Pitkin Co. real estate: biggest deals of 07
ASPEN The subprime mortgage crisis was one the biggest business stories of 2007, as illustrated by a 1.69 percent national foreclosure rate in the third quarter the highest rate in decades and sales of new homes in the U.S. hitting a 12-year low in November. Reports of tanking home sales in markets all over the country were commonplace, and the effects rippled through Wall Street, where executives lost jobs, as well as in the building industry construction activity declined to its slowest pace in 16 years. The crisis was hardly detected in the Pitkin County real estate market, which continues to thrive. Through October 2007, Pitkin County real estate sales had hit $2.22 billion, according to a report by Land Title Guarantee Co. The business of flipping property in Pitkin County also appeared to be humming along, as reports of homes and commercial property being sold at profits of 50 percent and higher were numerous. This week Inside Business takes a peek at the years 10 biggest real estate transactions in Pitkin County that have closed. Combined, those transactions added up to nearly $250 million more than the gross national product of such countries as Tonga, or $25 million less than the value of baseball star Alex Rodriguezs contract. However you slice it, the top 10 sales add up to one quarter of a billion dollars in real estate sales, which, for better or worse, is not too shabby for town of fewer than 7,000 year-round residents. Heres the breakdown:No. 1 Hotel Jerome, 330 E. Main St. Price: $52,222,200 Sale date: May 24 Seller: Oklahoma Publishing Buyer: Elysian Worldwide LLC and Lodging Capital Partners LLC, both of Chicago Total heated area: 113,282 square feet Characteristics: 92 bedrooms Year built: 1889 Property taxes: $275,262 in 2006 Worth noting: This was one deal that nobody saw coming, and that included members of the Aspen City Council, who had spent many hours working with the then-owners, Oklahoma Publishing, on remodel plans for the historic hotel. But the fate of the Jerome, built in 1889 during Aspen’s silver boom, took an unlikely turn when Oklahoma Publishing announced to its employees in March that it was changing hands. The new owners of the 92-room hotel, Chicago-based firms Elysian Worldwide Lodging Capital Partners, soon announced the Main Street hotel would be run by RockResorts International, a division of Vail Resorts. While the buzz around town has been that the new owners plan to convert the Jerome into fractional ownership units or condominiums, no such plan has been made public. The most noticeable changes to the Jerome were in management Tony DiLucia, the longtime general manger, resigned when the new owners took over. Alterations also have been made to the menu. Aspen residents recently received mailings from the new owners, who extended an invitation to drop by and have a cocktail or bite to eat.No. 2 1025 N. Starwood Dr. Price: $36.5 million Sale date: Dec. 5 Seller: Bricol NV (Prince Bandar bin Sultan) Buyer: Star Mountain 3 LLC Total heated area: 14,395 square feet Characteristics: 5 bedrooms, 12 baths Year built: 2004 Property taxes: $75,865 in 2006 Worth noting: The $36.5 million price tag made this the county record for the largest price ever paid for a single- family residence. The sale of the property, owned by Saudi Arabian Prince Bandar bin Sultan since 1992, came just weeks after he delisted his main estate, which had been on the market for $135 million. The buyer, Jeffrey Soffer, also bought a home in the Five Trees subdivision in 2006 for $11.1 million. Soffer built a $650 million luxury condominium community in Las Vegas and also developed Turberry Ocean Colony in South Florida.No. 3 Elk Mountain Lodge, 45 Rooney Circle Price: $ 26,455,479 Sale date: May 11 Seller: David Middleton, Ellen Randall Trust Buyer: Elk Mountain Lodge LLC, William Koch Total heated area: n/a Characteristics: n/a Year built: 1981 Property taxes: $36,030.76 in 2006 Worth noting: The Elk Mountain Lodge sold for $3.2 million in 1992, meaning the sellers the David Macon Middleton and the Ellen Randall Revocable Management Trust sold it for more than eight times what they paid for it. The buyer, Bill Koch, is a majority owner of the energy firm Oxbow Corp. The property includes seven buildings. But the main building the lodge is being converted into a single-family home.No. 4 Popish Valley Ranch, 1551 Wildcat Ranch Price: $26 million Sale date: May 14 Seller: Sandra Lloyd Buyer: Harvey Armstrong of California, Clear W. Ranch of Nevada Total heated area: 1,975 square feet Characteristics: 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths Year built: 1900 Property taxes: $58,690.64 