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SNOWMASS VILLAGE, CO-Hypo Real Estate Capital Corp. and DekaBank are supplying the majority of funds for the acquisition and partial development of the Snowmass Base Village project by a joint venture of New York-based Related Cos. and WestPac Colorado LLC. The entitled one-million-sf, 20-acre development site at the base of the Snowmass Ski Area was acquired from a joint venture of Aspen Skiing Co. and Intrawest Corp.

The 19-acre, multi-phase base village development site is slated for a mixture of whole-ownership condominiums, condominium-hotels, retail and restaurants. More specifically, the development calls for a total of 600 for-sale residential units, approximately 200 condo-hotel rooms, and 127,000 sf of retail consisting of 11 new restaurants and bars and other skier services. Of the 90 whole-ownership condominiums available in the first phase of development, 87 have already been pre-sold, according to HRECC. The first phase, which also includes 40,000 sf of retail space, is under construction and slated for completion by the start of the 2008 ski season.

Development will take place in several phases over approximately five years. HRECC a unit of Stuttgart-based Hypo Real Estate Bank, and Frankfurt-based DekaBank are providing a $520-million, four-year mortgage loan for the first two phases. The loan is being combined with $90 million of mezzanine debt from CharterMac and $96 million of equity from JER Partners. CharterMac’s mezzanine financing also is for the first two phases as well as for the vacant land under the remaining phases.

HRECC declined to provide additional detail regarding its loan. Of the $90 million loan provided by CharterMac, $65 million will be a pari passu participation in mezzanine financing funded by AMAC and ARESS, two funds managed by CharterMac. The remaining balance of $25 million will be structured in the form of a B-note and subordinate to the $65 million A-note. Proceeds of the A-note will be used towards equity requirements for the deal and the B-note will be advanced over the term of the loan to fund the debt service requirements of the A-note.

The Snowmass Base Village plan was formally approved 2005 by the Town of Snowmass Village, which is 10 miles from Aspen. WestPac Colorado LLC is controlled by Patrick Smith, who with Related Cos. also owns stakes in West Village (Snowmass Mall) and Snowmass Center. The acquisition of Snowmass Base Village gives the JV control of a majority of the commercial space in the area.

Aspen Skiing Co. will remain involved in the long-term operation and management of Snowmass Mountain. Specifically, it will operate the commercial spaces for ticket sales, ski retail and rental facilities in Snowmass Base Village, as well as the 26,000-sf Children’s Center opening this spring. In addition, Aspen/Snowmass Hospitality, a division of Aspen Skiing Co., will be responsible for hotel and residential property management.

In addition to its Snowmass Village holdings, the Related/WestPac JV last year acquired a 280-acre parcel further down the valley. Known as the Bair Chase property, it is located on a former ranch along Highway 82 between Carbondale and Glenwood Springs. A previous owner had obtained approvals for a golf course and 230 mostly multifamily residential units before the lender foreclosed on the property early last year.

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