Vacant land on Roaring Fork gets interest in Pitkin, Glenwood chat
October 6, 2009
ASPEN – Could close to 300 acres of vacant land along the Roaring Fork River in Garfield County be had for $10 million? Not necessarily, but the prospect generated mild interest Tuesday during a joint meeting of Pitkin County commissioners and members of the Glenwood Springs City Council.
The elected officials gathered in Aspen for a lunchtime chat about various issues. The fate of the Cattle Creek Colorado property came up when Glenwood Councilman Steve Bershenyi suggested the 289-acre parcel between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs could be had for $10 million.
Commissioner George Newman called the sum a bargain price for a large swath of land along the river in the lower valley, pondering the opportunities for a partnership among governments to acquire it for both open space and worker housing.
“Ten million is pretty cheap,” agreed Glenwood Mayor Bruce Christensen.
“That’s one of the last places that isn’t developed,” he added.
The land is not on the market for $10 million, clarified Martha Cochran, executive director of the Carbondale-based Aspen Valley Land Trust, which is keeping tabs on its status. Cochran was contacted by The Aspen Times.
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A Texas bank holds a $10 million note on the property but has neither offered the note for sale nor initiated foreclosure proceedings on it, according to Cochran.
The property, however, has long been in the land trust’s sights, she confirmed.
“It’s always been right at the center of our radar,” she said. “Things just aren’t far enough along for anything to happen at this point.”
Related WestPac, developer of Base Village at Snowmass, where financing difficulties have brought work on various buildings to a halt, had proposed 1,000 residences and 30,000 square feet of commercial space on the property. Riverbend LLC was a partner in the project.
That development application, submitted to Garfield County, was withdrawn in July. Various Cattle Creek contractors began filing liens against the developers in the spring.
The Cattle Creek property, in the vicinity of Cattle Creek where it joins the Roaring Fork, had previously been the focus of other development proposals by other developers, all of which fell through. The land has been known as Sanders Ranch, Bair Chase and Cattle Creek Crossing. It was graded at one point, leaving a dirt surface that is giving way to weeds.