Charter school leases move-in ready space

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Atlas Preparatory School is leasing space at Airport Park, which once housed the James Irwin Charter School.

Atlas Preparatory School is leasing space at Airport Park, which once housed the James Irwin Charter School.

Once again former office/warehouse space will be transformed into an academic center.

Atlas Preparatory School, a new charter school in Harrison School District 2, has leased 28,780 square feet at Airport Park, 1602-1628 S. Murray Blvd.

The same location had been used for 10 years by the James Irwin Charter School, a plus for the new users, said Zach McComsey, Atlas Preparatory executive director.

“The Larson Group has been working to re-design some of the layout for us,” he said, adding that many of the classrooms and common areas will work, as is, for now. “We’re starting out with about 100 fourth-graders and our budget is tight, so this turned out to be a great option for us. The location is ideal – in southeast Colorado Springs, near the disadvantaged or minority students we hope to help bridge the achievement gap.”

The facility will have to be ready by mid-summer, a few weeks ahead of the school year kick-off on Aug. 3.

“We’re unusual in that we start earlier, work longer days and end later,” McComsey said. “In fact, four years at Atlas will be the equivalent of five years at a regular school. The college prep school’s goal is to see its first students graduate (from college) by 2021. Enrollment of fourth- through eighth-grades is expected to grow to 400 during the next four years – and this building can accommodate that.

Steve Bach – who also represented the James Irwin Charter School several years ago on the lease of a former distribution warehouse building – and Mike Helwege represented the tenant. Aaron Horn and Dave Bacon of Sierra Commercial Real Estate represented the landlord, Airport Park L.P.

Land lease

Fat Boyz Motorsports, an auto repair business, has leased a 1,500-square-foot lot at 2255 Busch Ave. from owner Rick Gatiss.

Jim Chacon of Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group represented both parties.

McDonald’s on tap

Big Macs will soon be served at 5450 Tutt Blvd.

McDonald’s Real Estate Co. has purchased a 1.7-acre parcel for $750,000. The site is scheduled for construction of a drive-through restaurant.

Scott Gray and John Simons of Cornerstone Retail Team represented both the buyer and the seller, Patrick Bonacelli.

Home sales

Curious about which neighborhoods have seen the briskest new and existing home sales activity?

Joe and Jennifer Boylan of Boylan & Co. have done their homework and determined that the fastest sales are happening along Ute Pass, where it took less than 40 days to sell the average home. Next best: Fountain Valley neighborhoods, where homes sold in less than 75 days during March.

Northgate and west El Paso County also saw strong activity, suggesting a seller’s market.

The slowest sales for the month occurred in and around Manitou Springs, where it took almost 200 days to sell a home. Tri-Lakes, Woodland Park and southwest Colorado Springs also required longer listing periods before houses went under contract – perhaps due, in part, to higher-priced inventory.

And those areas were definitely considered “a buyers market,” the report said.

No to flex time

As architecture, engineering and environmental consulting firms continue to tighten their belts, flex and vacation time are the next items on the chopping block, according to a poll in a monthly newsletter published by Zweig White.

Only 12 percent of firms plan to offer summer hours this year, according to the latest “By the Numbers” survey that appeared in The Zweig HR Letter, available at http://www.zweigwhite.com/trends/hrletter/.

Summer hours are typically defined as putting in extra hours Monday through Thursday and taking either a half day off every Friday or a full day off every other Friday. Additionally, just 7 percent of respondents said they would allow employees to take an unlimited amount of unearned vacation hours “on credit” to the firm.

Offering summer hours this year would send the wrong message to current employees, laid-off employees and clients, said Michelle Maynard, a consultant with ZweigWhite who specializes in human resources management.

“As more firms fight for fewer projects, it’s imperative that they make themselves available to clients as much as possible,” she said.

Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.