Owners of Aspen’s old Stage 3 property want to sell it | AspenTimes.com

Owners of Aspen’s old Stage 3 property want to sell it

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Aspen Times fileThe former Stage 3 property on Main Street in Aspen sits untouched in March, when its owners filed for bankruptcy.

ASPEN – The owners of the old Stage 3 property have taken legal steps to auction it off for at least $15 million.

That’s the latest development in the bankruptcy proceedings by Dallas-based Aspen Main Street Properties Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in March. On Thursday, the developer filed a motion asking the court to allow it to sell the property, located at 625 E. Main St. in Aspen, on or about Aug. 1 at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Dallas.

The motion states that the sale would be free of all liens and claims on the property, and “the advertised price shall be at least $15,000,000.”

“A sale of the property is in the best interest of [Aspen Main Street Properties] and its creditors,” the motion says, adding that the “debtor believes the proposed auction sale will provide good offers with reasonable prospects of closing.”

Selling the property would enable Aspen Main Street to pay off its creditors, including Alpine Bank, which is owed $11.25 million, as well as $63,130 in taxes and $381,343 in unsecured claims, the motion says. Alpine Bank could use the amount it is owed by Aspen Main Street Properties to purchase the property, the motion says.

Aspen Main Street’s motion to sell comes when Alpine Bank has been pushing for the court to dismiss the bankruptcy, or allow the bank to foreclose on the Main Street property.

Each side can’t agree on the property’s value – Aspen Main Street has contended it is worth $19 million, while Alpine Bank claims its worth no more than $7 million. Those assertions have been made in court filings as part of the bankruptcy proceedings, though neither party has identified the source of the appraisals.

Joyce Lindauer, the attorney representing Aspen Main Street Properties in the bankruptcy, did not return a telephone message left at her Dallas office Friday.

Aspen Main Street Properties bought the property in question in May 2006 for $5 million from the Carmisch Brothers of Minnesota. For 20 years the property was home to the Stage 3 movie theater complex.

In 2007, the new owner demolished the theater building with plans to redevelop the property into a 27,000-square-foot, mixed-use building that would include office and commercial space, along with five free-market condominiums, five affordable-housing units and 28 parking spaces.

Construction was suspended in the winter of 2008, and Alpine Bank began foreclosure proceedings in August 2009, claiming that Aspen Main Street Properties was delinquent on a $4.7 million loan.

Aspen Main Street Properties then sued Alpine Bank in Pitkin County District Court to prevent the property from going to foreclosure, but a judge ruled that the sale was valid, clearing the way for the property to be sold at auction. Aspen Main Street Properties then filed bankruptcy, and by doing so, staved off a foreclosure auction.