Residences at The Little Nell – Scheduled Closings Jan ’09

The scheduled January ’09 closings at Residences at The Little Nell at the base of the Aspen Mountain Gondola will dominate real estate news in the next few weeks. In Jan to date, there have been approximately (7) closings – of 208 total available units – of the three and four bedroom 1/8th interest fractional units.
– Closed Three Bdrms: price range of the closed units last week was $1.1M – $1.65M
– Closed Four Bdrms: price of the one unit that closed last week was $2.25M

The developers stated last week that they have “in excess of 130 closings scheduled” beginning Jan 20th though the rest of the month. However, anecdotally there are a number of buyers who have already walked away from their 15% earnest money deciding not to close and, in some cases, join the legal actions mounting against the developers.

The Residences or RLN is an exceptionally high profile development project in a Five Star base of Aspen Mountain location. In the past three plus years since summer 2005, it has been legitimately heralded as the epitome of a successful high end fractional sales program. Of a total 208 shares available, (152) three bedroom units, or 73% of inventory, came on the market in the summer of 2005 at $900,000 and (56) four bedrooms, or 27% of inventory, started at approximately $1.25M. By Sept. 2008, the last units to go under contract (because of the economic meltdown, there’ve been no other sales in fall 2008), were three bedrooms at $1.9M and a four bedroom at $3M. Only eight units are left now with 98% of inventory under contract. A phenomenal success story, at least until now.

I walked through the project last week, and it deserves superlatives. It is beautiful and, for a long time local like me, hard to believe it’s actually near completion after 10- 15 years in the planning and development stages. The project represents exclusive membership in one of THE highest end, best located fractional projects in the world. It looks and feels pretty amazing and fabulous with the major, albeit temporal, exception being that these closings couldn’t be happening at a worse economic time as right now.

Dancing Bear (DB) Fractional Closings scheduled 1/27/2009 – 2/15/2009

Dancing Bear is another high end fractional project opposite Wagner Park in the middle of downtown Aspen that will be closing (72) under contract shares (6 weeks each, a total of 152 shares) at the end of Jan and early Feb., for a total of $52M in scheduled closing value. Buyers have put down 10% earnest money at a price point 50% less than Residences at Little Nell for 3 bedroom units only. Although financing is proving difficult, the developers are optimistic about the closings. Reasons? There is no litigation like RLN, “owners are happy” according to the DB sales team rather than the apparent discontent of a number of RLN buyers; the project offers private residential club living versus perceived hotel-like living of RLN. While the last RLN unit went under contract in Sept 2008, the last Dancing Bear units went under contract in Oct and November 2008.

The Monarch/Limelight Condos close in Jan 2009 after 2 year construction schedule
These are full ownership condos adjacent to Dancing Bear across from Wagner Park. The units were offered for sale in 2006 – 2008. This month, January ’09, (11) units, of (14) total, have closed at prices between $3.5M and $9M, for a combined value of $62.5M.

Other Residential Activity This Past week
There were (2) single family home closings and (5) properties went under contract.
The following is a description of these properties

(2) Solds
Both sales the result of high seller motivation.
1) 1590 Silverking Dr (108568): List $6,995,000 duplex home built 2007; Sold Price $5,100,000. (-27% off ask price).Beautiful contemporary home off the golf course and with beautiful views of the course, Pryamid Peak and Maroon Bells. This was opportune timing and a good deal for a fortunate buyer.
2) 855 Moore Dr (98847): List: $9.950,000. Five Trees subdivision single family home; Sold Price $7.475,000. (-25% off ask price. However, it had been listed at $12,850,000 as recently as late October 2008, then reduced to $10,850,000. on 11/4/2008. Seller is a developer with a number of projects in the pipeline and remains highly motivated to sell off inventory.

(5) Under Contract
Two properties that are under contract are in the Smuggler area of Aspen, a multi-use zoned area known for affordable/employee housing stock and mixed use residential (condos, townhomes, sf homes, City of Aspen Deed Restricted condos and rentals, Smuggler Trailer Court, etc.) and as an area long in transition, i.e. old “worker” Aspen to new multi-million dollar townhomes and beautiful new contemporary homes in one specific stretch of the area.
These two properties represent “hidden” value opportunities at already attractive and reasonable ask prices. The sales are to local buyers, a segment of increasing buyer activity as locals attempt to take advantage of the downturn.
1) 322 Park Ave #2 (108492): List Price $ 1,295,000; 2 bdrm/2 bath 840 sq ft 3 level condo with 875 unfinished sq. ft.- the hidden value is in the additional unfinished square footage easily converted to living space
2) 1050 Matchless Dr (105527): List Price $2,050,000; 3 bdrm/2.5 bath townhome/duplex, 2,400 sq ft, this is an interior redevelopment project (exterior was remodeled for this double duplex townhome complex – four total units) and a new 2-car garage potential at a very cost effective purchase price, great Aspen Mtn views and walking proximity to town, approximately 195 days on the market. Update 1/28/09 – this closed at $1.625M the week of 1/18-1/25/09.
3) 0129 Primrose Path (99130): List Price $5,950,000. Meadowood subdivision single family home (originally $8.3M, 594 days on the market). This property is part of a highly stressed and motivated developer’s inventory. Everyone knows this was going to go soon.
4) 980 E. Hyman #3 (108492): List Price $1,895,000. This is a 2 bdrm/2 bath, 1,088 sq. ft. Aspen Core condo. Only 56 days on the market, at an aggressive $1,741sq ft, remodeled in 2005, As I never saw this property, which makes me believe it was never really publically “listed”, I am unable to explain why this property is under contract. The location is on E. Hopkins, a quiet cul de sac street in the downtown core, one block from the Roaring Fork River. The complex was built in 1971. This is a puzzle … to be further investigated.
5) 835 E. Hyman #K (108811): List Price $999,000. This is a 2 Bdrm/2 Bath, 800 sq ft downtown Aspen core. Remodeled in 2000, the ask price per sq ft is $1,250 sf. priced for “quick sale”. The HOA Fees are $1,100. per quarter. Only 27 days on the market. While the sale price is unknown until closing, it will illuminate pricing necessary to get inventory moving in general.