Review: Pioneer Springs, Aspen
A traditional mountain estate in Aspen provides the expansive alpine atmosphere combined with luxurious comfort
As Aspen increasingly becomes a year-round destination, architects are building luxury estates that embrace their alpine surroundings, complete with large windows, open-plan layouts and manicured outdoor living. This seven-bedroom home located just outside Aspen, offers a modern twist on the traditional mountain estate with 13,167 sq. ft. of open-plan living, expansive outdoor areas and wide views that reach from Snowmass Mountain to Aspen Mountain.
“What’s special about that property is that when you’re in it, you truly feel you are in the Rocky Mountains,” says Angel Yoken, an associate with Shane Aspen Real Estate, which has listed the property for US$16.9 million. “You have everything around you. True openness and the Colorado aesthetic, and yet you’re only 10 minutes from downtown Aspen and 10 minutes from the airport.”
This makes the property appealing to well-heeled buyers who come to Aspen looking for the best of both worlds. They want views, privacy and the expansive alpine feeling, but they also want to be close to the fine dining, shopping and amenities that the town of Aspen offers, not to mention proximity to the ski lifts. A unique advantage to this property, Yoken says, is that it offers views of all four of Aspen’s ski areas. Aspen’s mountain runs are located within 10-15 minutes of each other and accessed via the same ski pass.
The home occupies a private 40-acre plot, but it also shares a 300-acre common area with five other luxury estates. Beyond that, the property borders thousands of acres of undevelopable public land, which makes for great hiking and mountain biking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter, ensuring the home’s sweeping views and privacy will be preserved. (Development in Aspen is strictly controlled).
The property design comes courtesy of Aspen’s Gretchen Greenwood Architects who designed an open-floor layout but used exposed steel and massive timbers to structure the living areas. Angled ceilings meet outstretched, oversized windows that assure wide views of the rolling hills and mountains. Wherever possible, the architects maintained the viewing plane, hanging the fireplace the in center of the great room, for example, to preserve the surrounding light and vistas.
“There is a changing paradigm in the aesthetic of homes in Aspen. People are leaning toward modern contemporary,” Yoken says. Newer homes do not feature as much millwork, which tends to crowd the views. Instead, designers will highlight view planes using clearer lines and larger windows. Since many of today’s wealthy homebuyers are also art collectors, Yokens says they prefer large open wall space.
Property highlights include an expansive master suite with an attached patio, exercise room, walk-in closet and his and her vanities and a steam shower in the bathroom. The guest master suite, located in the same wing, also has a private deck. Three additional bedrooms are located in a separate wing on the upper level and two bedrooms on the lower level have their own private entrance, making them ideal staff quarters.
The flow between indoor and outdoor living spaces also features strongly in the property design. The great room, dining area and kitchen all open to the outside where there is a large terrace complete with fire pits, illuminated water features, a hot tub and manicured grounds.
While Aspen is predominantly known for its ski slopes, the town now attracts as much a following in summer as it does when its mountains are covered with white powder. Winter rentals bring approximately 25,000 people to Aspen (which has a permanent population of 6,000), while the population during July and August increases to around 30,000.
Festivals such as the Food & Wine Classic Festival, the Ideas Festival and Jazz Aspen also take place during the summer months “We have a cosmopolitan big city culture in a very small ski town,” Yokens says.
Some say the town in summer resembles an alpine incarnate of the Hamptons, attracting a similarly deep-pocketed clientele. Celebrities, CEOs and hedge fund managers all own property here. Demand for second homes is predominantly domestic, and though the luxury hotspot is more stable than some other markets, it is subject to fluctuations in the stock market. During the financial crisis prices tumbled 36% in 18 months according to data released by Knight Frank. But the town has since rebounded. In the 12 months leading to April 2015, prices shot up 46% to an average of $3.2 million.
Sales have been slower so far this year. January tends to be a slow month and this was no exception says Steven Shane, Broker and Owner of Shane Aspen Real Estate. Looking ahead he says that a sell-off in the stock market could cause a slowdown as potential buyers lose some of their discretionary income. But according to another school of thought, he says, “Aspen real estate is a less volatile, secure asset that actually provides a level of enjoyment and stability.”
The U.S.A. is one of the most sought after real estate destinations in the world, due to its strong and stable economy, legal system and democratic government.
Each state has its own laws and buyers must use a licensed real estate agent in that state.
Financing is available to overseas buyers through banks and mortgage brokers
Unlike many other countries, sales commission is paid by the seller
Buyer’s must file a tax return and pay U.S. income tax on the net income earned in the U.S.A.
Properties can be owned by individuals, business entities or trusts.
Property: 412 Pioneer Springs Ranch Road
Architects: Gretchen Greenwood Architects
Highlights: 13,167 sq. ft. of open-plan living, expansive outdoor areas, mountain views.
7 bedrooms including a master suite and a guest suite and staff quarters with a separate entrance
Security system, outdoor patios, sprinklers, landscaping included.
Interiors feature Crestron home automation system, electric shades, built in audio, cable TV Includes outdoor hot tub, indoor spa steam shower, 4 bathrooms.
Price: $16.9 million
Text by Sophie Kalkreuth
This article was originally published in PALACE