The Aspen branch of casual clothing retailer The Gap will close in February, a company representative said Monday, as the corner of Galena Street and Hopkins Avenue prepares for a redevelopment.
The downtown building, currently leased to the San Francisco-based clothier, was sold in October to real estate investor Mark Hunt.
The building and adjacent parking lot are slated to be converted into five street-level stores, with a second-level restaurant and outdoor deck.
Gap spokesperson Kimberly Terry said after the national chain closes the store this winter, they are hoping to open a store elsewhere in the Aspen area.
“While we don’t have plans to open a new location at this time, we’ll continue to explore options in the market,” Terry said via e-mail.
The national company’s real estate arm has been working with local commercial broker Karen Setterfield to find a new space here.
The Gap’s downtown store opened in 1992. It is among the increasingly rare affordable clothing retailers in Aspen, the number dwindling over the last 20 years. The Gap sits on a block that now includes luxury shops including Christian Dior, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Ermenegildo Zegna.
The corner’s redevelopment appears to be aimed at creating a home for similar luxury brands along one of Aspen’s chic downtown streets.
“Galena Street has become Aspen’s retail row,” reads the marketing brochure seeking investors for the redevelopment, “and its answer to ‘Rodeo Drive,’ ‘Madison Avenue,’ ‘Bond Street’ or the ‘Avenue des Champs-Elysees’ with top luxury brands intertwined with art galleries, dining and local shops.”
The brochure states that Apple, Restoration Hardware, Christian Louboutin, Anthropologie and Hermes have all taken steps to lease space on the redeveloped commercial spaces.
The redevelopment project for the corner is still awaiting city approvals, but could break ground as soon as this spring.
The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) gave the redevelopment conceptual approval in August. The land-use application is scheduled for final review by the HPC on Dec. 12.
Hunt, a Chicago-based businessman with local interests, and his partners, paid $13.25 million for the 9,000-square-foot Gap property, which includes the parking lot next door and is accessed from Hopkins Avenue. The building itself, as it stands, includes 6,000 square feet of street-level retail space and a comparably sized basement.