Little Nell buyers in Snowmass get deposits back |

Little Nell buyers in Snowmass get deposits back

Madeleine Osberger
Snowmass Village correspondent
Aspen, CO Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE – Deposits made on 16 of the 27 Little Nell Residences at Snowmass have been returned and the contracts terminated – the latest development in a week full of bad news regarding residential properties in Base Village.

According to a local real estate broker who asked not to be named, the contracts were terminated because developer Related WestPac has been unable to secure financing to complete the luxury, 27-unit Little Nell project in the heart of the base area – even though contracts had been signed on more than half of the units. The inability of the company to meet deadlines set out in the contracts may have been another factor in the latest turn of events, according to the source.

Also this week, several members of the company’s sales team were laid off from their jobs, a move possibly associated with the contract terminations.

Scott Stenman, a vice president with Related WestPac, said he is not at liberty to comment on either matter.

Rumors that have been widely circulating throughout Snowmass Village are giving business owners hope that the Aspen Skiing Co. may step in and buy back the properties as well as the yet-to-be-started building 6, a condominium structure.

Related WestPac closed on the commercial space in Base Village, buying it from original developers Skico and Intrawest in March 2007, for approximately $169 million.

Related WestPac has endured a series of financial difficulties since last fall when a consortium of German banks led by Hypo froze its credit. That led to construction halts, foreclosure proceedings on at least six Snowmass Village properties and the delay of the Viceroy’s second phase. The main Viceroy hotel building, along with its spa and restaurant, are expected to be open by early winter.

“We have been in ongoing discussions with Related and the Town of Snowmass Village in our desire to keep this development moving forward,” Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said in a prepared statement last week. “We cannot say anything else about the status of these discussions at this time.”

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