Construction at Boomerang on hold
ASPEN Citing difficulties with securing financing and the necessary building permits, the owners of the Boomerang Lodge property have backed off plans to redevelop it, and instead are putting it up for sale. Steven Stunda, a principal with Virginia-based Fountain Square Property, which bought the property for $13.5 million in 2005, confirmed Friday that HVS Capital Corp. of Denver is marketing the 27,000-square-foot parcel, on Hopkins Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets. It is for sale.Stunda, who managed the Boomerang Lodge last ski season, said the decision to advertise the property came because of delays with the building permits. Those delays, coupled with the national mortgage industry slump, prompted the financier to withdraw from the project, Stunda said. Theres still a chance the current owners might redevelop the Boomerang property, but theyre advertising it to gauge outside interest, he said. When the lender comes back, well come back, Stunda said. But right now its [HVS Capitals] job to solicit proposals.Stunda would not disclose the asking price.Much of the former Boomerang Lodge was demolished in June. The condo-hotel received the citys approval in August 2006 for redevelopment into 54 condominiums, 47 of which the condo owners could not occupy for more than three months a year, said Craig Ward, an Aspen broker hired to sell the individual units.Those same rights would be transferred to the new owner, Ward said. Marketing material for the property originally indicated that construction would be complete by December 2008. That timeline has been pushed back by at least six months.[The owners] had [contractor] R.A. Nelson [& Associates] on site, Ward said. They thought the permits would unfold just like they had in the past.Stunda cited frustrations with the citys building department for not having the next round of permits ready in time.Im a little upset because had the city done what I thought they were going to do, we wouldnt be in this situation, he said. I know [the building department] is besieged, but my building permit should have been issued by now.Stephen Kanipe, head of the citys building department, was not available for comment Friday afternoon. Charles and Fonda Paterson had owned the Boomerang Lodge since 1956, after Charles Paterson expanded the log cabin where he had lived. During the hotels heyday in the 1960s, it was considered cutting-edge in design, and was featured on a full page of Life magazine in the early 1960s. Paterson, who came to Aspen in 1949, named it the Boomerang because he was confident that its guests would return. Rick Carrolls e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
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