ASPEN - Pitkin County's biggest home sale of the year closed Friday when a Buttermilk Mountain estate fetched $31.5 million.
The seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom, 12,432-square-foot mansion was acquired by Aspen Grove Properties LLC, said Steven Shane, owner of Aspen-based SDS Real Estate Co. Shane, who represented the buyer in the deal, said the new owner does not want to disclose. Public records show the same LLC sold a McSkimming Road home on Sept. 27 for $7.4 million.
The seller was WBR Associates LLC, which is controlled by software magnate Robert Zangrillo, according to the Multiple Listing Service. Aspen broker Joshua Saslove and Aspen attorney Joseph Krabacher represented the seller.
Friday's deal trumps the previous biggest home sale of the year - hedge fund manager John Paulson's $24.5 million purchase of a McLain Flats home in June - by $7 million.
Shane called the estate, located at 2435 W. Buttermilk Road, a "luxury" property that had all the right elements for the buyer.
Namely, it sits on 44 acres and includes a 720-square-foot, three-car garage; a 563-square-foot guest home with a 440-square-foot, two-car garage; and a 4,769-square-foot, six-stall barn. It also sits high on Buttermilk Mountain with commanding views, Shane noted. The estate's property tax and special assessment bill was $54,318.96 in 2010, according to the county assessor's office.
"This property provided acreage and dramatic views with still close proximity to downtown Aspen," Shane said. "There aren't many properties like that out there. There are some spectacular properties out there but you typically don't get a lot of land on Red Mountain or the West End."
Designed by Aspen architect Robert Sinclair of Robert G. Sinclair Architectures, the home was completed in 2008. However, it was originally listed two years earlier in 2006. From October 2007 through October 2009, it was listed at $60 million, its highest advertised price.
It most recently was marketed at $47.5 million, Shane said, adding that the financial climate seemed ideal for the buyer to get a substantial discount, in this case, one of $16 million.
"I would say that my buyer, like many other buyers, understood the economic and real estate environment that currently exists and was looking for value in his purchase," Shane said.
The purchase is the latest indicator of a resurgence in Pitkin County's real estate market.
In the month of August - the latest month available by valley-based Land Title Guarantee Co., which tracks local real estate trends - dollar volume of sales climbed nearly 31 percent over August 2009.
The dollar volume of all sales in August was nearly $74.5 million, compared to $57 million for the month in 2009. There were 53 real estate transactions in Pitkin County in August, compared to 44 last year. That is an increase of 20.5 percent.
Year-to-date 2010 through August, the dollar volume is $722.4 million, or an increase of 10.3 percent, from the same point last year, Land Title Guarantee Co. reported. Sales totaled $655 million for the first eight months of this year.