Worth noting: In 1989 Lloyd bought the same property for $1.2 million, according to public records. And 18 years later, she sold it for nearly 22 times as much. Sitting on a 540-acre parcel of land, the property includes a ranch house built in 1898, two ponds, and a barn that dates back to 1910. It was originally listed in the fall of 2006 and went under contract before the deal fell through. The property was listed again in January, with an asking price of $30 million. Armstrong, a former partner with the Big Four accounting firm KPMG, is a co-founder of Harris myCFO, a California-based online financial services firm.No. 5 3224 Castle Creek Road Sale price: $ 23.5 million Sale date: June 28 Seller: Perry Leff, Abbe Lane Leff Buyer: 3224 Castle Creek Corp. Total heated area: 8,302 square feet Characteristics: 5 bedrooms, 6.5 baths Year built: 1994 Characteristics: 4 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths Property taxes: $ 17,803.48 in 2006 Worth noting: Known as The Estate on Castle Creek, the property was listed for $25.5 million by Coates Reid & Waldron. The home was designed by Aspen architect Bill Poss. The buyer is incorporated in Delaware, and has a Vero Beach, Fla., mailing address.No. 6 210 Eagle Pines Drive Price: $22.8 million Sale date: Aug. 30 Seller: Eagle Pines Lot 2 LLC Buyer: Jeffrey I. Wooley and Julie C. Wooley of Tampa, Fla. Total heated area: 10,585 square feet Characteristics: 5 bedrooms, 6 1/2 baths Year built: 2005 Property taxes: $42,540.16 in 2006 Worth noting: Forbes magazine reports that the buyer, Mr. Wooley, is chairman of the board of Asbury Automotive Group Inc., and served as the president and CEO of Asbury Automotive Tampa from September 1998 to February 2005. Once the owner of nine auto dealership franchises, Wooley also is the past president of the Pontiac National Dealer Council, Forbes reports.No. 7 BMC West, 38005 Highway 82 Sale price: $ 18.25 million Sale date: Dec. 17 Seller: BMC West Inc. Buyer: The city of Aspen Year built: 1985 Property taxes: $ 47,766.76 in 2006 Worth noting: The city of Aspen will use the property to build affordable housing, which will cost about $ 600,000 per unit, including land and construction costs. The lumber company will lease the building from the city for $ 50,000 until the development is ready to be built.No. 8 Mill Street Commercial Center, 465 N. Mill St. and 557 N. Mill St. Sale price: $14.6 million Sale date: June 19 Seller: John Provine and Ron Soderling Buyer: Ron Garfield, Andrew Hecht, Douglas Ostrover, Nikos Hecht, Mill Street Capital Partners, Korenvaes Capital Partners of Dallas, and the Hecht Children’s Trust. Total heated area: 28,000 square feet (two buildings) Years built: 1970 (557 N. Mill St.), 1977 (465 N. Mill St.) Property taxes: $ 68,366.52 in 2006 Worth noting: The transaction was a two-pronged deal, in which seven LLCs bought the 8,000-square-foot back building, which houses an architectural firm and a tanning salon, among other businesses, for $ 1,277,500. The LLCs acquired the 20,000-square-foot front building, which also includes the likes of a coin-operated laundromat, a bike shop and a video store, for $ 13,322,500. The building is zoned Service/Commercial/Industrial. Among the building’s new owners are Aspen attorneys Ron Garfield and Andrew Hecht. Other investors included Timothy Presutti, Douglas Ostrover, Nikos Hecht, Mill Street Capital Partners, Korenvaes Capital Partners of Dallas, and the Hecht Children’s Trust. The sellers, John Provine and Ronald Soderling, bought the same property for $10 million nearly one year earlier.No. 9 81 Herron Hollow Sale Price: $14.5 million Sale date: Sept. 19 Seller: Paula Zahn and Richard Cohen, Herron Hollow LLC Buyer: Joan Furman Partners LLC Total heated area: 6,573 square feet Characteristics: 5 bedrooms, 5 1/2 baths Year built: 1988 Property taxes: $10,952.04 in 2006 Worth Noting: The lower Red Mountain home had been owned by CNN newscaster Paula Zahn and Boston real estate magnate Richard Cohen, who bought the property for $3.8 million in 2000. The couple have been engaged in a reportedly nasty divorce, and sold the home as part of the break-up.No. 10 680 Nell Erickson Sale price: $14 million Sale date: Dec. 26 Seller: Antonia Zurcher Buyer: Mark Hunt Total heated area: 5,265 square feet Characteristics: 4 bedrooms, 4 baths Year built: 2002 Property taxes: $16,827.96 in 2006 Worth Noting: The seller is one of three daughters of Walter and Elizabeth Paepcke, the iconic Aspen couple who transformed Aspen into a cultural hub by helping open the Aspen Music Festival and School, The Aspen Institute, the International Design Conference and the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.