Aspen eyeing Gap building |

Aspen eyeing Gap building

Charles Agar
The Aspen Tmes
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Eager for office space in the downtown core, city of Aspen officials are eyeing the building that houses the Gap clothing store on the corner of Galena Street and Hopkins Avenue.

At Wednesday’s Zupancis-Galena (ZG) Master Plan meeting, city officials said if the plan was approved, they could build 15,000 square feet of office space above the current offices of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association, located at 425 Rio Grande Place.

The space is much needed, officials contend, but they said they would prefer new offices closer to City Hall.

With city departments leaking to rented space elsewhere in the downtown core ” including a recent building department move to space in the basement of the Aspen Daily News building at 517 E. Hopkins Ave. ” officials are eyeing the building that now houses the Gap, just across the street from City Hall, according to Mayor Mick Ireland.

“We’re definitely talking to [the owners] about that,” Ireland said.

Pitkin County Assessor’s Office records identify the owners of the building, which is located at 204 S. Galena St., as S. Goodman and J.M. Barnett of Arkansas. The 11,117-square-foot building has an actual value of $8.75 million, according to the assessor’s office.

City officials also could share space in the proposed county building in the ZG Master Plan area, Ireland said.

The city of Aspen owns the Zupancis property, land it would sell to Pitkin County to allow it to build new office space. Ireland said any potential sale could come with a provision to share office space there.

Assistant City Manager Bentley Henderson said any discussions over the Gap building are in the context of a possible remodel of the whole corner.

“If we could wave a magic wand, our choice would be not to go down there,”

Henderson said of the proposed office site in the ZG master plan area, a short walk from City Hall.

It ultimately is up to the Aspen City Council, however, to decide on any potential land purchases, Henderson said.