Aspen-area ranch sells for $24.5M | AspenTimes.com

Aspen-area ranch sells for $24.5M

ASPEN – Pitkin County’s most expensive single-family home sale in nearly a year closed Tuesday when a McLain Flats area estate fetched $24.5 million.

Aspen Lakes Ranch, located at 460 Sunnyside Lane in the Moore subdivision, was built on spec in 2009 by Aspen developer Bob Bowden.

Bowden is the president and owner of ALR II Development Inc., the seller of the property. The buyer is Aspen Lakes Ranch LLC, whose return address is in New York, public records show. The LLC was formed in May, according to the Colorado Secretary of State. No other information about the new owner was available Tuesday.

Both Bowden and Brian Hazen of Aspen-based Mason Morse, who represented the buyer in the transaction, said the sale is significant given the downturn in the Aspen real estate market over the past two years.

“The prices will go where they need to go, based on economic principles,” Hazen said. “I judge Aspen by its quality of life and whether it’s still desirable, and I think [the sale] gives proof that we are a very, very desirable place, and people are still looking for a good value.

“It’s a testament to the strength of our market during very difficult times.”

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Bowden said negotiations with the buyer carried on for six weeks. There were six potential suitors, he said.

“The level of the buyers was incredibly high,” Bowden said. “And we’re coming into the summer and out of six groups, there are five other buyers out there” that could potentially tap the local market.

The ranch was listed less than a year ago. It was originally advertised at $26.5 million, and most recently at $29.5 million, said Bowden, who bought two of the undeveloped parcels from former resident Kenneth Moore for $7 million in August 2007. A home and caretaker unit were built there in 2009 by Aspen-based John Olson Builders, Bowden said.

There have been signs that the local real estate market is on the mend.

The most recent statistics, issued in May by Roaring Fork Valley-based Land Title Guarantee Co., which tracks local real estate sales, show that April registered nearly $169 million in sales in Pitkin County, a spike of 128 percent over the same month last year.

And through April, Pitkin County had rung up $376.5 million in sales, a 9.7 percent improvement over the first four months of last year, according to Land Title Guarantee’s report.

So far this year, the biggest real estate transaction in Pitkin County came when the Limelight Lodge, located in downtown Aspen, sold for nearly $38 million.

But the Aspen Lakes Ranch sale represents the biggest single-family sale since July 14, 2009, when a Red Mountain mansion sold for $43 million. And since Jan. 1, 2009, five single-family homes have sold for more than $15 million.

Marketing literature for the Aspen Lakes Estate says it has seven bedrooms and 8 1/2 baths. Between the single-family home and the caretaker unit, the property, which sits on 8.9 acres, spans 13,068 square feet.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com

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