July 2018 — Real Estate In The News

Special thanks to all the Firefighters, First Responders, and community volunteers who fought tirelessly to save the forestland and homes in the Roaring Fork’s Mid-Valley!  Gratitude Abounds!


Historic Boomerang Sells for $10 Million
Aspen developer Mark Hunt has purchased the historic Boomerang Lodge and the land it sits on at Fourth Street and Hopkins Avenue for $10 million, the Aspen Daily News reported. Hunt bought the 27,000-square-foot parcel from a company known as FSP ABR LLC and Baltimore-based Alex Brown Realty.

Local businessman Steve Stunda also had an interest in the property, which has seen several land-use proposals that faced opposition either from neighbors or Aspen City Council.  Hunt declined comment when asked about his specific plans. Steven Goldenberg, who lives in the neighborhood, said he met with Hunt in May. Goldenberg said Hunt is intending to build a few homes on the property and possibly use the historically designated building for lodge rooms.

Jazz Aspen Snowmass Looks to Private-Public Real Estate Purchase
Jazz Aspen Snowmass’ top-ranking executive said it is on the brink of securing a contract to buy a downtown commercial building the nonprofit would use as a venue for live music and educational programming, the Aspen Times reported. JAS also is courting the city for a partnership that would include the city taking $4 million from the Wheeler Opera House real estate transfer tax funds to help fund the purchase of the building — purported to have a fair-market value of $15 million — and another $1 million to help subsidize community events at the venue for a period of a decade.

Because the transfer tax and its extensions have been voter approved, the electorate also would have to decide whether to earmark another $5 million for the proposed partnership between JAS and the city. For now, the identity of the building is a mystery.


Snowmass Village Says Yes to Pot
Snowmass Village is on its way to allowing retail sales of recreational and medical marijuana after elected officials directed staff to start exploring a regulatory scheme for pot, the Aspen Daily News reported. The town council also wants to consider placing an excise tax on the November ballot, which could raise additional revenue from the sales.

It was a divided council that agreed to lay the groundwork for pot sales in a resort that has long marketed its family-friendly reputation. There has been a moratorium on marijuana sales in Snowmass since shortly after Colorado voters approved Amendment 64, which legalized the drug, in 2012. The moratorium is extended through October 2018, and will likely be extended while officials figure out the next steps.

Snowmass Club Sale to Close for Roughly $20 Million
San Francisco-based ABA Hospitality is expected to close on the sale of the Snowmass Club by Aug. 5, the Aspen Daily News reported. The sale price is estimated to be in the low $20-million range, according to reports. The assets include an 18-hole golf course, spa and health club facility and management of contiguous vacation properties. The main clubhouse, which includes Sage Restaurant, is about 64,000 square feet in totality.

The purchasing group has projects in Florida and the Denver suburb of Centennial and recently sold Hyatt-branded properties in Florida. Additional townhome development could be anticipated as well as a refresh of the spa and workout facilities. No significant changes are anticipated for the golf course which is about 7,000 yards in length and received a massive overhaul by former owners, Aspen Skiing Co., more than a decade ago. Toll Brothers has owned the club for five years, having acquired it from SkiCo in March 2013 for $9.1 million.

Snowmass Mall Sale Closes for $28 Million
A group of local investors led by the former president of Related Colorado acquired the majority of the Snowmass Mall for $28.5 million from a subsidiary of Related Cos., the Aspen Daily News reported. Snowmass Mall Investment Group LLC is now the owner of 80,000 square feet consisting of restaurant, retail and service businesses.

Under Related’s ownership, which dates to 2005 under a subsidiary of the global real estate developer, the mall was eyed for scrape-and-replace redevelopment, which was a deterrent to long-term investment in the existing physical space. That will change under the new ownership. Plans for the property include catching up on deferred maintenance and making physical improvements. There is potential to pursue some smaller renovation and construction projects within individual buildings on the mall.


Pan and Fork Under Review, Again
The latest plan by a third different developer formally entered the review process with Basalt Planning and Zoning Commission to purchase 2.32 acres of prime Basalt real estate from the Roaring Fork Community Development Corp., the Aspen Times reported.

The new development could include: Twenty-two rowhouses; six affordable-housing units; a 1,300-square-foot visitors’ center for the Basalt Chamber of Commerce; The Art Base, a community arts center; an 800-square-foot coffeehouse bistro with a 200-square-foot patio; and two outdoor spaces would be included. Formal review will begin by the commission July 17.


Commercial Business Up in Carbondale
There are roughly 339 operating businesses within Carbondale (plus several in transition) and space for 33 more, according to The Sopris Sun’s second annual unofficial commercial inventory. That’s up from 306 and 39 respectively from the established baseline this time last year.

The municipality doesn’t issue business licenses and the Chamber of Commerce tracks only its members, so it can be difficult to ascertain whether local business is thriving or declining, much less calculate a commercial occupancy rate. Based on unofficial reporting, the town’s overall occupancy rate is solidly above 91 percent.

Glenwood Springs

April Sales Stay Relatively Flat
Glenwood Springs saw a significant drop during April in the city’s most lucrative source of sales tax dollars — general merchandise stores, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. Since 2014, in the month of April alone, general merchandise stores — which includes the large national retail stores — in Glenwood Springs have earned the city $1,038,673 in sales tax.

However, compared to April 2017, this April the city collected $40,165 less in sales tax from general merchandise stores, for a 17.10 percent decrease. Officials said this is partially because JC Penney went out of business the same month last year, decreasing extra revenue. The city also suffered from sales tax losses in categories like furniture/home furnishings and personal services when put side by side with last year’s April numbers.

Pitkin County

Skier Visits Down Statewide
Skier visits at Aspen Skiing Co.-owned resorts fell 7 percent in winter 2017-’18 compared to the prior season, the Aspen Daily News reported. With scant natural snowfall prior to mid-January, skier visits were down some 20 percent for November and December.

Local season pass use fell more than daily ticket sales and that strengthened business from Latin America was a bright spot. Overall skier visits at Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) member resorts were down 2 percent during the winter of 2017-’18 from last season.

Courthouse Renovations May Begin this Fall
After the new Pitkin County administration building is finished in July, officials will embark on a multimillion dollar renovation of the historic courthouse and will likely reduce the number of public entrances to just one, the Aspen Times reported.

That’s according to a presentation at the Pitkin County commissioners’ work session in June, which detailed what will happen to the inside of the three-story building once most of the current tenants move out this summer. Pitkin County’s new $24.6 million Administration and Public Safety building, located next door to the courthouse will be done in mid-July. That means the county treasurer, assessor and sheriff’s offices will move out of the courthouse — which opened in 1891 — and into the new building at that time.

The Aspen Police Department also will move out of the courthouse’s basement or “garden level” to its new $20.9 million building located next to the county’s new building on Main Street. That will free up a whole lot of space in the courthouse, which is good because the courts need more room.