeks more than $100,000, lists 10 instances of property resulting from inadequate subsurface support and subsequent settling of pavement.  It seeks more than $100,000.
  Basalt —Town council backs off rental restrictions Basalt Town Council backed off an ordinance to prohibit short-term — 30 days or less — residential rentals. A committee will study the issue instead, and seek a compromise between property owners who rent their dwellings and their fulltime neighbors.

The ordinance was scrapped after real estate brokers and some homeowners flooded Town Hall with letters and calls pointing out that high-end home rentals are both in demand and boost the mid-valley economy.
 Whole Foods building includes prime retail spotsWhen construction is complete on the 47,000-square-foot Whole Foods building at Willits Town Center in Basalt next summer, it will feature more than a grocery store. Whole Foods will take about 27,000 square feet in the building, leaving another 20,000 square feet of commercial space.  Tim Belinski, who’s working with the developer to lease the spaces, said there will be a big push to fill that space with retailers rather than real estate offices and other service-oriented businesses. The majority of store spaces will be about 1,900 square feet, and line the entire south side of the building, facing across East Valley Road to the building that houses Smoke, El Korita and Asiana Fusion.

The intent is to recruit retailers from the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the region to lease the spaces. National retailers won't be turned away, but the focus is on locally owned shops.

Fowl play still allowed in BasaltThe Basalt Town Council reversed its plans for an outright ban on raising chickens within town limits, deciding that chickens are in fact appropriate in town, as long as there are sufficient standards on the design and construction of coops. Council wants to ensure that coops are built in a way to keep out predators.  The new rules will also make it clear that residents are responsible for easing impacts, such as odor and noise, on neighbors. Basalt considers riverfront investmentBasalt may invest $80,000 in open space funds for a makeover of the old bridge next to 7-Eleven. The idea, put forth by architect Harry Teague and other residents, is to make it a more attractive hang out along the town's riverfront, as well as a more obvious and inviting link in the trail system.  The bridge is part of a heavily-used pedestrian and bicycle corridor. Business activity up in BasaltRetail sales in Basalt rose modestly in August, with sales tax revenues coming in at $299,545, or 5.72 percent higher when compared to the same month last year. Sectors with the strongest growth include restaurants with bars, up 29.5 percent; sporting goods retail, up nearly 19 percent; and building materials, up almost 17 percent. Basalt's restaurant sector was boosted by the opening of the Red Brick Pony on Midland Avenue.

Pitkin County —Senators call for slowdown of Thompson Divide drillingU.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall asked the Bureau of Land Management to delay a final decision on a proposal to drill for natural gas in the Thompson Divide area, outside Carbondale. SG Interests wants the Bureau of Land Management to OK its application to “unitize” 18 of its Thompson Divide leases, enabling the company to drill on 32,000-acres. The Carbondale-based Thompson Divide Coalition contends the area would devastate local wildlife, agricultural operations and scenic values.

In a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Bennet and Udall request more time for negotiations between residents and gas companies that hold 70 leases in the area.
 New state law strips homeowners of agriculture tax breaksThe county assessor’s office estimates that homes on 116 of the 140 agricultural properties in Pitkin County will be re-classified as residential because a new state law, with resulting increases in their property taxes.

The law, which goes into effect early next year, mandates that the two acres surrounding houses on agricultural properties be taxed as residential, unless the structure is integral to farming or ranching operations. A practice employed by some homeowners has been to lease open land around their home for haying or cattle grazing in order to qualify for lower tax levels enjoyed by farmers and ranchers.

“This will bring the tax burden for these properties more in line with that of their neighbors who are not classified as agricultural,” County Assessor Tom Isaac wrote in a memorandum on the law. County presses developer on tax breakThe Pitkin County community development department is seeking a covenant that requires the developers of a 10-acre parcel on the former Stapleton Ranch to give up the possibility of classifying it as a commercial ranching operation, at least for tax purposes.  County planner Suzanne Wolff said the government is not attempting to stop the owners from raising cattle or haying on the property, but wants to assure it is not classified as a commercial agriculture business property for tax purposes. Pitkin County’s hearing officer recently approved a 15,000-square-foot house on the property, but left questions about the property’s future tax status unresolved. The developers of the Stapleton property are opposed to the covenant.

Commissioners: Lenado preservation plan not readyThe Pitkin County Commissioners are keen on the idea of preserving Lenado, the largely abandoned mining and logging town above Woody Creek, but not if it generates development activity in the area.
A handful of Lenado property owners have proposed a historic district for the remote townsite, similar to the one that protects Redstone. In return, they're seeking transferable development rights and additional square footage to upgrade their homes that are not part of the historic inventory.

Historic Lenado includes a few buildings that date back to 1881, when A.J. Varney staked his Last Chance mining claim, as well as other structures built during its heyday as a sawmill town, from 1937-75.  Of 21 historic buildings there, nine are inhabited year-round or seasonally.
 The commissioners urged Daniel Delano to round up the rest of the land owners at Lenado and present a unified proposal for a historic district. County opposes Air Force training planPitkin County made official its opposition to plans by the U.S. Air Force to launch low-altitude training missions over a 60,700-square-mile area of northern New Mexico and western Colorado. Under the plan, combat aircraft would be allowed to fly as low as 300 feet above the ground, and most missions would occur after dusk. A letter from the County Commissioners cites potential health and safety threats to residents, wildlife and protected lands. It urges removal of Pitkin County from the training area. Victim’s relatives urge trial for inspectorsSurviving relatives of the victims of carbon-monoxide poisoning in a house near Aspen urged that a jury be allowed to decide on charges against a former building inspector. Erik Peltonen, 69, of Basalt is scheduled to stand jury trial in December on four counts of criminally negligent homicide. He issued a certificate of occupancy for the house, where a family of four perished in 2008 after the home's snowmelt system leaked the deadly gas.

Attorney's for Pitkin County, the city of Aspen, the International Code Council and the Colorado Municipal League have filed briefs arguing that Peltonen should be shielded from criminal prosecution because he was working for the government.
 Pitkin County homeowners are “energy smart”estPitkin County homeowners have taken greater advantage of a three-county Energy Smart program, launched in January, than their counterparts in Eagle and Gunnison counties. Through the first three quarters of this year, 350 homeowners in Pitkin County and the Roaring Fork Valley portion of Eagle County have enrolled in the program. Throughout the three counties, 470 audits have been completed.

Posted by gary on November 09, 2011 in
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