South Aspen Street parcel sells for $15M |

South Aspen Street parcel sells for $15M

ASPEN – A Boston-based real estate equity firm has acquired 2.4 acres on South Aspen Street, which had been held by a development company hoping to build a hotel known as the Lodge at Aspen Mountain.

The closing of the sale was recorded as a warranty deed in the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder’s Office on Thursday. Alpine Bank sold a promissory note valued at $22.5 million that was owed by Aspen Land Fund II LLC to Alcion Ventures for $15 million.

Alcion Ventures, an entrepreneurial real estate private equity firm that executes high-yield investment strategies in select markets, is recorded as the grantee in the transaction.

The city of Aspen reportedly collected $150,000 in revenue from the sale. Pitkin County has not yet received any revenue, according to sources familiar with the transaction.

Earlier this year, Alpine Bank hired Mission Capital Advisors LLC, a New York-based financial advisory firm, to sell Aspen Land Fund’s note, as well as several other loans in the local bank’s portfolio.

A winning bidder was selected March 24 but the identity of the firm wasn’t released.

The land on South Aspen Street had been owned by Aspen Land Fund, a subsidiary of Newport Beach, Calif.-based Centurion Partners, which sought approval to build a 122,000-square-foot hotel-residence project.

John Sarpa, principal at Centurion Partners, declined to comment other than to say he is aware of the sale.

Representatives from Alcion were unavailable for comment.

Aspen Land Fund II came out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February in an effort to raise capital and renegotiate with the bank to keep the note.

The promissory note had been secured by a deed of trust, and the vacant property on South Aspen Street was being used as collateral.

Alpine Bank has claimed that it was not adequately protected because it says the value of Aspen Land Fund’s collateral was nearly $4.5 million less than the debt owed.

The bank last fall obtained an appraisal of the vacant property, which listed its value at $19 million, assuming current land-use approvals for townhomes.

Aspen Land Fund has argued that the property would be worth more if and when the hotel development rights are secured.

Alpine Bank held as additional security a CD valued at nearly $1.6 million. The value of the property and the CD was estimated at roughly $20.6 million.

The property also was encumbered by a $4.9 million junior lien to South Aspen Real Estate LLC, which was financed by Goldman Sachs. Alpine Bank claimed Aspen Land Fund was unsecured on that lien as well.

Aspen Land Fund’s note was part of a $73.5 million mortgage loan portfolio sale conducted by Mission Capital that includes loans on four other Aspen properties, as well as one in Snowmass Village and one in Beaver Creek.

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