Buyer to treasure collection of Lower Downtown assets

1520 Market
The Rocky Mountain Seed Co. occupied the building at 1520 Market for more than nine decades.
Jon Buerge

Jon Buerge

An affiliate of Denver-based Urban Villages purchased the historic Rocky Mountain Seed Co. building and adjacent properties for $21 million.

The buildings comprise approximately 45,000 square feet of 100 percent-leased Lower Downtown office space. The Rocky Mountain Seed Co. building at 1520 Market St., originally a grain and produce warehouse, is known for the company that occupied it for more than 90 years. The acquisition by Seed Building LoDo LLC included a three-story addition at 1500 Market St. and a historic building at 1321 15th St.

Seed Acquisitions LLC was the seller.

Tech company GoSpotCheck is the buildings’ largest tenant. occupying all of 1500 Market St. plus a floor of connected space in the adjacent historic building. Rachio, whose technology allows people to control their sprinkler systems with their smart phones, occupies the building at 1321 15th.

The portfolio also includes other tenants, including an insurance company and floor covering manufacturer.

Urban Villages Inc., a real estate development and property management company, will take over management and operations. No immediate changes to the property are planned.

Urban Villages is known for its refurbishment of the Sugar Block, which includes the historic Sugar Building, SugarCube and Sugar Square.

“LoDo is our home, and we’re invested in honoring its history while continuing to keep the area relevant and vibrant for decades to come,” said Jon Buerge, chief development officer. “Were committed to being stewards through investment, management and sustainability so that generation after generation of Denverites will be drawn to this historic neighborhood.”

Buerge said the assets bring together “the character of the historic Seed building and then a really remarkable design by (architect) David Tryba on the addition.”

The Rocky Mountain Seed Co. occupied the building at 1520 Market for more than nine decades.

“The combination of the buildings is just an incredibly wonderful asset in this neighborhood that you can’t replace. I also think the location is going to be strong for a long time.”

A block from historic Larimer Square, the assets are next to the new 16M mixed-use building and catty-corner from the Market Station redevelopment just getting underway.

“I think collectively this whole neighborhood is really continuing to improve and grow up on itself,” Buerge said, adding maintaining local ownership of the Rocky Mountain Seed Co. and adjacent buildings is an opportunity both for the new owner and the city of Denver.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the treasured historic assets in LoDo were taken down during urban renewal, and so the few really remarkable ones that remain I think have to be treasured. Having a local owner-operator like us will just ensure that it will be treated like a prized asset rather than a commodity.”

NAI Shames Makovsky brokers Darrin Revious, Ana Sandomire and Kiley Crews represented the buyer in the transaction.

Featured in CREJ’s Feb. 21-March 6, 2018, issue

Jill Jamieson-Nichols has been an Editor with the Colorado Real Estate Journal for more than 15 years, providing coverage of office, industrial, hospitality and mixed-use development news in the Denver metro area, plus all property types in Northern Colorado, Boulder County and along the Highway 36 corridor. Prior to joining CREJ, Jill was Editor of…