Building owner will split former ListenUp space into two units

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The owner of a prime piece of retail space at the corner of Tejon Street and Platte Avenue is planning to split the 6,400-square-foot bi-level space into two units in hopes of drawing from a larger pool of potential tenants.

Julie Phillips at Fountain Colony Co., the leasing agent for Acacia LLC, said the site had been occupied by ListenUp for more than two decades. ListenUp purchased a 12,000-square-foot former furniture showroom for its local operation near Woodmen Road and Interstate 25 last year and moved out of its downtown space in November.

The corner space, vacant since then, includes a main, street-level space and a basement level space, but could be easily converted into two store fronts with separate entrances.

The retail space at 230 N. Tejon St. rests on a heavy-foot traffic site at the corner of Platte Avenue and Tejon Street, downtown’s premier retail corridor.

The retail space at 230 N. Tejon St. rests on a heavy-foot traffic site at the corner of Platte Avenue and Tejon Street, downtown’s premier retail corridor.

“One space is roughly 4,000 square feet, 2,000 square feet on each level, and the other is roughly 1,000 square feet on each level,” Phillips said. “The space has drawn a lot of interest, but most of that has come from the smaller-sized tenants. We’re working with some prospects now and we’re excited to see something come from that.”

Phillips said the site at 230 N. Tejon St. features brick walls, hardwood floors and wrap-around windows at the corner.

Renovation won’t begin until a tenant or tenants have committed to the site.

Craft brewers ride economy out

Need further signs the economy hit consumers hard in 2009? Here’s another: Beer sales fell by more than 5 million barrels last year. That said, one segment of the industry performed well: small and independent craft brewers.

The Boulder-based Brewer’s Association said American craft brewers watched their sales climb 10.3 percent in 2009. The segment is growing too. The total number of U.S. craft brewers, defined as any commercial brewer that produces less than 2 million barrels a year, climbed from 1,485 to 1,542. Those establishments combined to produce 600,000 more barrels of beer during 2009 compared to 2008.

Brewer’s Association Director Paul Gatza pointed to the ever-increasing flavors and varieties craft brewers have to offer as one reason customers have flocked to the smaller producers.

Industry observers have taken notice as well. The National Restaurant Association Chef Survey, for example, cited locally produced wine and beer among its top five overall trends to watch for 2010.

Craft beers represent just 4.3 percent of the volume of the U.S. beer industry, but have become popular in Colorado, which is home to 114 craft breweries.

Major sporting goods players see uptick

Two sporting goods retailers with strong links to Colorado Springs reported large sales increases in the fourth quarter.

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp., which operates three locations in Colorado Springs, reported its earnings vaulted 77.8 percent in the quarter as sales advanced 8.2 percent.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, a company with two large stores in the area, said its sales jumped 10.7 percent primarily due to a 2.5 percent increase in same-store sales.

Scott Prater can be reached at scott.prater@csbj.com or 719-329-5208