December 2011

Aspen Sale Dececmber 5, 2011

Aspen Sale Dececmber 5, 2011

Brownstone Townhome, Unit 2

208 S Spring Street

Aspen

$3,050,000

Three bedrooms/three baths

$1,296 per square foot

Asking price $3,299,000

92% of asking price

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on December 15, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale December 12, 2011

Aspen Sale December 12, 2011

970 East Hopkins

Aspen

$4,250,000

Four bedrooms/four baths 

$1,253 per square foot

Asking price $5,295,000

80% of asking price

SOLD BY JOSHUA & CO

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on December 15, 2011 in
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Aspen Sale December 12, 2011

Aspen Sale December 12, 2011

330 Gillespie

West End, Aspen

$4,500,000

Four bedroom/four baths

$1,159 per square foot

Asking price $4,900,000

92% of asking price

SOLD BY JOSHUA & CO

Photo by Gary Feldman

Posted by gary on December 15, 2011 in
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Joshua & Co. Exclusive Real Estate Advertiser At Aspen Base Operations

Joshua & Co. Exclusive Real Estate Advertiser At Aspen Base Operations
Next time you pass through the doors at Aspen Base Operations at Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, stop by our display and help yourself to a Joshua & Co. Winter Collection Buyer's Guide and Christies International Real Estate Magazine.
Posted by gary on December 06, 2011 in
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Aspen Board of Realtors November, 2011 Observer

Aspen Board of Realtors November, 2011 Observer
ABOR ObserverDECEMBER 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 —Developer offers to preserve Little Annie’s for affordable housing reliefAspen Core Ventures LLC, owner of the Little Annie's and the Benton Buildings, has asked that both structures be considered for inclusion as historic properties under the Aspen Modern program.  In exchange, Niko Hecht and his partners are asking the city to lift unit-size limits so they can build a 7,000-sqaure-foot penthouse unit atop a new, three-story building in the empty lot at Hunter and Hyman, eliminate mitigation requirement for 10 affordable housing units, and forgive approximately $80,000 in development fees. City Council recently upheld historic designation of the Bennett Building, and began scrutinizing a decision by the Historic Preservation Commission not to grant the same status for Little Annie’s. The preservation plan under consideration would restore the Benton Building to its original design, and maintain the Little Annie’s building as is.  AACP gets nod from planning commissionsPlanning commissions for the city of Aspen and Pitkin County voted to adopt the  Aspen Area Community Plan, setting the stage for formal adoption and implementation in 2012.

Adoption is final for unincorporated areas of Pitkin County, unless the County Commissioners choose to make further revisions. City Council plans to review and adopt the plan early next year. It will then be used to amend to the land use code. Vesting rights last sticking point in Lift One Lodge approvalLift One Lodge received the go-ahead from City Council, setting the stage for redevelopment of the long-dilapidated lodging district at Aspen’s original base area.

Vesting rights turned out to be the only sticking point with final approval. The ordinance presented to Council gave the developer 10 years to complete the project, but Councilman Torre objected. After Bob Daniel agreed to a five year vesting, the council unanimously approved the plan for five free-market condos, 22 timeshare units that can be locked off into 84 separate rental rooms.
 A 50-foot wide ski/snowboard easement will run from the bottom of Lift 1A between the project’s two buildings to Willoughby Park.  Lenders to foreclose AspenwalkTwo lenders filed foreclosure notices on 404 Park Circle, accusing PFG Aspenwalk  of “failure to make timely payments.” The developer has a pending application to demolish housing developments at 414 Park Avenue and 404 Park Circle to develop 14 free-market condominium units, and 24 employee-housing units.  Buttermilk, Highlands improvements ready to goA new Tiehack lift and a new ski patrol headquarters at Buttermilk, and renovation of the Merry-Go-Restaurant, mid-mountain at Aspen Highlands, are expected to be ready for skiers and riders when the mountains open on Dec. 10.

The new “Tiehack Express” will take riders to the top in seven minutes, down from the 18 minute, two-lift ride that it replaces. The new ski patrol headquarters was built by patrollers, and offers expansive views of the Maroon Creek Valley from a wrap around deck, similar to the one at Aspen Highlands.
 City Market pharmacy set to openCity Market’s new pharmacy will open in Aspen Square near the first of the year, in the space previously occupied by Le Tub. As recently as 2009, Aspen was down to just one pharmacy, Carl’s. Clark’s Market opened a second pharmacy earlier this year. The new City Market pharmacy will bring the total to three. Little Nell recognized as both ‘top’ ‘and greenest' accommodationThe Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association's “Stars of the Industry” employee award for the most environmentally-friendly tourist accommodation in Colorado went to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Little Nell Hotel. Meanwhile, Forbes gave the facility a “Five-Star Award” for 2012, a distinction given to just 57 hotels world wide.  Aspen Skiing Co. requiring all employees to wear helmets — all the timeThe Aspen Skiing Co. has instituted a new policy to require all employees to wear helmets when they are on the clock. The company first mandated helmets in 2002, requiring all children enrolled in ski and snowboard classes. Last year it required helmets for salaried personnel, instructors who teach children and those who work in terrain parks. The policy affects approximately 2,000 employees.
‘Seize the Summit’ new
Wintersköl sloganThe Wintersköl Committee and Aspen Chamber Resort Association selected “Wintersköl 2012: Seize the Summit” as the replacement slogan for the Jan. 12-15 event. A new slogan became necessary after locals raised objections to the original winning entry, “To Die For.” John Hailey, manager of City Market in Aspen, had the winning slogan, beating out more than 150 other submissions.  Snowmass Village —Hypo Group takes full ownership of Base VillageThe German-government-owned entity Hypo Real Estate Group took ownership of the project in a foreclosure sale last month with a bid of $138 million.

