An historic Aspen Victorian at 201 E. Hyman Ave. is undergoing a radical redmodel as its owner restores the historic home and digs down 50′ (according to the construction workers) to install a sub grade half-court basketball court with 20′ ceiling, a swimming pool and a workout area looking out over the basketball court. It’s a double deep basement. The 8,000 sq ft lot with home was purchased for $4.8M in Sept 2012 by Los Angeles developer Jason Grosfeld. The new, rebuilt 12,573 sq ft, 7- bedroom house is projected to cost $9M and is slated to be completed in 18-19 months. The owner could expect to more than double his money were it put on the market today at a $2,500 -$3,000 +/- per sf ft selling price.

This so-called “double based project”, along with another on Crystal Lake Road and other similar developments, stirred the Aspen City Council in October 2014 to pass a land-use code amendment limiting basements to a single level with excavations not exceeding 15 feet. The higher the sub-grade ceiling height, the more desirable for residential living.

Before this, there had been no limit to how deep a home owner could go.

Sub-grade construction to homes all over Aspen is a common occurance as only approximately 10-15% of below ground space ‘counts’ towards the typical build-out allowed by Pitkin County of 5,750 sq ft FAR, Floor Area Ratio, which includes 100% above grade and a percentage of sub-grade.

The double basement project brings to mind the late 1980’s when Prince Bandar applied for a building permit for his new 55,000 sq ft Starwood home. Until then, City and County planners had never imagined someone would want to build a home that large. Simply beyond the imagination. That application propelled the Pitkin County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to enact regulations limiting house size. The maximum sized home allowed presently in the County is 15,000 sq ft, although there are unique circumstances where larger homes have, and continue, to be built.

Council members said their biggest concerns about double basements were driven by construction impacts to neighbors.

Link to article by Rick Carroll, July 14, 2015

07/14/15

07/14/15

07/14/15

08/12/15 Digging down to 30′ with 20′ more to go.

08/12/15

08/12/15

(201 E. Hyman, Aspen, CO 81611. Photos: Tim Estin mba, gri, The Estin Report, Broker – Aspen Snowmass Sothebys )