ASPEN - The tony Aspen retail scene is about to get tonier.
Brunello Cucinelli, an Italian clothier for men and women, is planning to open sometime before the ski season. It stands to be the first tenant in the new building at 508 E. Cooper Ave., the former location of the taverns Cooper Street Pier and Bad Billy's.
Commercial real estate broker Lex Tarumianz, who was involved in the lease for the space, could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Lettering on the windows of the new building says that Brunello Cucinelli is "coming soon."
On its website, Brunello Cucinelli describes itself as "an Italian company in the fashion industry that produces luxury products." The retailer sells coats, jackets, dresses, footwear, handbags, sweaters, pants, shirts, skirts and other fashion accessories.
Another high-end retailer with stores in Vail and Edwards is getting ready for business in the Cooper Avenue pedestrian mall. Blitz, which specializes in contemporary women's fashions, has signed a lease for the space at 414 E. Cooper Ave., formerly occupied by LivAspenArt's gallery.
Commercial real estate broker Karen Setterfield, who assisted with that lease, said Blitz is in it for the long haul.
"They've been wanting to come to Aspen for a while, and this is their chance," she said.
Setterfield said she's working to find a new location for LivAspenArt. A possibility lies in the new retail spaces on the second floor of the Aspen Grove Building, at 525 E. Cooper Ave., near BB's Kitchen.
"Two gallery spaces have been divided up into six separate spaces," she said. "They are being created right now. The landlord is building out spaces so the tenants can get them in November and open by December."
Five of the spaces are between 500 and 600 square feet. Setterfield described them as affordable by local standards, in the vicinity of $3,600 per month. A sixth space is 1,280 square feet and could be used as a small restaurant with outdoor seating.
There is always a location shuffle on the retail scene in Aspen in the fall, but Setterfield noted that with the economy improving, there aren't as many goings and comings this year compared with the past few years.
"There's not as much movement this year because there aren't as many vacant spaces," she said.
Setterfield added that she's working to find a new space for Susie's Limited Consignments, which is currently located at 623 E. Hopkins Ave. The building that houses the store is slated for redevelopment, possibly next year.