Developer plans new buildings in tech center

LOUISVILLE – With recession in the rearview mirror, Denver-based Etkin Johnson Group LLC is ramping up new construction on its land in the Colorado Technology Center in Louisville.

The company announced recently that it is planning a pair of new speculative industrial flex buildings that will total 203,477 square feet. That news comes at the same time the company announced that Broomfield-based Trelleborg Sealing Solutions has inked a 10-year lease on a 75,899-square-foot building at 1886 Prairie Way in the CTC.

The building on Prairie Way had been occupied by athletic apparel company Pearl Izumi, which bought land across the street and moved into a new building there in November.

The new spec buildings – one at 1900 Cherry St., and the other at 1900 Taylor Ave. – have been in the planning stage, Etkin Johnson president and co-owner David Johnson said. But the fact that the company was able to attract Trelleborg, coupled with the fairly low vacancy in the CTC overall, gave Etkin Johnson the confidence to go ahead with construction of the new buildings.

Groundbreaking is set for this month with completion by late summer for the building at 1900 Cherry, a 66,776-square-foot single-story structure on 4.84 acres. Johnson said work on 1900 Taylor, a 136,701-square-foot building, could begin as early as April.

Jim Vasbinder, Etkin Johnson’s vice president for development, will oversee the projects, with Ware Malcomb providing architectural services and Murray & Stafford hired as general contractor. Johnson said cost of the new buildings, including land, construction and highly finished interiors, would reach about $120 per square foot.

Johnson said it’s been a few years since his company has built anything in the CTC.

“We feel the economy is picking up, and the demand for space is picking up,” Johnson said, noting that his company is in negotiations with potential tenants of the new buildings.

Etkin Johnson owns eight industrial flex buildings in the CTC, totaling about 650,000 square feet, as well as 30 more acres of land available for build-out. Johnson said the company could build about 400,000 more square feet of industrial and flex space in the CTC in the next three to four years in addition to the two new buildings already planned.

“We’re kind of high on the marketplace there,” Johnson said, noting the high demand for such product along the U.S. Highway 36 corridor.

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions, a division of Sweden-based Trelleborg AB, moves up the corridor from Broomfield, where it has about 67,000 square feet of space in three buildings at 510 Burbank St. The provider of polymer-based sealing solutions for the aerospace, automotive, agriculture and oil and gas industries has about 125 employees in Broomfield. The company is expected to be fully operational in its new location in Louisville by fall 2014.


FOUNDATION HEALTH OPENS: Foundation Health LLC, a new direct primary-care practice, is scheduled to open in downtown Boulder in late January.

Direct primary-care practices offer ongoing health care for a monthly fee without going through an insurance company.

A group of six local partners is going in on the business at 1949 Pearl St., the space formerly occupied by real estate brokerage Pedal to Properties.

Gary Meyers, president of the local CBIZ Benefits and Insurance Services Inc. office, was part of an entity, FH Properties LLC that purchased Unit C1 at 1949 Pearl St. in August. Meyers will be a partner in Foundation Health along with his daughter Ginnie Meyers, Bryan Robins, Jeff Higgs and physicians Todd Dorfman and Colleen Ryan.

Foundation Health will occupy a portion of the Pearl Street building, while the rest will be leased to an art gallery slated to open early next year, Ginnie Meyers said. Foundation Health will have a soft opening in January and begin accepting new patients Feb. 1.

Dorfman, whose background ranges from serving as chief executive of consulting group Cedalion Health to serving as director of emergency medical services for the city of Boulder, will be medical director for Foundation Health. Ryan will be the main primary-care physician at the practice, which will also employ a pair of physician’s assistants.

Foundation Health’s partners are billing the business as a complement to health insurance. For $150 per month, Foundation Health customers gain unlimited access and office visits at Foundation Health with no co-pays or co-insurance. The office will offer extended hours and generally provides that patients can get in to see their physician within 24 hours. Providers also are available 24 hours a day via phone and text message.

At a time when health-insurance costs are increasing significantly, Ginnie Meyers said, the Foundation Health model provides a way for consumers to opt for a higher deductible health-care plan, add on the Foundation Health subscription to cover office visits, and still save money on monthly premiums.

“What we see is most of the time, unless you hit your deductible, all of those costs (like office visits and other noncatastrophic services) are coming out of your pocket for your health care,” Meyers said.

In addition to office visits, Foundation Health will provide nutrition and insurance consulting, as well as coordination with laboratories, hospitals and specialists.

Meyers said the intent is to open other locations along the Front Range in the coming year, but no specific plans have been made.

LUXURY HOME SALES: The number of luxury home sales in the Denver metro area in November dipped significantly from October but still showed an increase over November 2012. The numbers are based on Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold for more than $1 million.

Sixty-six luxury homes sold in November, up from 58 for the same month a year ago, but down form October’s 93. Thirteen homes sold for more than $2 million, up from nine a year ago.

The most expensive home sale of the month was 1002 Mapleton Ave. in Boulder, a six-bedroom, five-bath, 7,600-square-foot home on Mapleton Hill that sold for $6,432,495.


LIGHTWAVE MOVES HQ: A tech company in Delaware that is developing organic materials for fiber-optic data communications and optical-computing devices will move its headquarters and testing facility to Longmont after the first of the year.

Lightwave Logic Inc. in Newark, Delaware, is leasing 4,720 square feet at 1831 Lefthand Circle from Goff Capital Partners LP, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Steven Cordovano, director of corporate communications for Lightwave, said about five people will be employed at the office in Longmont, and another five employees will remain in Delaware at the company’s chemical synthesis laboratory.

Cordovano said the company chose Longmont for its headquarters because it has been working with scientist Alan Mickelson at the University of Colorado-Boulder in developing the organic materials. Mickelson runs the Guided Wave Optics Laboratory at CU’s Engineering Center. Also, Lightwave’s chairman and chief executive, Tom Zelibor, and its president and chief operating officer, James S. Marcelli, live in Colorado.

Initially founded as PSI-TEC Corp., Lightwave Logic Inc. became an over-the-counter publicly traded company in July 2004 with the trading symbol LWLG.


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