Bidder wins right to buy Aspen Land Fund’s note
ASPEN – A New York-based financial advisory firm on Wednesday selected a winning bidder to buy the $22.5 million promissory note held by a development company that hopes to build a hotel at the base of Aspen Mountain.
Mission Capital Advisors LLC was hired by Alpine Bank to take bids on the note that secures 2.4 acres on South Aspen Street.
Neither Mission Capital nor Alpine Bank would reveal how many bidders there were or who the winning bid was awarded to. The closing date is scheduled for March 30 but it’s unlikely that the identity of the bidder will be revealed then, either.
“The results of the loan sale in any form will not be publicly released,” said Stephen Emery, managing director of Mission Capital, in an e-mail. “[It’s] between the bank and the investors.”
The land on South Aspen Street is owned by Aspen Land Fund II, a subsidiary of Newport Beach, Calif.-based Centurion Partners, which seeks approval to build a 122,000-square-foot hotel-residence project known as the Lodge at Aspen Mountain.
Aspen Land Fund II came out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month in an effort to raise capital and renegotiate with the bank to keep the note.
Aspen Land Fund’s note is part of a $73.5 million mortgage loan portfolio sale conducted by Mission Capital that includes loans on four other Aspen properties, as well as one in Snowmass Village and one in Beaver Creek.
Aspen Land Fund’s refinance loan is the largest in the portfolio and is secured by the land on South Aspen Street, which has current development rights for 14 luxury townhomes.
Alpine Bank President Glen Jammaron said retaining Mission Capital to sell the loans is an attempt to protect the best interests of its customers by trying to recoup its money.
It’s unknown whether Aspen Land Fund made a bid with Mission Capital.
Aspen City Clerk Kathryn Koch said a few people representing law firms or real estate companies have inquired about the South Aspen Street property, adding they’ve requested public records related to land entitlements and development rights.
Currently, the promissory note is secured by a deed of trust, and the vacant property on South Aspen Street is being used as collateral.
Alpine Bank has claimed that it is not adequately protected because it says the value of Aspen Land Fund’s collateral is nearly $4.5 million less than the debt owed.
The bank recently obtained an appraisal of the vacant property, which as of Nov. 20 listed its value at $19 million, assuming current land-use approvals.
Aspen Land Fund has argued that the property will be worth more if and when the hotel development rights are secured.
Alpine Bank holds as additional security a CD valued at nearly $1.6 million. The value of the property and the CD is roughly $20.6 million.
The property also is encumbered by a $4.9 million junior lien to South Aspen Real Estate LLC, which was financed by Goldman Sachs. Alpine Bank claims Aspen Land Fund is unsecured on that lien as well.
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The state transportation department’s $2.6 million plan to rebuild the roundabout west of Aspen next summer and fall appears to be moving along on schedule based on two votes in the Upper Roaring Fork Valley last week.