The godfather of Denver sushi is on a roll.
Sushi Den founder Toshihiro Kizaki has purchased a century-old building on South Pearl Street in Platt Park, the latest addition to the restaurant empire he started building on that strip in the 1980s.
Kizaki on Aug. 11 bought the former home of Gaia Bistro on the 1500 block of South Pearl Street for $1.3 million, according to a warranty deed.
It’s a site that the seller, real estate broker Patrick Finney, had planned to demolish to clear space for a $6 million office and coworking project. His brokerage firm, Finn Real Estate, purchased the property in May 2015 for $930,000.
But his vision to raze Gaia’s building at 1551 S. Pearl St. along with a property next door upset Platt Park residents, and a petition to protect the structures from the wrecking ball attracted 645 supporters.
So instead of building, Finn listed the 9,400-square-foot assemblage for $2.7 million, advertising that the parcels’ zoning allows for commercial or residential use and up to two stories.
Kizaki purchased a 6,250-square-foot chunk that includes Gaia’s building on Friday. Bradford Pech with RE/MAX Commercial represented Finn in the transaction. A Finn representative said the adjoining Finn-owned property at 1545 S. Pearl St. remains on the market.
Kizaki did not respond to messages left at his restaurant.
The chef opened Sushi Den 31 years ago and, alongside brother Yasuhiro Kizaki, has been credited with starting Denver’s sushi scene.
The brothers operate three restaurants wrapping the corner of South Pearl Street and East Florida Avenue: Sushi Den, Izakaya Den and Ototo. Toshihiro Kizaki also owns a recently constructed parking garage at 1540 S. Pearl St.