A&Z Mechanical buys industrial condo

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A&Z Mechanical paid $357,000 for this 4,000-square-foot unit on Winters Drive.

A&Z Mechanical paid $357,000 for this 4,000-square-foot unit on Winters Drive.

A 4,000-square-foot industrial condominium at 143 Winters Drive has been purchased by A&Z Mechanical, a heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractor, $357,000.

The seller, Winters Industrial Park LLC, and the buyer were represented by Peak Commercial Properties’ broker John Rodgers.

Airport area property sold

An 11-acre parcel of land in the Aerotech Center at 875 Vapor Trail has been purchased by Colorado Structures Inc. for $800,000.

That’s about $1.67 per square foot, said buyer’s broker, Dale Stamp of Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group.

“They’re looking at a possible addition to the Taylor Farms processing facility and would need about 3 acres,” he said. “The rest of Colorado Structures is planning to hold for a future build-to-suit.”

Citygate options

The 12-acre Citygate parcel at the southeast corner of Sierra Madre and Cimarron streets owned by a Griffis Blessing investor group could provide a great short-term location for a company on the move, said listing broker Randy Dowis.

While the property’s mixed-use master plan has not changed, according to Griffis Blessing President Steve Engel, a user interested in an interim lease agreement could get a good deal.

“We’re fact-finding right now, trying to gauge what kind of interest there is in the market,” Dowis said. “With the new form-based codes for downtown and the streamlined entitlement process, we might be able to find an interim user — like an auto lot or a contractor’s yard — that could locate there for a few years, until the market comes back. What the owner doesn’t want is to take a high-profile corner like that and just do anything with it. Long range, they plan to stick to their original redevelopment plan.”

Brokers weigh in on market

While Stamp said commercial investment has been slowed by tight credit markets and investor caution, he is still upbeat, predicting that the Pikes Peak region will “bounce back quicker” than cities in the Midwest or on the coasts.

“We’re still growing more than 1 percent per year,” he said. “That’s huge compared to some places. A couple of good announcements (of large property sales or new business), and we’d be in pretty good shape again.”

RCIS president for 2009-10, Proforma Real Estate broker Joy Focht, shares Stamp’s view.

Her company has sold all nine industrial condominium spaces in the former Ampex building at Wooten Road and Highway 24.

“We’ve just got 18,000 square feet of office left — and the Asian Market there is doing very well,” she said. “The owner recently told me he’s seen 10 percent per month growth in that location.”

Focht also said that ACS’s decision to locate its new call center in space leased from Verizon on 30th Street and Garden of the Gods Road is a sign of possible recovering market momentum.

“I worked for Kaman Sciences years ago,” she said. “Traffic along Garden of the Gods was extremely heavy back then. With 700 new jobs up there, I think you’ll start to see more retail and office leasing along that corridor. And if anything happens at Intel, well, that would really open things up.”

Likewise, NAI Highland industrial broker Randy Dowis said he’s gotten “plenty of traction” so far this year with several closed deals.

“I just relocated Ampex into 7,000 square feet and ITT — a national credit tenant — just leased 7,000 more square feet of space at the Airport Business Center in Building B. I’ve also got a couple of leases pending in the Classic Corporate Center. So far I’m having a pretty good year.”

Dowis stopped short, however, of blanket optimism.

“The verdict’s out on the defense side,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll see any major expansion in that area — at least between now and 2011 based on what Robert Gates has said,” adding that there’s concern some missile defense program might be scaled back.

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