State ag department moving to Broomfield

BROOMFIELD – The Colorado Department of Agriculture is consolidating its three offices in metro Denver to a building it purchased in Broomfield.

The department in December paid $6.1 million for a roughly 48,000-square-foot office building and 4.3 acres at 305 Interlocken Parkway. The building was sold by a group of limited partnerships managed by Georgia-based Wells Real Estate Funds Inc.

Jeff Stalter, director of budget and business operations for the department of agriculture, said Wednesday that the plan is to be moved in by late spring.

The department has its main offices along with its animal industry, conservation services, markets and plant industry divisions at 700 Kipling St. in Lakewood. The brand inspection division is located at 4701 Marion St. in Denver, while the inspection and consumer services division is at 2331 W. 31st Ave. in Denver.

Operations at all three of those locations will move to Broomfield, bringing about 150 employees. Only the department’s state fair offices in Pueblo will stay put.

Stalter said the department’s markets division has grown in recent years through a push to increase exports. Growth and the chance to create better efficiency and cost savings by consolidating offices were the main drivers in the decision to move. Stalter said such a move has been in the works for a couple of years.

“It’s just more cost-effective for us to do so,” Stalter said.

The department also gets out of a couple of leases. Both the Lakewood and Marion St. locations are in leased space. The department owns the building on Zuni.

Stalter said the department wanted to stay near its central location but also had certain requirements in a new building that needed to be met, such as ceiling height requirements for a couple of labs and not being too close to major traffic areas so that certain lab equipment wouldn’t be disrupted by vibrations.

“We were having a very difficult time finding buildings that wouldn’t come with a huge cost to renovate,´ said Stalter, noting that about 90 percent of the new building would be used for offices. “The building (in Broomfield) came pretty much as built, which is nice.”

The department will have some minor reconfiguring to do before moving in. The department also must build a 2,000-square-foot addition to house its metrology lab to house an overhead crane that needs 18-foot-high ceilings.

That addition will cost about $700,000 and begin in about two years. Stalter said the metrology lab would remain at the Zuni location in the meantime. The Zuni building will be sold eventually to help fund the new lab space.

The Rocky Mountain Regional Animal Health Lab and the department of ag’s biochemistry lab for testing feeds and fertilizers also will be moved to the Broomfield site.

“There’s a lot of logistics that go into moving a laboratory,” Stalter said.

The building at 305 Interlocken Parkway has been empty for more than a year. Built in 1997 as a build-to-suit for Cirrus Logic, it was most-recently occupied by a division of Flextronics International Ltd. According to the Flextronics website, it no longer has offices in Colorado.

Stream Realty Partners represented the sellers in the sale. Jones Lang LaSalle represented the department of agriculture.

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