Business Monday: Wrecking ball coming to Boogie’s Building in downtown Aspen
January 21, 2019
Front-end loaders recently started cranking up at the corner of East Cooper Avenue and South Hunter Street, home to a building project once decried as the "Boogification of Aspen" in the 1980s.
Boogie's Diner opened in 1987, its atrium drawing complaints that it was too big and out of step with Aspen.
Soon enough, however, the '50s-style diner would become one of Aspen's favorite restaurants before owner Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass closed it in April 2015. Since then the building has played host to such pop-up stores as the Black Market clothing store and Shakti Shala yoga studio.
Now under the ownership of New York-based developer Thor Equities, which bought the building for $27.5 million in May 2015, the building faces an overhaul that includes the removal of the atrium and a complete remodeling.
The Community Development Department awarded the building permit Sept. 7. The project has an evaluated cost of $4.8 million, and includes a full interior remodel of 15,728 square feet of space, according to building department records.
"They are redoing the whole building," said Aspen commercial real estate broker Angi Wang of Setterfield & Bright, which is marketing the property.
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The second floor already is accounted for, with an art gallery set to take the space, Wang said.
"Redevelopment is going to take a minimum of 12 months, but they're optimistic with their construction plans that they can turn everything over in September or October," she said.
Local firms tapped on the project include G.F. Woods Construction, which is the general contractor, and Poss Architecture + Planning Interior Design, which also designed the original Boogie's Building.
Wang declined to disclose how much the space is being offered for per square foot, but marketing material from Thor is clear the type of client it is seeking, noting that the town is full of luxury retailers and 50 billionaires have homes in Aspen, including Jeff Bezos, Michael Dell and John Paulson.
Under Weinglass' ownership, the building came with rights to build a penthouse, but Thor abandoned that with a focus on redeveloping its ground and second floors.
Thor is paying the city a $104,400 cash-in-lieu payment for the 3.48 parking spaces required with the new development, which expands its footprint from 9,895 leasable square feet to nearly 16,000 square feet. On-site affordable housing is not included in the redevelopment; however, it was unclear at press time how Thor plans to mitigate that, either through off-site housing, housing credits or fee-in-lieu payments.
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