“There have been roughly 25 buildings that have been sold to new ownership in the last three to four years. About half of them are now owned by developer Mark Hunt, who along with investors, has invested $100 million in downtown real estate.” according to an Aspen commercial broker. “Retail spaces are as tight as I’ve ever seen them in my 28 years in town,” said another. “We have effectively less than a 1 percent vacancy for street level spaces.”

Notes from presentation on Downtown Aspen Commercial by Lex Tarumianz, Aspen Snowmass Sothebys commercial broker at the Mountain Chalet Sep 2014:

  • Historically, Aspen commercial cap rates were 4-5% (cap rate formula = Net income/sales price). The game was income plus appreciation.
  • Now, not possible to obtain cap rate north of 4%
  • 3% cap rate is common in Aspen.
  • Even there, it’s hard sell at 3% cap rate.
  • Developer Mark Hunt group (they’ve purchased 10-12 downtown properties in past 2 yrs) play: He buys at 4% cap rate and plans to redevelop, upgrade and boost rents.
  • Aspen Core is expanding eastward over to Museum, Spring St. Core is stretching out.
  • only 4000 sf (1%) of commercial left, is currently vacant and listed ( does not include Muse Bldg (5000 sf PH, 3200 sf retail, plus office space ) , out of approx total of 400,000 sf in the Core.

Link to article on Downtown Commercial Vacancy Rates by Carolyn Sackariason, Dec 1, 2014 ADN

View looking south toward Aspen Mountain on Galena Street in downtown Aspen