Hotel Jerome, old Aspen Times building closer to merging
The Aspen City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday that allows the expansion of the Hotel Jerome into the old Aspen Times building.
The 4-0 vote came during a first reading of the ordinance, which is subject to more rounds of discussion and scrutiny before it becomes official. Councilman Bert Myrin recused himself because he lives in close proximity to the proposed project.
The Hotel Jerome wants to convert the old Times building into five additional rooms. It also would redevelop the courtyard between the Times and Jerome structures. The Jerome has abandoned its plans to add a fourth floor on the side of the hotel facing Bleeker Street.
Both buildings are historic; the facade of the Times building cannot be removed under the city’s historic guidelines.
Chicago-based Jerome Property LLC purchased the hotel in 2007 for $52.2 million. Investors from 310 East Main Street Ventures, in partnership with the Hotel Jerome, bought the Times building for $3.2 million in August 2012 from the newspaper’s parent company, Colorado Mountain News Media Co., which is a division of Nevada-based Swift Communications.
The Hotel Jerome and Times buildings changed ownership in February 2010 when Houston businessman Dan Friedkin and Iconic Properties-Jerome LLC acquired them together for $72.5 million.
A public hearing, the second meeting on the project, is scheduled Feb. 22.
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It’s hard to fight City Hall and even harder to fight well-funded neighbors who don’t want any development near them, a local man has realized. So he settled for less than what he and his partner bought the property for.