Aspen penthouse sells for $25 million

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times
A third-floor penthouse, along with a garage and storage space, sold for $25 million Thursday. The buyers will complete the rest of the interior construction, while the owners plan to hold onto the 20,000 square feet of commercial space.

One of downtown Aspen’s newest buildings brought in $25 million Thursday for a top-floor penthouse and some associated properties.

Aspen Core Ventures, comprised of developers Andrew Hecht and son Nikos, was the seller, property records show. The buyer was NZC CO, a Delaware-based limited-liability company.

Brokers on both sides declined to say who is behind NZC CO. Aspen developer Mark Hunt, who’s been on a commercial-property buying binge the past few years, said he had no connection to the acquisition.

Located at the corner of East Hyman Avenue and Hunter Street, the building that houses the penthouse is still under construction. The penthouse was not listed for sale, said brokers on both sides of the transaction.

“There’s a reason it sold before it hit the market,” said Andrew Ernemann, who represented the buyer. “It’s a totally unique, one-of-a-kind Aspen property, and I don’t think it can ever be replicated again.”

That’s largely because of an ordinance passed by the Aspen City Council in 2012 banning construction of penthouses and condominiums in the downtown core.

Some penthouse applications approved before the ordinance took effect are still valid. That includes the third-floor penthouse rights at the Boogie’s Building at 434 E. Cooper Ave.

Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass sold the building for $27.5 million in May to New York developer Thor High Street Advisors.

Ernemann said the buyers were concerned that the Boogie’s Building with a new penthouse could encroach their views. But further research showed that the new owners aren’t eyeing a penthouse, he said.

“We extensively investigated that,” Ernemann said. “And it had no bearing on it because my understanding is that a penthouse is not going to be built, and they will use it in a different way.”

Aspen broker Craig Morris, who with Lex Tarumianz represented the sellers, said the new owners will absorb the rest of the cost on completing interior construction of the penthouse.

“The buyer now has to go in and finish and furnish the residential,” Morris said, noting that includes completing the cabinets, counter tops and floors. “The buyer’s doing that on top of the purchase price.”

The penthouse comprises about 8,000 square feet. Another 1,200 square feet of garage and storage space were part of the deal. The owners also will have a 4,000-square-foot rooftop deck and swimming pool.

“If you drew a circle around downtown Aspen, this would be close to center of the circle,” Morris said.

He added: “Whether you call it a trophy property or a legacy property, I just don’t think there’s a description that overstates the magnitude of this property.”

The mixed-use building also includes some 20,000 square feet of available commercial space. Morris said the Hechts plan to keep ownership of that space and lease it out to tenants.

In November 2014, 633 Spring Penthouse LLC, controlled by Nikos Hecht, sold another penthouse a block away on East Hyman Avenue. That penthouse, located in the Muse Building, brought in $15.8 million. Morris and Tarumianz also represented the seller in that deal.

Aspen Core Ventures also owns the Little Annie’s building at 517 E. Hyman Avenue, as well as 521 E. Hyman Ave., another box building under construction.