Building on mall is next in buying spree
The Aspen Times
The Hyman Avenue pedestrian mall building that’s home to Hops Culture, two retail spaces and five apartments sold for $9.5 million Monday to a group that has made a string of multimillion-dollar purchases recently, according to public records.
The buyer is linked to Ajax Holdings, a limited-liability company controlled by local investor Brooke Peterson, energy executive Charif Souki and the Souki family. Peterson, manager and principal of Ajax Holdings, said Tuesday that there are no definitive redevelopment plans at this point, and the group will honor current leases for its tenants, which are Hops, Omnibus Gallery and Tesoro Aspen.
Future leases will depend on what renovation plans the group decides to pursue through the summertime, he said.
“I think it’s premature for us to say what the plans are at this point,” said Peterson, who also serves as an Aspen Municipal Court judge. “We are evaluating our options and looking to see what renovations we might want to make to the building and what we might want to do with it.”
He added that like all Ajax Holdings purchases, the group believes 410 E. Hyman Ave. will serve as “a very good, long-term investment.”
“Just like a lot of other people, we think the value of Aspen commercial property will be there in the long term,” Peterson said. “It was an opportunity that was presented to us, so we stepped up.”
Listing broker Karen Setterfield of Setterfield & Bright said Tuesday that talks of a sale began in early 2015 between Ajax Holdings representatives and owner Bud Hampel. The 11,000-square-foot building, which was originally listed for about $10 million, contains five free-market apartments, including two studios, two one-bedroom units and a two-bedroom unit. The restaurant space is about 3,700 square feet, while Omnibus occupies about 3,100 square feet and Tesoro occupies about 1,200 square feet.
Setterfield said she believes Hampel, who lives in Germany, was ready to move on from owning a commercial building in Aspen.
Ajax Holdings has been linked to a number of purchases in recent years. Most recently, the group engaged talks in purchasing 415 E. Hyman Ave., formerly home to Finbarr’s Irish Pub & Kitchen, and a next door space that once housed the Speakeasy nightclub. The group closed on the spaces Monday for a combined $6.5 million, with the Finbarr’s space commanding about $4.6 million.
The group purchased the Mason Morse Building, at 514 E. Hyman Ave., in early 2013 for $6.3 million, and it also owns Coldwell Banker Mason Morse, the real estate firm located at the building. Other purchases include the $8 million 426 E. Hyman Ave. building, the Durant Avenue retail space housing Performance Ski and several residential properties around the Roaring Fork Valley.
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