Gracy’s to grace a new space in Aspen

Naomi Havlen

You’ll descend a different set of stairs if you want to shop at Gracy’s this summer.

The venerable Aspen consignment shop is moving to the subterranean space on the corner of Cooper Avenue and Galena Street, where a number of nightclubs have cycled through in the past few years.

The shop’s current below-grade location on Hopkins Avenue will become the temporary location for two businesses displaced by the Obermeyer Place project – Bleeker Street Gym and Main Street Copy Center.

The new shop will become Gracy’s Uptown, said owner Karen Carner – partly because there will be less square footage and partly because of the new neighborhood.

“I think it’s a premier corner in Aspen, with Paradise Bakery on one corner and Ralph Lauren will be on the other corner,” Carner said. “We’re moving up in the world, honey – watch out! We’re going places.”

The shop’s square footage will be cut in half by the move – from 7,000 to 3,500 square feet – and Carner said she will be more selective about the clothes she chooses for her inventory. She’ll also carry less furniture, she said.

“I believe that change is good – it’s good to shake up your life, and it forces you to improve,” Carner said. “This will be a great challenge, but also a blessing.”

Carner is the third owner of the shop, which was opened on Main Street almost 27 years ago by Gracy Carter. The shop was located above its current location before moving into the large garden-level space.

Of course, not much will change when the shop moves into the Mountain Plaza building on Cooper Avenue. The store will still be below grade and have a patio for outdoor displays.

“I love having a patio and a courtyard – it’s fun to take advantage of the full sunshine,” Carner said. Ideally, the more central location on one of Aspen’s most popular corners will mean more walk-in traffic to make up for higher rent, she said.

Carner said her landlord told her about Obermeyer’s acquisition of her location on Hopkins Avenue in January. As one of the largest retail spaces in town, she wasn’t surprised about Obermeyer’s interest in the space, or in her landlord’s willingness to make the change.

“It’s going to be remodeled at Obermeyer’s cost – that’s a hard deal to pass up,” she said.

Tim Belinski, manager of Obermeyer Redevelopment Co., said the Gracy’s space was the perfect temporary location for the Bleeker Street Gym and Main Street Copy Center, since it can be subdivided into two large spaces. Also, regular clients for both businesses will find the location convenient.

“We’re working with the city on getting the proper permits issued, and we should be done with construction by the end of April,” Belinski said.

The Obermeyer Place project is redeveloping a funky corner of Aspen shops bordered by Spring Street, Rio Grande Place and East Bleeker Street. The businesses in the area are being relocated while their existing buildings are razed to make way for a project that includes free-market and affordable housing, retail and service shops and medical offices.

When the project is completed in the summer of 2006, the businesses will move into their new digs in Obermeyer Place.

“We’ll be doing some publicity and advertising for all of these relocation efforts,” Belinski said. “The dust will soon be settling, and we’re anxious to move everyone across.”

Other businesses in the buildings to be razed will be relocated to a trailer business park on the Zupancis property on Main Street next to the county buildings, and to the recycling center on Rio Grande Place.

Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is