Selling property is a little different when the Colorado Department of Transportation is involved.
“When they come knocking, it’s going to happen,” said Dana Grasmick, owner of an office furniture store on Holly Street near Interstate 70. “You just got to deal with it.”
Grasmick co-owns Denver retailer Everything for Offices at 5601 E. Stapleton Drive N.
Last week, CDOT paid $4.59 million for the 36,000-square-foot building on 1.3 acres. It’s one of a dozen transactions the state agency has made in the area recently as it prepares to reconstruct a portion of I-70.
The transactions include $17.1 million for the Pilot Travel Center at 3223 and 3495 E. 46th Ave.
Everything for Offices sells new and used furniture, with annual revenue around $4 million. The company was founded in 1988 and purchased its current site for $1.6 million in 2002, according to property records.
Co-owner Mike Paulin said the company received a postcard in January 2016 with a message to contact CDOT.
“We did, and that’s when they told us they would need at least a portion of our building,” Paulin said.
That summer and fall, CDOT and the Everything for Offices owners both got appraisals on the site.
CDOT’s came back at $3.6 million, but the business was told $4.8 million.
That kicked off several rounds of back-and-forth offers, culminating in the $4.59 million deal. Paulin said that process took three months, ending in January 2017.
By that time, the Grasmicks and Paulin had decided to stay in the business, and wanted to find a new site for the shop.
They found it in a former Korean supermarket at 14301 E. Exposition Ave. in Aurora, and purchased the site for $2.5 million. Dana Grasmick said renovations would cost another $1 million.
The new building is about the same size as the old one, about 38,000 square feet. Paulin said it was a challenge finding that size.
“The big issue is the pot shops taking up a lot of the inventory, and also adjusting the price of that inventory,” he said.
Everything for Offices will close its current shop Nov. 17 and open in Aurora on Nov. 20.
Dana Grasmick suggested that anyone who finds themselves in CDOT’s crosshairs be proactive.
“The attorney we met with before the negotiations officially started said, ‘Start working with them from the get-go and it’ll be easier.’”
She said CDOT was “very accessible to work with.”
“It wasn’t what we were hoping would happen,” she said of the sale. “We didn’t plan this. But it’s been way better an experience that it might have been.”
CDOT’s “Central 70 project” calls for the reconstruction of 10-miles of I-70 east of downtown. Plans include adding one express lane in each direction, lowering the interstate between Brighton and Colorado Boulevards and placing a 4-acre “cover park” over a portion of the lowered interstate.
Other properties in the vicinity that CDOT has purchased since June:
- 3223 and 3495 E. 46th Ave.: $17.1 million from Pilot Travel Centers LLC
- 4550 Clayton St. and 2716 E. 46th Ave.: $453,000 from Aurelio Ruiz and Sergio Ruiz-Rentaria
- 4620 Clayton St.: $280,000 from Hosetta Washington
- 4637 Claude Court: $268,000 from Cameron and Lourdes Gray
- 4600 Clayton St.: $245,000 from Esiquia Rocha Casillas
- 4615 Fillmore St.: $240,000 from Lavonne Emiko Griffie
- 4608 Josephine St.: $235,000 from Jeff Portales
- 4605 Fillmore St.: $220,000 from 46 Fillmore LLC
- 4639 Vine St.: $200,000 from Ventura and Maria Reyes
- 4639 Claude Court: $120,000 from Anthony Toth