Golden Horn Building in downtown Aspen sells for $6.65 million |

Golden Horn Building in downtown Aspen sells for $6.65 million

File photo
Rick Carroll/The Aspen Times |

A downtown Aspen building with a rich history has changed ownership.

The Golden Horn Building, located at the corner of South Mill Street and East Cooper Avenue, sold for $6.65 million to a limited liability company controlled by Beverly Hills, California, businessman Benjamin Nazarian, the managing partner of Omninet Capital, a real estate investment firm.

Nazarian, a member of reportedly one of the world’s wealthiest Iranian Jewish families, did not return a telephone message Wednesday.

The property most recently was listed for $8.44 million. The sellers, David F. & Leticia Gordon, of Iowa, bought the property for $4.4 million in August 2003.

“The feeling is this is an iconic corner in downtown and he has a desire to hold the property for a long period of time,” said broker Andrew Ernemann, who represented Nazarian in the sale.

Ernemann, of Sotheby’s International Realty’s Aspen branch, said the new owner has no immediate plans to redevelop the property, which currently is occupied by Takah Sushi, The Meatball Shack, Ajax Bike & Sport and Stelzer and Associates, a business-consulting firm.

“This is a person who appreciates the history of Aspen but is also interested in Aspen’s future,” Ernemann said, noting that Nazarian is looking at other Aspen commercial properties, as well. Nazarian also owns a home in Aspen, Ernemann said.

Property records show the Golden Horn Building structure was built in 1956. Listing broker Joe Raczak’s website says the building, which is zoned commercial, has 7,619 square feet of net rentable space. Raczak did not return messages Wednesday.

Longtime tenant Irwin Stelzer, an economist and political commentator whose work appears in the Sunday Times and other publications, said he did not “have the vaguest” idea about his office’s future there.

“I don’t know what their plans are,” he said. Stelzer said he’s had an office in the Golden Horn Building for approximately two decades. During that time, his lease has been cancellable by either the tenant or landlord with 60 days notice, he said.

“His indication is he’s happy with it the way it is today,” Ernemann said.

The deal was recorded Friday in the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder’s Office.

The Golden Horn Building once was home to the famed restaurant bearing the same name. Along with the J-Bar and Red Onion, the Golden Horn was a popular hangout for locals and run by Aspen Hall of Fame member Steve Knowlton in the 1950s. Gourmet chef Klaus Christ ran it from 1972 to 1996. Another Aspen Hall of Famer, Jim Hayes, once ran a jewelry shop in the corner of the restaurant, and Howard Dean, the short-lived contender for the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential race, washed dishes there in 1971-72.

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