A 52-year-old Boulder footwear retailer is dipping its toes into Denver’s commercial real estate market.
Pedestrian Shops put its two-story, 4,000-square-foot building at 2368 15th St. in LoHi on the market this month, with an asking price of $3.3 million.
The company purchased the 135-year-old building for $2 million in December 2017. It opened a store on the ground floor the following year, adding to two it operates in Boulder.
Richard Polk, who founded Pedestrian Shops in 1969, said the company recently received “a shocking,” unsolicited offer for the building, which he described as within negotiation range of the listing price. So he decided to explore the market to see what opportunities would arise.
“The one offer we did receive suggested return that we were hoping to have five years from now, and after building a business for so long, it makes sense to be a bit more conservative coming out of this situation,” Polk said, referring to the pandemic.
The footwear retailer sells brands such as Birkenstock, Dansko, Keen, Merrell, Chaco and Crocs.
“We were hopeful about our location in Denver. However, COVID really slowed down our market entry,” Polk said. “Also, My Brother’s Bar next door has been using the parking lot to survive with tables outdoors. It was a very difficult year, but we still did business because people wanted walking shoes, house slippers and a lot of Crocs while trying to be comfortable at home.”
Polk, who runs the business with his daughters Zoe and Lauren, said he has not decided whether or not Pedestrian Shops will continue to operate in the building if he opts to sell. In Boulder, the company owns the real estate for its shop on the Pearl Street Mall, but leases its space in the Village Shopping Center.
“We don’t really like paying rent,” Polk said. “It takes so long and so much goodwill to develop market share that we really would like to own our real estate. But the reason we would stay is if we’re selling a lot of shoes as the retail market opens up again, and the owner eventually wants to bridge into the business.”
The second floor of the 15th Street building has been marketed for lease. On top, there’s also a rooftop deck.
Broker Kyle Malnati with Calibrate Real Estate is representing Polk in the sale.