Old Town Square sale shows promise for commercial market
January 17, 2015
Steamboat Springs — Some real estate professionals think the recent "landmark" sale of Old Town Square plaza and other pending sales suggest Steamboat's commercial real estate market once again is strong and healthy.
Old Town Square plaza, which houses 17 businesses including The BARley, Steaming Bean Coffee Co. and Backcountry Delicatessen, sold Jan. 6 for $3.78 million to Archie and Kathryn Lowe.
The Lowes also own at least a dozen condos and residences in town as well as the building that houses Colorado Event Rentals on South Copper Frontage, according to county records.
"Old Town Square was a landmark sale," said David Baldinger Jr., of Steamboat Village Brokers, who listed the property along with broker associate Joan Conroy. "This sale is a sign that the downtown Steamboat commercial core is healthy and vibrant."
Baldinger Jr. said the property was marketed nationally during the six months it was on the market, but the buyer ended up being local.
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Of the 19 units in the complex, including one residential unit, 17 are occupied by businesses and will carry on their leases under the new ownership, Baldinger Jr. said.
The low vacancy rate is more evidence of a healthy commercial market, he said.
Baldinger said that because of the various commercial areas across Steamboat and the contrast between each building for sale, it's hard to make generalizations regarding the commercial market.
Despite this, he thinks the market is doing well.
"The commercial market is relatively healthy," Baldinger Jr. said.
Other properties currently for sale include the building that houses The Ghost Ranch, at 56 Seventh St. The structure has a 3,100-square-foot bar and dining area and is offered by Keller Williams Realty for $4.8 million.
Also for sale is Bob's Conoco — both the business and the real estate — for $3.05 million. A buyer also could opt for just the business, according to the listing agent, investment broker Brian Olson, of NAI Mountain Commercial.
Olson said the property has been on the market since October, but due to its unique nature, it could take awhile to find the right buyer.
Olson said that while the residential market has been on the upswing in Steamboat, recent sales like Old Town Square show promise for the commercial and industrial markets.
"Commercial and industrial has kind of lagged behind," Olson said.
The broker said he knew of a few other promising pending commercial transactions in downtown Steamboat and another on U.S. Highway 40 west of town.
"All good signs," Olson said. "We went for such a long period where there was just nothing."