What’s the Big Deal: Who’s the buyer of the $16 million Aspen penthouse?

Staff report

Editor’s note: “What’s the Big Deal?” runs Sundays and is based on the most expensive property transaction recorded in Pitkin County through 3 p.m. each Friday.

Property: Snowmass Base Village

Price: $56.5 million

Date recorded: Dec. 22

Address: Properties located on Wood Road, Carriage Way and Snowmass Village

Buyer: Aspen Skiing Co., East West Partners, KSL Capital Partners

Seller: Snowmass Acquisition Co., an affiliate of Related Cos.

Property type: Commercial, hotel and residential

Year built: 2005 along with undeveloped land

Worth noting: The deal included a substantial amount of undeveloped ground with approvals for a hotel and condominiums, commercial space and such community facilities as an ice rink, The Aspen Times reported Friday. Also included was the sale of Snowmass Hospitality, a property management company, and the Viceroy Hotel, which includes unsold condominium units. The joint venture will start construction of the Limelight Hotel this spring. Skico will buy the 102-room hotel and 15 residences from the joint venture once they are completed. Skico also will acquire a Four Mountain Sports ski shop, which will be built next to the hotel. Construction on other projects also is scheduled for 2017.

Who owns the $16 million penthouse?

The $16 million sale of the Dancing Bear Aspen penthouse sparked plenty of headlines last week thanks to a public-relations blitz by the project’s developer, Sunrise Co.

The deal actually closed Dec. 5, with eight limited liability companies controlled by the same person acquiring all eight of the penthouse’s fractional interests for $2 million each. Each purchase was recorded separately.

Property records and loan documents tie Aspen businessman Mark Friedland to the LLCs, which are all named after Monopoly-game properties — Indiana Avenue, Illinois Avenue, New York Avenue, North Carolina Avenue, Pacific Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, Vermont Avenue and Tennessee Avenue.

“At a price of $5,427 per square foot, the sale tops the previous most expensive residence sold in downtown Aspen earlier this year by more than $1,100 per square foot and caps off more than $40 million in closings at the new Mountainside building in Q4 2016 alone,” said a statement issued by PRNewswire, also gushing that the penthouse encompasses “2,948 square feet including four bedrooms, 41/2 bathrooms and 3,500 square feet of outdoor living space on one of the largest residential rooftop decks in downtown Aspen.