The city of Aspen will be taking over for a private developer who was supposed to find an affordable eatery tenant for their Cooper Avenue building in exchange for being allowed to build an oversized penthouse apartment on the top two floors. The unusual move comes after developers Andrew Hecht, his son, Nikos Hecht, Ron Garfield and Joshua Saslove were unable to find a cheap restaurant, bar or brewery who wanted to take over the 1,800 square foot space for 75% of the market rate before a May 20th deadline. Despite the lease deal, prospective tenants were still finding it a challenge to consider opening a restaurant at 508 East Cooper Avenue while keeping their menu prices within the bottom third of Aspen prices, which would mean pricing comparable to Justice Snow's or the Red Onion. The city will soon be soliciting proposals for the space.
This is something of a slap in the face for the town or simply an unrealistic hope facing a local real estate market whose value is climbing like a bat out of hell. But it's hard to believe that the town, who had at first denied the mixed-use project before the developers sued, are happy about having to get into the landlord business in the ground floor while the developers go about peddling their $17,600,00 oversized penthouse - Aspen's most expensive ever - upstairs.
· City takes over task of finding proprietor for new restaurant [Aspen Daily News]
· 508 East Cooper Avenue archives [Curbed Ski]