A former theater along South Broadway in Denver that sold last month will remain an event center going forward.
Pete Foster, a local real estate broker, said Thursday that he and business partner Yimaj “Steve” Kalifa will take over the 119 S. Broadway building in July, after current tenant Archetype Distillery moves out.
“We’ll keep it as an event center, but kick it up a notch,” Foster said.
Kalifa purchased the building last month for $5.84 million from Archetype founder Wade Murphy.
Archetype has been using the space for both distilling and hosting events. But Murphy is moving the distillery operations to Eagle County no later than June. And he told BusinessDen in December he wanted to get out of hosting events, noting it was a completely different business than making spirits.
Foster, meanwhile, praised Murphy’s renovations to the structure, which dates to the 1910s.
“It’s basically brand new in here,” he said.
Foster, 45 and a Colorado State University graduate, said he’s been a real estate broker locally for 17 years, the past two with Madison Commercial. Foster said Kalifa, a long-time client, will own the majority of the event center business — which has yet to be named — and he’ll own a minority stake.
It’s one of two projects the two have teamed up on. Kalifa and Foster are also working to open a jazz club called LIV Denver at 1448 Market St.
“I think this is a fun and challenging change of pace for me,” Foster said. “It allows me some unique opportunities to understand how business is done in Denver. That will definitely help my other clients.”
Foster said he and Kalifa will hire a general manager to run the venue, so brokering will remain his primary focus.
The Broadway building is about 12,000 square feet across two floors. Foster said he plans to create themed rooms within it, inspired by a venue in London called Sketch. Because the space has already been used for events, he expects to spend less than $100,000 on upgrades before opening July 1.
“Most of it’s going to be in furniture or decorations … We’re going to make it a very unique place,” he said.