Remodeled Aspen home John Denver built goes on market for $11 million
A major remodel of the house John Denver built in 1972 was unveiled to the public Thursday during an open house held days after the property was put on the market for $11 million.
As Denver’s chart-topping, mellow hits from the 1970s played softly in the background, married couple and brokers Jim and Anita Bineau showed off the home previously owned by one of the Aspen area’s most famous residents.
“People talk about it and they refer to it as the John Denver house pretty consistently,” Jim Bineau said, adding that the celebrity appeal “adds some pizzazz, but look, it’s priced right in the market so people are asking first, does it have the views, does it have the floor plan, does it have the style? That’s first and foremost.”
Denver built the house during the pinnacle of his fame — it was one of the first structures to be erected in the gated community located between Aspen and Woody Creek.
The 7,735-square-foot home underwent a remodel in 1985 and swapped ownership twice after Denver died at the age of 53, when a private aircraft he was piloting crashed into Monterey Bay near Pacific Grove, California, in October 1997.
The current owners of the 570 Johnson Drive home, Denis and Kelly O’Donovan, “literally took the house beyond the studs,” Jim Bineau said, and “added a lot of glass, a lot of windows.”
The remodel is a blend of the original home with modern elements. The home still has its original kitchen cabinets and bar, for instance, but they were repurposed to give them a modern feel.
“The new owner will enjoy the modernity of new construction married with the satisfaction of owning the home of one of Aspen’s most notable icons,” glow marketing materials for the property.
Because it has no historic designations, the home could have been razed and replaced.
“They could have (demolished) it, but they really wanted to preserve what they could,” said Jim Bineau, who works for Coldwell Banker Mason Morse. “They were really excited that it was John Denver’s house. It had meaning to them, and they preserved all of it that they could.”
In its current, updated form, the home has five bedrooms, five baths and two half-baths, along with office space, a workout room, three wet bars and other features.
“The house had great bones,” Anita Bineau said. “They just wanted it open for today’s buyer.”
The O’Donovans bought the home for $2.75 million from New York-based entity DBZ Trust in December 2016, before it underwent the remodel. Survivors of the Denver estate sold the main house for $2.38 million to DBZ Trust in February 1999. DBZ Trust still owns the 2,228-square-foot guesthouse, which it bought for $1.3 million in February 1999.
The main home went on the market Sunday. The listing price translates to $1,422.11 per square foot.
“A lot of people are interested in it because it was John Denver’s home,” Anita Bineau said. “I know the sellers were very interested in John Denver and thought it would be interesting to redo John Denver’s home to make it more livable.”
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Vaughn Shafer’s place of business in El Jebel is equal parts blacksmith shop, curio shop and man cave. He’s packing up 32 years of memories and accummulated stuff for a relocation.