Million-dollar view costs man many millions |

Million-dollar view costs man many millions

John Colson

A part-time resident of Aspen’s West End appears to have taken the concept of “million-dollar views” to new heights, even though he lives at the bottom of a canyon.Christopher Goldsbury, who lives in Aspen and in San Antonio, Texas, is believed to have paid as much as $20 million for six townhomes being built on a hillside above his home. And his plan is said to be to tear all or some of them down to preserve his uncluttered view of the hillside.The properties are six unfinished townhomes at the Aspen Meadows campus in the West End, which have been under construction for months.Goldsbury lives at the end of Sneaky Lane, the small street that leads north from the Aspen Public Works garage complex along Castle Creek. The new townhomes were being built along the top of the hill overlooking Sneaky Lane and the Castle Creek gorge. The structures are situated just to the south of the Meadows restaurant on Meadows Road.The listing real estate agency, Mason & Morse, declined to reveal the amount of the sale or the name of the buyer, but confirmed that the townhomes had been sold recently.At least one Mason & Morse realtor believed that some or all of the townhomes will be coming down soon as Goldsbury attempts to preserve the open hillside above his home.According to county records, several years ago Goldsbury paid $3 million for a lot adjacent to the townhomes project, where a single-family home was under construction. According to sources in the county, he proceeded to either remove the foundation of the home or filled it in with gravel and dirt. Today, there is nothing there but a grassy lot.”This sets a new high, certainly, for tear-downs,” one local real estate agent quipped.Perry Harvey, the agent who handled the listings for three of the townhomes, confirmed that all six of them had been sold to one “limited liability company,” and that the closing is scheduled for some time in June.”I’m under a confidentiality agreement,” Harvey said, “so I can say who the buyer is, I can’t say what the price was.” Unconfirmed reports have put the price as high as $20 million for the townhomes.Asked whether it is true that the townhouses will be torn down, Harvey said he did not know.”I have no idea what the buyer’s goal is,” he said.Harvey confirmed that work on the townhomes has stopped, but said that is because the buyer did not wish to continue with the same building contractors as have been doing the work. So work has stopped while the sellers pay off the contractors and subcontractors before turning everything over to the new owner.The few construction workers who were still at the building site on Thursday all confirmed that they had heard at least four of the buildings were to be torn down, because the buyer “didn’t want to have to look at them.”Another source connected with the Meadows operations, but who declined to be identified, also had heard the rumor that some or all of the townhomes will be demolished.Attempts to reach Goldsbury were unsuccessful. His telephone numbers in Aspen and San Antonio are unlisted.Goldsbury reportedly is the former owner of the Pace Picante Sauce corporation. Pace is now a trademark of the Campbell’s Soup Company.The townhomes were approved as part of the highly controversial Aspen Meadows Master Plan, hammered out by the city and then Meadows owner Mohamed Hadid. It carved up the Meadows into ownership by The Aspen Institute, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Physics Center at Aspen.Hadid’s corporation, Savanah Limited Partnership, received permission to build the townhomes and several single-family lots at one end of a historic horseracing oval in the middle of the Meadows property. The development rights have since been sold to other area developers.

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