Wedge Brands plans facility at Colorado Outdoor campus

The largest opportunity zone venture investment to date in the country is spurring development in Montrose.

Colorado Outdoors Pearl Fund LP invested $1 million from its newly formed qualified opportunity zone business fund into outdoor industry holding company Wedge Brands LLC, which announced plans to build a 76,000-square-foot distribution and third-party logistics center on the Colorado Outdoor campus in Montrose.

Construction likely will start this year on Wedge’s development, slated for completion in 2021. Wedge Brands will invest an estimated $14 million in the facility, part of the Colorado Outdoor campus – a 164-acre, approximately 670,000-sf commercial, residential and industrial project along the Uncompahgre River corridor designed to attract outdoor-centric industries to Montrose. The Colorado Outdoors project also will include river restoration and open space enhancements. Mayfly Outdoors, a manufacturer of fishing tackle brands Abel and Ross Reels, is one of the first occupants of the project and is under construction on its headquarters there.

“Opportunity zone venture investing is key right now because unlike OZ real estate investing, OZ venture capital can go right to work into companies that are thriving during these times. No permits or construction delays are happening with OZ venture investing,” Brian Phillips, cofounder and partner of The Pearl Fund, said in a release regarding the announcement.

“We are excited about the new brands coming into the Montrose, Colorado, Opportunity Zone and are committed to delivering on the promise of OZ to drive attractive tax-free returns for investors, real job creation and a ‘Made in America’ pride for rural Colorado,” said Doug Dragoo, general partner of the Colorado Outdoors Pearl Fund. “Opportunity zones will be the vehicle to bring back economic recovery. The Colorado Outdoors QOZ is one of the first to invest in these turbulent times.”

Wedge Brands LLC is led by Jarka Duba of Aspen, who also is the CEO of ZG Holdings and ran sporting goods company POC USA until its acquisition by Black Diamond Inc. Wedge’s mission is to build, buy and grow brands it believes in with a strategy to take active, majority positions in its subsidiaries and provide operational support focused on scaling third-party logistics services. Wedge is focused on growing the outdoor, snowsport, bike and consumer products industries.

Wedge Brands recently added Xcel Wetsuits to its growing portfolio of outdoor industry companies, which also includes ownership in Level Gloves USA, Northwave USA, Koda Nutrition USA, Elevenate Inc., KAR Direct and Briko USA.

“We were very encouraged to work with the Colorado Outdoors Pearl Fund. The Pearl Fund should be a great partner for Wedge Brands as we continue to grow and acquire brands,” said Duba.

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Jennifer Hayes has been an editor with the CREJ since 2000. Jennifer covers multifamily and industrial news in the Denver metro area plus all property types in Colorado Springs, Southern Colorado, mountain towns and the Western Slope. She also handles High Fives news for the paper and is editor of the Health Care & Senior…