Real estate office headed for old Aspen Drug space | AspenTimes.com

Real estate office headed for old Aspen Drug space

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times staff writer

The commercial space on the corner of Hyman Avenue and Galena Street formerly occupied by Aspen Drug is expected to be the new home of an Intrawest real estate sales center.

“We are in the process of signing a lease for the Aspen Drug space,” said Leslie Robbins, an Intrawest spokesperson. “We are going to use it to promote our real estate ventures.”

And while Robbins could not confirm exactly which real estate ventures would be sold out of the prime space on the Hyman Avenue Mall, she expected that it would be used to sell the proposed Base Village project at the bottom of the Snowmass Ski Area. That project, which includes 683 condos, is currently in its first level of review by the Snowmass Village Town Council.

“At some point, I think it would be to sell Base Village, to showcase the project, but it could be to sell other projects,” Robbins said.

Intrawest and the owners of the Aspen Skiing Co. are partners in the proposed village, which also includes a carefully planned mix of retail stores and restaurants, but no significant real estate sales offices.

It’s not clear when the new Intrawest sales office in Aspen would open.

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“There is no scheduled time line right now,” Robbins said. “We are still in the planning phase as to when that might open. There is a lot of work that would need to be done to that space.”

The Intrawest real estate sales location would be the fourth real estate sales office on the Hyman Avenue Mall, joining The Ritz-Carlton, Chenoa, and ReMax, which recently opened a small office near Takah Sushi.

Around the corner on Mill Street, the Four Peaks development group is working on remodeling both floors of the old Eddie Bauer store in order to develop a sales center for the pending Hyatt Grand Aspen time-share project, which is to be built at the base of Aspen Mountain. Frank Goldsmith, a local partner with Four Peaks, doesn’t expect the Hyatt sales center to be open until at least this fall.

Four Peaks also plans on keeping its current office on Mill Street to market properties at the top of Mill Street and at Aspen Highlands.

This will not be the first retail real estate sales center for Intrawest, which is famous for closing on millions of dollars of resort real estate in a single day at its other mountain and beach resorts.

The company, based in Vancouver, recently opened a store in Lower Downtown Denver to sell real estate it is developing at Copper Mountain. In the store near 15th Street, it has built a full-scale, walk-in model of one of its units at Copper. And according to a recent article in the Denver Post, Intrawest plans on opening other real estate stores in other major cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The company has a separate division, called Playground, that is in charge of marketing and selling its real estate products, as well as developments built by other companies.

“Playground is quickly establishing itself as the North American leader in resort home sales and is great validation of our strategy of leveraging our expertise to create business opportunities,” said Michael Coyle, Intrawest’s senior vice president of marketing for Intrawest.

Some retail-space watchers have speculated that Starbucks might also be going into the Aspen Drug space. That’s not the case, according to Scott McKay, the vice president of retail operations of Intrawest.

Starbucks and Intrawest have a partnership to open a new coffee shop in the Breeze ski rental space in the North of Nell building at the base of Aspen Mountain. Intrawest owns the Breeze chain and controls the retail space where Breeze has operated for years. Intrawest had hoped to get its new Starbucks-in-a-ski-shop open by this summer, but the new opening date is now mid-September.

“We’ve been slow in doing it just to make sure we do it right, to give it an Aspen flavor,” McKay said. “We want to do something really special in that location.”

[Brent Gardner-Smith’s e-mail address is bgs@aspentimes.com.]