Bank of America foreclosed on developer Joseph Freed and Associates (JFA) last year and owns seven of 10 blocks at Willits Town Center. A subsidiary of JFA owns the three remaining blocks, including the Whole Foods Market space. However, the development firm is owner in name only — it has no financing to do anything with the property, which is encumbered by hundreds of thousands of dollars of mechanics’ liens from prior work. A foreclosure action by Bank of America is pending on the three remaining blocks.
ASPEN BASALT REAL ESTATE – Business owners at the Willits Town Center in Basalt aren’t giving up on the idea of what one calls a “fairy tale ending” despite Whole Foods Market’s decision to terminate its lease at the stalled development.Business and civic leaders said Monday they hope the decision by the grocer, which was envisioned to be the anchor tenant at Willits Town Center, speeds the process of getting the project into the hands of a developer who can complete it.“I hope this is one step back and the next one is two steps forward,” Basalt Town Manager Bill Kane said Monday. “It’s disappointing but I think there’s a silver lining in the thing.”Willits Town Center has approvals from the town for about 500,000 square feet of commercial and residential space. Only a small fraction of that has been completed.
By Scott Condon, March 8, 2010 Aspen Times
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Construction stalled in Sept. 2008 for the Whole Foods Basalt space in Willits, Basalt, CO