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Economy & Economic Development  November 5, 2010

Penton Media finds new home in Fort Collins

LOVELAND – Penton Technology Media, a longtime Loveland publishing business, is moving to Fort Collins before the end of the year with its 100 employees.

The company will vacate the building at 221 E. 29th St. it has occupied for the last 22 years and move into a two-story building at 748 Whaler’s Way in the Boardwalk Lakeside Business Park in southeast Fort Collins, according to Kim Paulsen, Penton’s senior vice president for technology markets.

Paulsen said the company, which signed a five-year lease with building owner Don Taranto, had been looking for a new home for a while.

“The (Loveland) lease was coming to an end,” she said. “It’s been a great location, but it was just time for a change. We really needed more of a collaborative environment. We were looking for a new design layout plan, and we found it.”

Located in The Orchards shopping center for the past two decades, Penton employees will soon be working in a building surrounded by tall trees and next to a small lake bordering a residential neighborhood.

“It’s just a beautiful setting,” Paulsen said. “We did look at a lot of buildings. There was nothing wrong with Loveland – it’s a fabulous place – but there weren’t as many options. This place (Whaler’s Way) is just phenomenal.”

Collaborative feel

But Paulsen said the biggest factor in choosing the new building was its more open floor plan. The Loveland building was more broken up with private offices.

“This place has a collaborative feel, with social areas, lots of conference rooms and places to get together both inside and out,” she said.

Taranto, who also owns TST Inc., which was formerly headquartered in the Whaler’s Way building, said he was glad to lease the entire 19,383 square feet to Penton.

“I was happy to find somebody who came in and liked what we did,” he said. “There’s very little changes to be made because they liked what we did.”

The interior of the building has a playful feel to it, with, among other amenities, a giant fish tank on the first floor and a slide connecting the two levels.

Taranto said the building’s lease came through word-of-mouth. “I got contacted,” he said. “I was constantly looking for people to come in, but I never put it on the market.”

TST will move next door to another building Taranto co-owns.

Meanwhile, Cliff Johnson, building manager said Penton’s former Loveland headquarters, a 40,000-square-foot, two-story building, is being listed for sale for $3.6 million. Johnson said the owner of the building, Matador-Orchard LLC, will also consider another lessee.

“If a tenant wants it, the owner is willing to provide tenant finish to make it work for whatever configuration the new tenant may require,” he said.

Johnson said the building can be leased for $8 per square foot. He said the location features proximity to shopping, a bus transfer station, and 300 parking spaces. The building will be available Jan. 1.

Sorry to see Penton go

Johnson, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker, said he’s currently negotiating with a potential user of the building but is open to any offers. Johnson said he’s sorry to see Penton leave.

“It’s not good for Loveland that they’re leaving, and we tried to make it work,” he said. “They’ve been great tenants. But the building functionally did not meet their needs.”

Penton Media, which has its headquarters in New York City, purchased Duke Communications International – formerly one of Loveland’s largest employers with about 300 employees – in 2000 from its founder, David Duke, for an undisclosed sum.

At the time of the purchase, Penton Media published trade magazines that ranged from aviation to health foods, while Duke specialized in high-tech trade journals.

Under Penton, the Loveland office has focused on a variety of both print and online technology publications. Paulsen said Windows IT Pro, an online product, is the Loveland office’s biggest property with 2.5 million unique visitors each month.”

“A lot of our business is online,” she said. “And we also produce technology conferences, with our biggest in Las Vegas but also in Amsterdam, Prague, London and Germany.

“Most importantly we do education,” she added. “We help people to learn and manage technologies. Penton is one of the biggest business-to-business publishers in the world.”

Paulsen said the local company is prospering after a difficult 2009. “We are really doing well,” she said. “Publishing took a beating in 2009, but we are recovering quickly.”

Parent company Penton Media Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, hoping to relieve itself of an estimated $270 million in debt.

“This restructuring will allow us to achieve a debt level that is more sustainable in the current economic environment,” Sharon Rowland, Penton’s CEO, said in a statement released in February. “With a strengthened capital structure, we will be better positioned to fully leverage our operations, which have been and continue to be profitable.”

The company announced on March 10 that its restructuring plan had been approved and it had exited bankruptcy.

LOVELAND – Penton Technology Media, a longtime Loveland publishing business, is moving to Fort Collins before the end of the year with its 100 employees.

The company will vacate the building at 221 E. 29th St. it has occupied for the last 22 years and move into a two-story building at 748 Whaler’s Way in the Boardwalk Lakeside Business Park in southeast Fort Collins, according to Kim Paulsen, Penton’s senior vice president for technology markets.

Paulsen said the company, which signed a five-year lease with building owner Don Taranto, had been looking for a new home for a while.…

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