Avon’s Seasons building sold to firm that owns properties across Western Slope
New owner pledges improvements to day care
The first floor of Avon’s Seasons building has a new owner: Gibson Avenue Capital of Atlanta. But the company has local roots.
Gibson Avenue founder and CEO Scott Tarbet grew up in Aspen, and the firm’s holdings include commercial property across the Western Slope. In a phone conversation, Tarbet said he and the firm understand the economy and communities of the region.
That’s why almost the first thing he mentioned is the company’s intent to keep and improve the Prater Lane day care facility on the northwest wing of the building.
“Acquiring the Seasons at Avon was an incredible opportunity to buy irreplaceable real estate in a growing and dynamic mountain town,” Tarbet wrote in an email. “Our first priority is to invest capital into the Prater Lane Daycare Facility and provide them with a long-term platform to continue operating and serving the residents of Avon. We appreciate and understand that the Seasons at Avon is an ideal location for child care and know how critically important that use is in the area. As such, we want to do our part to ensure Prater Lane remains at the Seasons at Avon for decades to come.’
In addition to Prater Lane, the Seasons building also includes office space used by Vail Resorts. The building once was the company’s corporate headquarters. Vail Resorts, along with Gart Properties, sold the building to Gibson Avenue.
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Slifer Smith & Frampton Real Estate has leased a big portion of the 71,000 square feet of commercial space for its Slifer House office complex. The building, which is 85% occupied, also has space for a bank and other shops and offices.
With the exception of Vail Resorts giving up some office space, every business with a current lease will remain where it is.
Tarbet said Gibson Avenue intends to upgrade the existing vacant space, much of which has been largely untouched since at least the 1990s.
While there isn’t much demand for large retail space these days, Tarbet said he believes there’s demand for space for smaller business, retail and service companies. Land is hard to find, of course, and the Seasons is in a great location, near the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa, as well as Avon’s library and recreation center.
Erich Schmidt is the vice president for brokerage of Fortius Capital, which brokered the sale.
Schmidt said there’s a lot of activity these days in Avon. The Piedmont apartments, along with the final stages of the Westin Riverfront project, promise to bring an increase in both visitors and residents.
That sort of population growth can drive demand for new businesses, Tarbet said.
Schmidt said the demand for commercial space has changed over the past several years, with more institutional buyers coming in.
“We’re selling (potential buyers) on the fact there’s no (vacant) land here, and they’re not making more,” Schmidt said, adding that the location of the Seasons is nearly ideal.
The buyer was important in the deal, Schmidt added. Tarbet understands the communities and markets in the region.
“That’s part of being a qualified buyer,” Schmidt said, adding that’s what Vail Resorts and Gart Properties were looking for. That partnership has owned the building for about 30 years, Schmidt said.
“They care who bought it,” Schmidt said.