Engineer buys Longmont building to house SVVSD robotics club

LONGMONT — Software engineer Terry Olkin of Niwot has purchased an industrial building in Longmont for $1,050,000 in cash to house the nonprofit Up-A-Creek Robotics club made up of high school students in the St. Vrain Valley School District.

Olkin, who recently sold his Boulder-based software firm Gridcraft Inc., said the main reason for buying the building was to provide a home for the club that has about 50 members and is growing. The nonprofit was formed in 2005 to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging them in mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills.

The club is losing its current space and will occupy about half of the 13,625-square-foot building. Olkin said he will lease the other half of the building to help offset the cost of buying the building, and added, “I’m not into commercial real estate investing,” he said.

The building, at 950 S. Sherman St. was constructed in 1976 and currently is empty. It once was home to Pinetree Peripherals Inc. before the bank foreclosed on the property about a year ago. The property subsequently was purchased by Resolution Fund LLC, a group of investors in Fort Collins. Resolution Fund had the property for about six months before selling it to Olkin, under the entity Fifth West Investments LLC.

Tim Canarro of Longmont Commercial Real Estate represented Olkin in the transaction. Larry Hawe of Sperry Van Ness/The Group Commercial LLC listed the property.