There’s no hotter neighborhood in the upper valley than Aspen’s downtown core: from Main Street to the base of Aspen Mountain, and from the Roaring Fork River, where it intersects Highway 82, to Garmisch Street.
With more than 500 residential sales in the past five years, “We’ve seen a change in trends—more people are willing to compromise size and space for walkability,” says Tarumianz.
Each block of town has its own feel, with the pedestrian walking malls in the center, “Restaurant Row” on the west side, pocket parks throughout, and, of course, the gondola plaza at the base of Aspen Mountain. Sprinkled among amenities like the Aspen Art Museum and the historic Wheeler Opera House, as well as restaurants, bars, and boutiques, are units that range from condos to townhomes.
“I love it,” says Scott Davidson, a broker for Aspen Associates Realty, who has lived in the core for the past three years. “I walk to dinner. I walk to the grocery store. Everything is a block away.”
With a lot of demand and relatively little supply, the average price per square foot hovers between $1,700 and $2,700—not to mention anomalies like the Dancing Bear Aspen penthouse, which is listed for $30 million, or close to a whopping $10,000 per square foot.
Don’t expect the heat to die down any time soon. A 2012 city ordinance that banned new free-market condos or penthouses in the commercial core means the limited supply can’t expand. However, dozens of condo complexes dot downtown outside of the business area. Some older properties can be had for less than $1 million. And fractional properties like the Hyatt Grand Aspen, the St. Regis, the Dancing Bear, and the Residences at The Little Nell offer alternate ways to own a piece of downtown Aspen.
When it comes to slopeside living, inventory is slim. The topography at the base of Aspen Mountain naturally limits the amount of ski-in, ski-out residences. New residential and fractional development is slated along South Aspen Street, which runs up to Lift 1A on the mountain’s western side. There, the luxury townhome enclave One Aspen recently debuted; only 4 of the 14 units (priced from $12.1 million to $16.2 million) remain available.
Number of active listings at press time: 82
Active average home price:
Number of homes sold in 2017: 111
Average price of homes sold in 2017:
Average number of days on the market: 271