Aspen Club ownership eyes grand reopening for winter ’23-24
Some movement recently on property east of town, but new group’s "full start“ on construction is summer 2022
The new ownership of the Aspen Club & Spa property and redevelopment project has eyed the winter of 2023-24 for its reopening.
Garrett Simon of Boulder-based Meriwether Cos., which is one of three entities in partnership on the project, said Monday that preliminary work is being done on the Aspen Club site to shape it up for the summer 2022, which is when construction is scheduled to begin in earnest.
“We’re doing all of this work to position for a full start next summer,” Simon said. That will include “winterizing” the site for later this year by putting up retaining walls and doing some cleanup work in advance.
The general contractor, PCL Construction, has agreed to return after working under the previous ownership, according to Simon.
Meriwether Cos., which develops resort and private club projects, is teaming with Revere Capital and Fireside Investments on the redevelopment. The three entities collectively acquired the 5-acre property, located on Ute Avenue on the east side of town, for $52.59 million at a foreclosure auction Jan. 6.
Last week, developers and city officials met about what’s to come. The project will deviate little from the city’s original approvals, according to Simon.
“Our plans remain unchanged,” he said. “We had a good meeting with City Hall, and we still have the entitlements, and we’ll need to adjust the building permits, and we’ll work through the process with the city.” That will include filing a new land-use application with the city, submitting change-orders and pulling more building permits.
The property already has a foundation of approvals in place for redevelopment, which includes four-bedroom luxury condos, 10 three-bedroom luxury townhomes, four four-bedroom luxury townhomes and 12 worker-housing units. The residential aspect of the club would account for nearly 64,000 square feet. Also planned is a 60,838-square-foot club and spa with other amenities.
“We’re excited to see that the project is coming to completion,” said Phillip Supino, director of the city’s community development department. “It is our expectation that ownership has every intention of doing that.”
Neighbors of the project also have been kept apprised of its status, he said.
“They (the ownership) have been fairly active with neighborhood outreach,” Supino said. “They have been very responsible to the neighborhood on Ute (Avenue), communicating with them about the state of things as well as their intent to complete it.”
The new ownership also has a leg up on the project, because they will essentially be picking up from where the previous ownership left off. Michael Fox and investors bought the property in 1996 and gained city approval in 2010 to redevelop it, resulting in the club’s closure in 2016 to allow for construction.
Construction on the major redevelopment of the Aspen Club was planned for completion in fall 2018. It was suspended, however, in September 2017 when the majority of subcontractors quit the job because they had not been paid for their work and materials.
According to bankruptcy filings by the previous ownership, 15 of the site’s townhomes were between 60% and 80% complete, six condominiums were 30% complete, and the commercial component was 30% complete.
The Aspen Club debuted in 1977 and became both an athletic and social hub, with membership exceeding 1,000. The new ownership has hired a branding agency to see if they want to stick with the Aspen Club name or try something else
“We’re trying to be thoughtful about it,” Simon said. “It’s similar to the interior finish — we’re taking our time to be thoughtful about everything.”
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