Two pieces of Aspen real estate in downtown Aspen which includes consignment shop Susie’s Limited and the adjacent property were purchased by developer Greg Hills Austin Lawrence Partners.
Austin Lawrence Partners consists of Greg Hills and wife Jane Hills. They bought 623 E. Hopkins Ave. in November for $2.5 million. Three buildings sit on the property, including Susie’s, a hair salon, and Susie’s on the Alley. Susie’s owner Susan Harvey has had the consignment shop for 20 years.
In September, Austin Lawrence Partners bought 205 S. Spring St. That is the corner lot next to Susie’s where the Victorian house sits. For almost 40 years the house belonged to William R. “Adam” Walton. He passed away in 2009, leading the Hills to buy the house from his estate for $4.6 million. They have bought several parcels of downtown Aspen real estate in the last few years.
The Hills now own half of the 600 block of East Hopkins Avenue.
“I’m not trying to be evasive but I’m not sure,” Hills said regarding future plans. Austin Lawrence Partners real estate projects include the Conner Cabins a block away and the Crandall Building which is on the corner of Spring Street and Hyman Avenue. This building is being renovated and will include a third floor condominium.
“We bought these as investments … we like the historic nature of the properties,” Hills said of the latest purchases.
Hills said he would keep in place the two years that Susie’s has remaining on the lease with the previous landowner.
“We always try to work with the existing people and figure out what their goals are,” Hills said.
The historic home is presently undergoing a remodel with an upgrade to the electrical systems, kitchen and interior walls. The home is going to be rented out to family when the renovation is finished.
Both properties are in the C-1 zone district. This means that there is potential for more commercial and residential development. Austin Lawrence Partners might consider an Aspen real estate expansion to the Walton house, or maybe a project that uses both properties. That would be similar to the Conner Cabins project on Hopkins Avenue. Here existing structures share the lots with new development of up to 2,500 square feet per lot.
“We like the combo of the two properties,” Hills said. “We want to re-energize that corner. There’s going to be a lot of activity at that end of town.”
Hills referred to the Aspen Art Museum development a block away, and his Crandall Building project, which has the same alley as the Hopkins Avenue properties. With the consolidated ownership in the alley, Hills said they will look at the “alley commercial” concept that the city would like to see for retail mixture.