Kaplan adds Coloradoan building to Riverside property

1300 Riverside
The Fort Collins Coloradoan will remain a tenant in the building at 1300 Riverside Ave.

A Fort Collins developer has acquired the Coloradoan building in a value-add play that will dovetail nicely with a renovation he’s been doing next door.

Les Kaplan of Imago Enterprises Inc. bought the approximately 37,220-square-foot Coloradoan building at 1300 Riverside Ave. from media company Gannett MHC Media Inc. for $4.01 million. The newspaper will remain on the second floor, but will consolidate into about half the floor.

Associates in Family Medicine has administrative space in just over half of the main level. In all, there will be about 17,000 sf for lease, Kaplan said.

What made the opportunity especially appealing is that the building is next to the Coloradoan’s old building at 1212 Riverside, which Kaplan already owns. He’s spent $1 million renovating that building, which has architectural similarities and offers a chance to create a sort of “Riverside Renaissance,” he said.

While the building at 1300 Riverside was built in 2005 and doesn’t need renovation, Kaplan wants to create a cohesive property with a pedestrian connection between the two buildings, outdoor sculptures and signage.

“Between those two buildings, now I have approximately 80,000 square feet of commercial property at a prime location within three minutes of downtown Fort Collins with easy access from I-25 and all points in Fort Collins,” Kaplan said. “These are two very well constructed buildings with ample parking.”

Gannett built 1300 Riverside thinking it would occupy both buildings, according to Kaplan. With the decline of print journalism and digital transformation, it didn’t need the old buliding, which comprises 40,156 sf, and sold it to Kaplan. He completed a major interior and exterior renovation that included a new roof, parking lot, landscaping and other improvements, including demising the building for four tenants.

The Denver Post leases 10,000 sf of space at 1212 Riverside, and Saunders Construction will occupy about 10,000 sf. Debut Theatre Co. is considering establishing a theater in the building’s former printing plant, which has 24-foot ceilings, Kaplan said.

Both that building and the more modern 1300 Riverside have blond brick exteriors and metal-clad windows.

“I have an opportunity to take two buildings, one of which only had one tenant and the other one which was really underutilized … and have a connection. I can rebrand that location with two extremely well constructed buildings,” Kaplan said.

Kaplan has redeveloped numerous commercial properties in Fort Collins, which he estimated comprise more than 250,000 sf.

Featured in CREJ’s Aug. 15-Sept. 4, 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…