^Roman Abramovich, 2007. By Marina Lystseva
It feels like the word ‘sanction’ is thrown around as much as ‘unprecedented’ and the phrase ‘the new normal’ these days, doesn’t it?
Everybody in the world is ‘sanctioning’ the wealthy Russian oligarchs, and now a $50 million mansion in Snowmass, CO could be the next target for the US Government’s financial war against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
CNBC is reporting that the US Government is considering sanctions against Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich. The billionaire made his riches by purchasing state-owned assets below market value during the collapse of the Soviet Union. His net worth was estimated to be over $12 billion in 2019.
Sanctions from the US could mean that Abramovich’s numerous real estate properties would be seized by the federal government.
Included in those properties is a 14,000-square-foot million mansion sitting on 200 acres near Aspen, CO. Abramovich purchased the property, along with a downtown Aspen 5,500-square-foot ski chalet for a combined $48.3 million in 2008. Real estate experts believe that the mansion property alone would fetch over $50 million today.
The article goes on to say that Abramovich used to be an active member of the Aspen community when he purchased the property over a decade ago. Locals now say that the Russian billionaire doesn’t visit anymore.
Here’s where I get to stand on my soap box and pretend like I know the best solution for this predicament. Bare with me.
Let me just state some fact so you know where I’m coming from.
Fact #1- There’s a 200-acres property that’s been sitting vacant for years on the doorstep of one of America’s largest ski resorts.
Fact #2- That property is owned by a Russian billionaire who has made his riches by exploiting the working class in Russia.
Fact #3- That Russian billionaire has been a staunch supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Fact #4- Vladimir Putin sucks.
Fact #5- Aspen, like every other ski town in North America, is becoming more expensive to live in by the day.
Fact #6- There are hundreds of seasonable employees at Aspen that need affordable housing options.
See where I’m going here?
I know this is an absolute pipe dream, but wouldn’t it be amazing if the federal government seized the property from Abramovich and designated it as a place to build affordable housing for seasonable employees and locals?
It would be ‘unprecedented’, for the federal government to forfeit a $50 million dollar property for the good of the community, but a boy can dream right?
Just think about how many housing units could be built on that 200 acre property. It may not be ideal to flood the landscape with multi-story condos/apartments from a visual standpoint, but I’m sure it would do wonders for the non-wealthy people trying to make a life in Aspen.
For that matter… how many properties are owned by Russian oligarchs in ski towns across the country? There surely has to be more. I say let’s seize them all and designate them for affordable housing opportunities.
Go big or go home, right?
Image Credit: HomeDSGN, Voorsanger Architects