Another delayed foreclosure sale for The Aspen Club
Foreclosure proceedings scheduled Wednesday for The Aspen Club again were postponed in what has become a near weekly routine for the financially strapped development.
“We have heard nothing from the attorneys, nothing from The Aspen Club themselves,” Sydney Tofany, Pitkin County’s chief deputy treasurer and deputy public trustee, said Wednesday.
When that is the case, and when the foreclosing party doesn’t make an opening bid by noon two days in advance of the sale, the scheduled foreclosure auction is automatically postponed until one week later, Tofany said.
That’s what happened this week, last week and other weeks with The Aspen Club, which owes $30 million on a note from GPIF Aspen Club LLC, which acquired the loan in December from FirstBank. GPIF Aspen Club LLC is not affiliated with FirstBank.
FirstBank originally tried to foreclose on The Aspen Club in November 2017, saying it was owed $30 million on a $45 million loan it gave the health-and-fitness center in March 2016.
The foreclosure-sale postponements won’t go on indefinitely, Tofany said, noting the lender has until March 6, 2019, to take the property to sale.
“If they don’t, they have to automatically withdraw and start over again,” she said.
Aspen Club president and owner Michael Fox could not be reached for comment Wednesday. In his most recent interview with The Aspen Times about the matter, in the second week of July, he said he expected to have refinancing secured by the middle of August.
A motion filed Wednesday in Pitkin County District Court, where PCL Construction Services Inc. is trying to foreclose on a $17.7 million lien it filed against the Aspen Club on Sept. 26, lends more insight to what is happening.
PCL Construction, the general contractor on the redevelopment project, is making a run at foreclosure through the local court system, as opposed to GPIF Aspen, which is attempting it through the Treasurer’s Office.
As PCL Construction and The Aspen Club try to settle their dispute, “The Parties understand that refinance, if it occurs, will now likely occur on or after August 31, 2018, and will likely settle in global settlement of all claims,” said the motion.
PCL Construction’s motion asks a judge to postpone Thursday’s case-management conference until Sept. 27.
“The parties are hopeful that this dispute will be resolved without further litigation,” said the motion, which was filed by Denver law firm Beltzer Bangert & Gunnell LLP.
Along with Aspen Club and its affiliates, PCL’s complaint also identifies numerous subcontractors who are lienholders — nearly two full pages in its complaint — and other parties as defendants.
The Aspen Club project includes plans to remodel the 40,000-square-foot Aspen Club and Spa building and the construction of a 54,000-square-foot lodge with 20 timeshares, while 13,600 square feet of development would account for 12 multi-family affordable-housing units. The project is located at 1450 Ute Ave., on the east side of Aspen. Most of the project has been stalled because subcontractors are owed money.
More than $24 million in mechanics’ liens have stacked up against The Aspen Club and PCL Construction, though some of the subcontractors were paid back in the spring and early summer.
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Mountain Rescue Aspen is expanding its education efforts to try to keep people safe in the backcountry during winters and summers. It will host a workshop on Dec. 8 titled, “How to Plan a Backcountry Tour.”