Eliminating free-market residential units will make it more difficult for existing commercial properties to be updated, because free market units usually pay for the project’s construction costs, developer Greg Hills said. “It’s very difficult this day and age to do a project when you’re relying on retail and commercial businesses [to finance the project],”

ASPEN REAL ESTATE – Opponents of the recent move by Aspen City Council to ban condos in downtown Aspen are arguing that the prohibition will artificially inflate real estate prices and freeze construction.This week, Aspen City Council voted 3-2 to move forward with a policy that could effectively ban development of new free market residential units in downtown Aspen.The reasoning behind the ban is that top-floor free market residential units drive real estate prices up and push out commercial businesses on the lower floors, because the interests of homeowners can be at odds with those of businesses, said Mayor Mick Ireland. That ultimately hurts the vitality of the community, he said.The opposite is the case, argued [a broker and separately a downtown developer.] “Downtown residential units create vitality, because when people live in town they’re going in and out of their homes and it brings diversity to the area”, the broker said…”If the ban were to pass, it would drive the prices of the existing properties up, because there would be a limited supply.”
By Dorothy Atkins, Aug 31, 12 ADN

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05/22/2005: Part of the most historically intact block in downtown Aspen, the trio of Conner cabins lines East Hopkins Avenue. The site was redeveloped in 2006. Behind the cabins is St. Mary Catholic Church; to the left is the old armory, now Aspen City Hall. Aspen Times photo/Paul Conrad.