City of Aspen entertains offer on Hyman house
The city of Aspen is entertaining an offer on a house it owns in a West End neighborhood that has been on the market since last spring.
Interim City Manager Sara Ott confirmed on Monday that the city is considering an offer on the house, located at 312 W. Hyman Ave. The details of the offer have not been made public.
Aspen City Council is expected to discuss the potential real estate transaction in executive session Monday.
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom house was most recently listed at $3.95 million. That is $1 million less than the original asking price.
When the $4.9 million price didn’t garner any interest, it was knocked down to $4.4 million last summer. Then in the fall, it was reduced to the current price.
The city bought the property from Jordie Gerberg in 2007 for $3.5 million because he planned to sell it and have it demolished to make way for a new home.
In a 3-2 vote, council designated the property historic, which prevented it from being torn down. Historic Preservation officials noted the home’s architecture reflects the history of Aspen as it became a ski resort. The chalet-style, two-story house was built in 1956.
Councilman Ward Hauenstein expressed his concern last fall when the price was reduced for the second time that the historic designation had lessened its value because there are limitations to development.
Hauenstein wanted to discuss removing the designation, but he didn’t get support from the rest of council.
Councilman Bert Myrin at that September meeting said he wanted to get an appraisal for the property but couldn’t get other council members to agree.
He reaffirmed his position Monday.
“My thought is that just like when you buy something with other people’s money you should get an appraisal, and you should get an appraisal if you are selling something with other people’s money,” he said.
Myrin also suggested earlier this month that the Hyman Avenue property should remain in the city’s inventory so it can house the next city manager.
Myrin, along with the rest of the council, agreed last week to allow outgoing city manager Steve Barwick to remain in his home for one year before selling it back to the municipal government.
No one is currently living in the Hyman Avenue home.
The city had rented the nearly 2,000-square-foot property to an individual through the Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority for just over $2,000 a month. That person moved out in May.
After he sold the home to the municipal government, Gerberg rented from the city until 2009. He paid $2,000 a month and rented a portion of the home to another tenant for $1,000.
Over the years, the city has been approached with different deals and offers on the property, including Gerberg’s proposal to buy it back, but none of them were viable.
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Many members of the community wrote to laud the former Skico executive and city councilman for his friendship, dedication to family and community-minded spirit over more than two decades in Aspen.