ASPEN REAL ESTATE – As empty storefronts and “For Lease” signs pepper downtown Aspen in numbers not seen in recent memory, 23,000 square feet of commercial space at Highlands Village is nearly filled to capacity. In recent months businesses from Aspen, Snowmass Village and elsewhere have flocked to the slopeside office space at Highlands and its lower rents. The pedestrian mall at the base of the Aspen Highlands ski area, built in 2001, has sometimes been mocked as “The Dark Village” because of the seemingly constant turnover for traditional retail stores in this space two miles from Aspen proper. Landlord Jordan Sarick, of Eastwood Developments, bought all of the commercial space at Highlands not controlled by the Aspen Skiing Co. and Ritz-Carlton in late 2007. He has since courted businesses that don’t necessarily depend on high-volume pedestrian traffic. “It was fairly clear to us that a traditional retail environment wouldn’t work here,” Sarick said. “So we didn’t want to keep beating our heads against the wall.”
By Andrew Travers, Dec. 7, 2009 Aspen Daily News

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