Denver’s most unusual-looking storage facility has sold for just the second time since it was constructed nearly a century ago.
The eight-story United Stor-All facility at 2100 E. Colfax Ave. changed hands in late December for $7.8 million, according to public records.
The building is sometimes referred to as the “Storage Castle” due to the battlement-like features atop it (not to be confused with the “Sports Castle,” the former Sports Authority building about 2 miles away).
The building was originally constructed in 1926 and known as the Weicker Depository, because it was developed by the Weicker Transfer and Storage Co. It was designed to store excess household items for residents moving into the nearby Capitol Hill neighborhood, which was seeing its housing stock diversify beyond Victorian mansions as the city’s population grew.
The structure was controversial. The Denver City Council denied a building permit for it, “apparently persuaded by arguments that the proposed building was incompatible in terms of size and heights with its surroundings and would be a ‘nuisance to the sky line,’” according to a National Register of Historic Places application for the Colfax corridor.
Opponents also argued the building “would become rat-infested and attract children,” according to the application, although a judge responded that rats would probably prefer nearby grocery stores over a building storing mostly furniture. The permit denial was overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court.
Charles LeClaire and Adam Schlosser, Denver-based Marcus & Millichap brokers who sell storage facilities across the country, represented the seller in last month’s deal. The brokerage said the lower walls of the building are clad with travertine marble, and the upper stories were built out of brick in a pattern styled after Italian towns like Florence.
The Weicker family owned the building until 1976, when they sold it to a partnership between Buzz Victor and Barry Bender, according to the brokerage.
The new owners partitioned it into individual units. That made “the first mini-storage facility in Denver and one of the first mini-storage conversions nationally,” according to Marcus & Millichap.
Victor is considered a pioneer in the self-storage field, the brokerage said. He developed his first project in Omaha in 1973, ultimately completing 25 projects in 12 states and helping found the trade group Self Storage Association, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Victor and Bender no longer own any storage facilities in the wake of the Colfax sale, according to Marcus & Millichap.
The buyer was Colfax Storage Partners LLC, which the brokers described as a partnership out of Northern California. Los Angeles-based A-American Self Storage now lists the building among its locations online. A 4-foot by 4-foot temperature-controlled unit on the building’s first floor was available for $46 a month on Tuesday, the cheapest price advertised on the company’s website.
The buyer plans to renovate the building’s interior while keeping the exterior the same, according to the brokers. The building is 42,132 square feet, making the deal worth about $184 a square foot.