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Condos sell like hot cakes

Naomi Havlen

All 18 free-market condos in the Obermeyer Place development went under contract on Monday, at a total cost of $48 million.

The project will redevelop one of Aspen’s last light-industrial neighborhoods, located along Rio Grande Place, with a combination of housing, offices and service and commercial shops. It was spearheaded by Klaus Obermeyer, founder of Sport Obermeyer and owner of much of the property that’s slated for redevelopment.

The free-market housing units were put under contract between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Monday, said Dwayne Romero, director of development for Obermeyer Place.

Fifty prospective buyers lined up to purchase one of the units late last year and early this year, and on Monday developers offered the units to 18 people, selected by a reservation system that included a random drawing.

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“We hadn’t run through the complete list yet, so unfortunately we had a half dozen or so reservation holders who couldn’t purchase units because our inventory was completely contracted,” Romero said.

“But nonetheless, we placed several reservation holders on a list for backups. It’s a good indication of the strength of the project.”

The sales are an encouraging sign for developers who are depending on the presale of units to make a project happen.

The existing buildings between Sprint Street, Rio Grande Place and East Bleeker Street will be demolished to make way for the new development. Romero said demolition should begin in three weeks.

Businesses on the site will be temporarily relocated to mobile structures on the Zupancis property, next to the county annex building on Main Street.

“It’ll be a temporary business park – a replication of the funkiness of that area, but in a good way,” Romero said. “It’s in the spirit of ‘Pardon our mess’ as we do this, but most of the businesses are cooperating, and we’re recognizing that the gold at the end of the rainbow is a wonderful new neighborhood for them.”

The 18 buyers of the Obermeyer condominiums herald from all over the United States. Three are from Colorado. Others are from Minnesota, Florida, Delaware, New York, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Maryland, Georgia and California.

“Not a one of them is a newbie to Aspen, though – they’re all loyalists,” Romero said.

The free-market units range from 2,000 square feet to 3,720 square feet, and prices ranged from $1.75 million to $3.87 million. The purchasers get two parking spaces in the project’s underground parking structure.

The project actually includes 21 free-market units, but three are reserved for the three landowners whose parcels are part of the redevelopment project.

There are also 21 deed-restricted units to be constructed, which will go to local workers who qualify to own housing under the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority guidelines. The developers do have the ability to offer those units to individuals of their choosing.

Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com


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