A sign of the times in Basalt: Free rent for shop | AspenTimes.com

A sign of the times in Basalt: Free rent for shop


BASALT ” The sour economy is sweetening the deals for commercial spaces in the Roaring Fork Valley, especially one in the Riverwalk building in downtown Basalt.

The owner of a corner space formerly occupied by Moni’s home decor is trying to lease the 967-square-foot space by offering free base rent for the remainder of 2009. A tenant would only be required to pay the triple net expenses, which include property taxes, insurance, common area maintenance fees and some utilities, according to Chris Flynn, a real estate agent with Aspen Associates Realty Group, which has the listing on the space. Those expenses currently come to about $1,200 per month, he said.

The space is zoned for retail uses only; an office cannot be established there, Flynn said. The space has been vacant for about a year, so the owner, who also operated Moni’s, is trying to entice a tenant with the eye-catching offer. A big sign on the front window advertises “$0/month. Free base rent.”

Flynn said a landlord with vacant space has to do something unique to get attention these days because of the state of the economy. “There are very few tenants looking right now,” he said. “People [who do sign leases] are getting favorable deals.”

The free rent offer has gotten plenty of attention, Flynn said, and three prospective tenants have made inquiries.

The old Moni’s spot would be perfect for someone with a start-up business who needs a boost to get going, he said. The space is at the east end of Midland Avenue, Basalt’s main drag, so foot traffic isn’t as high as in other places in the town’s compact core. However, it’s an attractive corner spot close to the Roaring Fork River. A residential development called the Flying Fish is slated to be built just upstream, so that eventually will increase exposure and foot traffic.

While the free base rent offer is good through the end of the year, the owner wants a longer lease, such as two years, for waiving the base rent this year. The rent is negotiable, Flynn said.

The property also is listed for sale at $699,000, although the owner is open to offers.


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