The owners of downtown Colorado Springs costume and novelty shop Zeezo’s finalized their purchase of the historic Bryan & Scott Jewelers building at 112 N. Tejon St. earlier this month.
Mark and Jessica Modeer, who currently run Zeezo’s a few doors down at 104 N. Tejon St., closed the $1.265-million real estate transaction at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, and already have started renovating the century-old space. Mark Modeer said they plan to open the new location in mid-October — just in time for Halloween — which he said is the company’s busiest and most profitable season.
The new 21,000-square-foot location will effectively double the shop’s floorspace, according to the Modeers.
“We are so excited about the added space of our new building, and how it will let us show off the merchandise we have and bring on more,” Jessica Modeer said in an email.
Mark Modeer said that the couple had been considering the purchase for more than a year and that once the logistics were straightened out, the decision to move was an easy one to make.
Although the seven-figure sum may seem steep for a novelty shop averaging $27 per purchase, Mark Modeer said that the building was a bargain and that mortgage payments will be “almost exactly the same as what we’ve been paying” in rent for the past three years.
The couple also took out two Small Business Association loans: one to aid in the purchase, and another to pay for $250,000 in buildout, which will include the restoration and renovation of the building’s main floor, basement and mezzanine. The Modeers said that they intend to keep, use or salvage as much of the building’s innards as possible.
“The building is amazing. Very little has changed from the 1920s. We’re retaining as many of the original features as possible,” Jessica Modeer said. “We plan to refinish the hardwood floors, use many of the built in showcases and update the electrical system.”
Zeezo’s, originally a Denver-based joke and magic shop, was established in 1974 and moved into the Springs market in 1978 to take over another downtown novelty shop. The store has been under its current ownership since February 1993.
The historic structure, which Mark Modeer said was originally two separate spaces/addresses, has hosted tenants such as LeVine’s Toy Store, a Wilbur’s Department Store and a grocery called W.N. Burgess.
According to documents from the El Paso County Assessor’s office, the new home for Zeezo’s was constructed in 1900. The previous owner of the property was Roberto Agnolini, who also owned Bryan & Scott Jewelers.