A ghastly multiple homicide won’t be the death of a Colorado Boulevard storefront.
It took more than two years and a complete renovation, but the former Fero’s Bar and Grill – where five people were stabbed to death and the building was torched in 2012 – is again full of tenants.
Nutrition shop Supplement Giant has leased about 2,000 square feet at 351 S. Colorado Blvd., joining another recently signed tenant to fill the site.
“After such an event, we felt after a while of the building being on the market and stagnating that it was important to give it an all-over face-lift,” said Susan Karsh, a Newmark Grubb Knight Frank broker who handled both leases.
Fero’s Bar and Grill operated its pub in 4,000 square feet between 351 and 357 S. Colorado Blvd. In October 2012, the bar’s owner and four patrons we stabbed to death in a botched robbery. The men then torched the bar.
One assailant was given five life sentences, and his brother was sentenced to 70 years in prison. A third is still awaiting trial.
While the strip center at Fero’s stayed well-leased before that night, Karsh said chances of releasing the building to restaurant tenant all but went up in flames afterward.
“Many people wanted it for a restaurant, but after the fire, all of the restaurant equipment was gone, so it became not such a desirable restaurant space,” she said.
Faced with an empty block of space at a notorious location, the property’s owners renovated the building, repaved the parking lot and added a fresh new sign for the retail strip.
The work paid off last year when American Cabinet & Flooring leased about half of the former Fero’s space.
The Supplement Giant deal closed near the end of 2014, Karsh said, and renovations are underway at the new location. It will be the company’s third shop in Colorado, according to the Supplement Giant website.
Though the events of October 2012 may have been a stumbling block for some potential suitors, Karsh said the tragedy was not an issue for Supplement Giant or American Cabinet.
But Karsh was ready to share the building’s dark past with prospective tenants.
“We checked with our counsel and our understanding was if asked, you must disclose,” she said.
Colorado Boulevard is one of the Denver area’s tightest submarkets for retail real estate. A CBRE market report for the fourth quarter of 2014 had Colorado Boulevard retail space leasing for an average $24.35 per square foot with vacancy rates hovering below 3 percent.
Its location right in the middle of Denver and high traffic counts make Colorado Boulevard a popular retail location, Karsh said.
“There’s never been a lack of people who wanted Colorado Boulevard,” she said. “It was just the memories and the condition of the space that people didn’t want.”