Real Estate in the News January 2019


Park Avenue Project to Continue

A 28-unit affordable housing project that’s been in the works since 2014 but has appeared in doubt at times because of the developer’s concerns about the viability of the city’s affordable housing credit certificate program, is likely to start construction in May, the Aspen Daily News reported. The program allows a developer to build affordable housing to generate credits, which can then be sold to other developers in order to meet housing requirements for separate projects.

The project at 404 Park Ave. would replace two buildings containing free-market units that are affordable because of the buildings’ run-down condition. The new units would house 67 “full-time equivalent” employees, per the city’s calculation. The $20 million project may begin this spring. Residents living in the buildings are being told they have until May 1 to find a new place to live.

Co-working Space to Open in Aspen

A 4,400-square-foot second-floor co-working space will open on Cooper Avenue, the Aspen Daily News reported. Alt Aspen welcomes multiple conference rooms, a half dozen cubby-sized private offices, front desk, printing and telecommunications services and a “flex space” that can be used for small exhibitions. The project will also include 90 ski lockers. These will be available for annual rental (quoted price of $2,000) or for those who sign up for a week of office space use.

Alt Aspen’s pre-opening price list says private space will cost $250 per day in the peak seasons or $150 daily in off-season. Shared space would go for $150 daily at peak pricing or $50 during non-peak season. It is reported that a second co-working space may open at 517 E. Hopkins Ave. after receiving initial approvals from the Historic Preservation Commission.

Lift One Plan Approved

Aspen City Council agreed to refer a proposal encompassing two lodges and a new ski portal for the Lift One corridor to voters, giving in to a $4.36 million cost-sharing agreement, the Aspen Daily News reported. The cost sharing was the final hurdle to council support for the project that would result in a new lift with better skiing access located 500 feet farther down the hill from the existing lift, as well as revitalization of a corridor that has been languishing for decades. With the new lift comes potential for the return of World Cup ski racing. The hotels are seen by proponents as a needed boost to Aspen’s bed base, while the developer of the Lift One Lodge touted nearly $150 million in tax revenue estimated to be generated by the project over 30 years.


Coffey Place Planning to Start

Snowmass Village will begin the process of planning, reviewing and developing Coffey Place, a deed-restricted neighborhood of six duplexes and 12 single-family homes, the Aspen Daily News reported.  Coffey Place is named in honor of Joe Coffey, who died in early 2018 after spending more than 35 years nurturing and operating Snowmass’ housing program.

The housing is designed to be congruent with the Rodeo Place neighborhood in size, scale, massing and design. The single-family homes will include garages and have one unit that’s fully ADA accessible. Prices are anticipated to range from the mid-$200s to the high $500s.

Snowmass Club Sells for $18.5 million

The Snowmass Club has a new owner: ABA Hospitality purchased the venerable private club from Toll Golf for $18.5 million, according to the Aspen Daily News. The workout area is one section of the 64,000-square-foot main clubhouse that will receive an overhaul under the new ownership group.

First Female Mountain Manager Takes Over at Snowmass

As Aspen Skiing Co.’s first and only female mountain manager, Susan Cross is shaking up industry norms within a traditionally male-dominated arena, the Snowmass Sun reported. With former Snowmass mountain manager Steve Sewell’s retirement Dec. 31, Cross is now the leader at the largest of Skico’s four mountains.

Cross was promoted from her Buttermilk mountain manager post. Among the 52 applicants vying for what many consider a dream job, only three were women.


Affordable Housing Opens in Basalt

At a time when the soaring cost of real estate is making the difficult task of remaining in the Roaring Fork Valley particularly daunting, nine families are resting easier with new affordable-housing residences at the Basalt Vista, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. The project is a collaboration among Habitat for Humanity Roaring Fork, Pitkin County and the Roaring Fork School District. Twenty-seven units will be constructed behind Basalt High School in three phases. They will be sold to qualifying families at below-market prices.


Town Approves $7.18 Million Budget

Buoyed by sales tax revenue in 2018, the Carbondale Board of Trustees approved modest budget increases and maintained the enviable 75 percent reserves, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. The town is expected to finish the year with revenues 12.8 percent higher than the budget. At the final tally, sales tax revenue in 2018 is expected to be 7 percent higher than budgeted. The 2019 budget is $341,000 away from being a balanced budget, in terms of projected revenues to expenditures, meaning the town will need to dip into some reserves. The budget includes a $200,000 increase in appropriations for the general fund, totaling $7.18 million.

BLM Considers Fee Hike for Camping

The Bureau of Land Management is asking what the public thinks of a plan to begin charging camping fees for most of the area campgrounds and raising fees for existing campgrounds, the Aspen Times reported. The Colorado River Valley Office manages six campgrounds and currently only charges for two. The $10 rate is too low to cover all the costs.

One of the newer campgrounds the BLM hopes to charge for is located up Prince Creek south of Carbondale, which is already a popular spot for camping. The BLM completed two campgrounds this year along Prince Creek Road, each with five individual spots and one group spot. BLM proposes fees of $20 for each site, with an additional charge of $4 for each person staying at the group sites.

Glenwood Springs

Fitness Studio Opens

Anytime Fitness opened in the former Habitat for Humanity ReStore location south of Glenwood Springs, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported. Though it’s a national chain with 3,000 gyms and 3 million members, the franchise was opened by a Glenwood couple with athletic backgrounds.

Pitkin County

No More Unattended Vehicles at Airport Curb

Vehicles left unattended in front of the Aspen/Pitkin County terminal building will now be towed to the airport’s short-term parking lot, the Aspen Daily News reported. The change was sparked by concerns from the Transportation Security Administration, which doesn’t allow motorists to leave their vehicles unattended at any U.S. airport terminal’s drop-off or pick-up areas.

For now, no fee will be charged to anyone whose car is towed to the nearby short-term parking lot. The airport is providing one hour of free parking in the lot to assist those who have to leave their vehicles to assist someone who is departing from or arriving into Aspen.

Compost Program Continuing on a Successful Track

They Pitkin County Landfill turned a profit of $370,925 in 2017 from its composting operation, which sells composted byproducts such as soil, the Aspen Times reported. Most compost programs in the country are only breaking even, so it’s rare for the county’s to be making money. On the other hand, the Glenwood Springs Landfill loses more than $329,000 a year.

Pitkin County composted 14,000 tons of material in 2017, which was diverted from its rapidly filling landfill off Highway 82. The composting numbers for 2018 are not yet available, though officials expect they will be about 10 percent higher than 2017’s.