The foreclosure action in Pitkin County was filed by Hypo Real Estate Capital Corp. (HRECC) of New York, a division of Hypo Real Estate Group. HRECC originally put together the $520 million loan to Related WestPac, the previous owner of the project.
 County denies Base Village tax appealsThe Pitkin County commissioners denied a pair of tax appeals for properties at Base Village. One was for the Viceroy Snowmass, which the owners claim to be worth $57.6 million less than the county’s assessment. The second involved Lot 3 in the ski area base. Destination Management Services Inc., the receiver for the Base Village properties until the recent foreclosure sale, filed the petition for abatement for the Viceroy and Lot 3, which contains part of a parking garage and partially built Arrival Center. Viceroy Snowmass makes Conde Nast’s top 100The Viceroy Snowmass was named No. 26 on Conde Nast Traveler's Best 100 resorts in the U.S. The Reader's Choice Awards survey reflect combined opinions of 28,876 Conde Nast Traveler readers rating the cities, islands and hotels they visited in the past year.  The announcement comes on the heels of Ski Magazine ranking Snowmass as the fourth best resort  in North America, and Transworld Snowboarding naming Snowmass as the best snowboarding resort for the third straight year.

 
Pitkin County —Public access mapping will open private lands to public Pitkin County Open Space and Trails officials have mapped out every parcel of land, stretch of trail and  fishing easement the county has acquired over the years, with a goal of identifying and filling in missing links.

Many holdings were secured through land-use approvals over the years, and have been closed, neglected or forgotten over the years.  
 Staff found 2.5 miles of Snowmass Creek that is open to the public through fishing easements, for instance. But only about a mile is actually accessible. Private property blocks access to approximately 1.5 miles. In other areas, no trespassing signs are posted on publicly owned trails and roads.  Open space officials hope to create access lack of access with future deals. They also intend to alert affected landowners who have a public amenity on their property.  Wexners outbid county for trail property, keep it closedA property along the Crystal River that was coveted by the county open space and trails program, was purchased by the Wexner family after they outbid Pitkin County.

The Wexners paid $5.5 million for the 50-acre property, located upstream from the BRB campground, and had a trail open to public passage along the river from the 1940s until the early 1990s.  The Wexners, who have tangled recently with Pitkin County over a proposed land swap with the Bureau of Land Management, have rejected outreach by the county to restore public access. They want to swap about 600 acres of land in Garfield County for 1,400 acres of BLM land that adjoins their Two Shoes Ranch in Pitkin County. Elk Mountain Lodge weighs heavily on cabin proposal in AshcroftThe Pitkin County commissioners want assurances that a seven-cabin overnight lodging development proposed by Ashcroft Ski Touring won’t become a private enclave for a wealthy family.   The conversion in 2007 of the 17,000-square-foot Elk Mountain Lodge into a vacation home for billionaire Bill Koch weighed heavily in the discussion.  The commissioners are reluctant to amend zoning without a deed restriction or other legal covenant restricting future use. They also want owner John Wilcox to make good on a previous commitment to build five units of employee housing.

More property owners appealing taxes Thirty-nine county property owners have appealed their latest property tax valuations to the state Board of Assessment Appeals, in what Pitkin County Assessor Tom Isaac says is an increasing trend of tax-dollar gamesmanship.

Appellants range from owners of mobile homes to developers of massive commercial developments such as Base Village’s Viceroy Hotel. Many of the wealthier appellants have adopted a strategy of conceding local proceedings and then appealing to state board, which Isaac says is more inclined to lower values to a compromised amount, in turn encouraging further appeals.

Charges dismissed against county, building inspectorsAll civil and criminal charges have been dismissed against Pitkin County and two building inspectors for their alleged role in the deaths of the Denver family who died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a home near Aspen three years ago.

U.S. District Judge William Martinez in Denver brought a civil suit by surviving members of the Lofgren family to an end by ruling that they failed to prove that the county, building inspector Brian Pawl and former inspector Erik Peltonen created the danger that led to the deaths of the couple and their two children.
 Colorado District Court Judge James Boyd subsequently dismissed criminal against Peltonen and Marlin Brown, owner of a heating and plumbing company that worked on the snowmelt system that is identified as the source of the carbon monoxide leak. Crystal Valley Alabaster Mine awaits USFS rulingAn alabaster mine south of Carbondale that has been sitting dormant since 2003 could be back in business soon, depending on pending decision by the U.S. Forest Service about the mine's impact on bighorn sheep.

The Mystic Eagle Mine has tons of alabaster, a stone prized by sculptors and developers of high end properties who use it for countertops. The new owners want to resume production, but say they won’t if they have to comply with strict seasonal closures from the Forest Service.
 However, the Pitkin County commissioners, 11 environmental groups and a nearby neighborhood have expressed opposition to the mine outright, or have said they want activity limited, to protect the sheep.

Wilderness Workshop leads effort against low-altitude military trainingCarbondale-based Wilderness Workshop led efforts to raise awareness about the U.S. Air Force’s plans for low-altitude military training flights over the wild lands of western Colorado, including Pitkin County.
The 27th Special Operations Wing, based in northern New Mexico, wants to conduct an average of three training sorties per day, or 688 annually. About 10 percent of the missions would descend to altitudes of 300 to 500 feet above ground level.
 Wilderness Workshop is one of many conservation and citizen groups demanding a more detailed Environmental Impact Statement on the proposal than the Air Force is proposing. Elected officials, including the Pitkin County Commissioners, have also expressed concerns about effects on the resort economy.
Posted by gary on December 02, 2011 in
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