Real Estate: Minnesota sports-graphics firm moves to Fort Collins

FORT COLLINS — After opening a Fort Collins office in October, Zephyr Graf-X Inc. of Stillwater, Minn., soon will completely relocate to a new headquarters at the Fort Collins/Loveland Municipal Airport.

The company recently purchased slightly more than

two acres for $135,000 and initially will construct a 15,000-square-foot office and warehouse there.

Zephyr Graf-X designs and ships different styles of baseball caps for approximately 150 colleges and universities. Its products are sewn in a dedicated factory in Korea, then sold in stores including Footlocker, Champs, Jumbo Sports and Lids.

Founder Dave Gormley, who once lived in Greeley, started the company 3.5 years ago, and has grown it into the No. 1 selling college cap maker in the nation.

He attributes his success against much older companies to the fact that all his products are made in a dedicated factory, rather than one that manufactures for several different firms.

“That means we can deliver orders in about two weeks, not six weeks,” he said.

Additionally, he said his company’s graphics are

superior.

While he declined to release revenue figures, Gormley did say Zephyr Graf-X sold about one million hats last year.

He sees huge growth potential in the major-league ball-cap market, as well as recreational caps for fly fishing and resorts.

Like so many companies that relocate to the region, Gormley picked Northern Colorado because of his ties to Greeley and his love of the mountains and fly fishing.

The temporary office at 760 Whalers Way in Fort Collins will remain open until the new building is complete — hopefully by mid-October.

Gormley expects nine employees to relocate from Minnesota. Another three likely will be hired locally. Gormley runs the business with his brother Wesley and brother-in-law Jim Seilbach.

Macrum Building Systems Inc. of Greeley will likely build the new headquarters. The land deal at the airport was handled by Tom Livingston of Everitt Companies Real Estate Services and Rhys Christensen of Realtec Commercial Real Estates Services Inc.

Revised retail plan to be submitted

LOVELAND — Developers of a proposed retail center at the northwest corner of Taft Avenue and First Street here have altered their plans amid neighborhood concerns and input from city staff.

The 100,000-square-foot shopping center has long been rumored as the choice location for a second King Soopers store in the city. Indeed, Jim Sweet, who represents developer First Street Properties LLC of Greenwood Village, says designs are being planned around requirements typically requested by King Soopers.

However, opposition from a newly developed residential neighborhood directly to the west and concerns about environmental impact (Big Thompson Ditch No. 2 runs through the property) have prompted changes.

“I feel pretty good about it,” Sweet said. “We’ve done some fine-tuning and resubmitted to the city. The earliest we could go to planning commission is in the middle of August.”

Primary concerns centered on impacts from lights and noise. Additionally, some citizens are worried about effects on the bike trail that runs along the ditch. And, some residents of the new subdivision apparently thought the choice

corner property would remain undeveloped.

“The developer has modified the development somewhat, but we see the revisions as being very positive,´ said Brian Burson, project planner in Loveland’s current planning division.

Prior to the changes, city staff never considered the application to be complete.

80-acre project planned near H-P

LOVELAND — A general development plan for a mixed-use residential and commercial project in southwest Loveland should be submitted to the planning office in the next few weeks.

Located at Taft Avenue and 14th Street Southwest, west of Hewlett-Packard Co., the development could include both single-family and multifamily residences, office buildings and storage units.

“It is a good location for this,´ said Eric Hosapple, one of the project developers and a commercial Realtor at Moore and Co. of Loveland.

Hosapple said it’s too early to know precisely how many residential dwellings or commercial square footage the project can support.

Another 80-acre residential development by Hosapple and partner Don Moristica, also of Moore and Co., recently was approved by the city.

Located near East Eisenhower Boulevard and Denver Avenue, the Pinetree project will be built in conjunction with the Loveland Housing Authority and will offer 250 homes in the $110,000 to $125,000 price range. Additionally, 72 affordable housing multifamily units will be constructed by Kaufmann and Broad, similar to that company’s recent development at Horsetooth Road and South Shields Street in Fort Collins.

Additionally, the Hosapple-Moristica team plans another 240 residential lots on 80 acres in Milliken. The development, Walmar 3rd, also will offer homes in the $110,000 to $125,000 price range.

“We’ll build some of them, and also have four or five other builders,” Hosapple said.

The first phase of the Milliken project will include 91 lots.

New post office slated for Greeley

GREELEY — The latest in U.S. Postal Service retailing will come to the southeast corner of 10th Street and 39th Avenue as a new main post office is built for the city.

Construction is planned to begin this fall, with a possible opening next summer.

“Greeley has grown significantly in the past 10 years,´ said Greeley postmaster Joan Quin. “We’ve been limited as to a lobby and workroom floor space, post-office boxes and especially parking.”

The current main facility at 925 11th Ave. will remain open.

The new post office will be the first of its kind in Northern Colorado to have a full-service postal merchandise retail store where customers can browse. The next closest is at Denver’s Terminal Annex.

Sales & leases

Ruben Rodriguez of Boulder has purchased the 6,700-square-foot building at 125 Eighth Ave. in Greeley for use as a new nightclub. Sellers Kyle J. Deaton and Leigh A. Notti and their company, D.E.A. Construction, were relocated to Fort Collins. Brokers were Michael Ehler and Jack Mackey of The Group Inc. of Greeley. It’s hoped the sale will help revitalize Eighth Avenue north of downtown.

Linden RE Holdings purchased a 64,000-square foot building at 4401 Innovation Drive in Fort Collins for the expansion of Cen Partners, a local call-center company. Selling price was $2.05 million. The seller was Bruce Deifik Integrated Property Management. Brokers were Rhys Christensen of Realtec Commercial Real Estate Services Inc. and Mitch Morgan of Veldman Morgan Commercial.

Allied Insulation, a national company expanding into Northern Colorado, leased 8,000 square feet at 1292 Cleveland Ave. in Loveland from David Shenk. Steve Pfister, Nick Christensen, Larry Melton and Joe Palieri, all of Realtec, completed the deal.

Mygatt Watkins leased 6,075 square feet at 3801 Automation Way in Fort Collins from Shepherd Miller, Inc. Jim Mokler of Realtec handled the deal.

Dennis Davis Auto Park, Greeley’s newest auto dealership, has completed the purchase of six acres at the southeast corner of the U.S. Highway 34 bypass and 47th Street from Gate Development Inc. Davis will relocate his Honda, Mazda and Volkswagen dealership from West 10th Street for the new, $2 million construction project. At least 50 people will be employed at the new site. The deal was handled by Michael Ehler and Bob Weimer of The Group Inc. of Greeley.

The Visiting Nurse Association purchased a 9,400-square-foot building at 2105 Clubhouse Drive for $590,000. The building’s previous owner, Jim Baker of K & L Associates, is constructing a new building on 29th Street west of the Greeley Mall. The deal was handled by Michael Ehler of The Group Inc.

Patricia Edwards of Loveland has purchased a 9,000-square-foot building and 2,500-square-foot bay owned by Rotational Engineering of Berthoud. Located at 795 Second St., the facilities were used in the company’s manufacture of injection-molding machines. Sale price was $250,000. The company itself is being disbursed at auction July 12 after its owners of almost 20 years decided to retire. Edwards will have the building leased as investment property. Dan Stroh of Stroh & Co. Realty and Auctions Inc. negotiated the deal.

Carol Wood covers real estate and development for The Northern Colorado Business Report. Reach her at (970) 221-5400, (970) 356-1683 or (800) 440-3506. E-mail can be sent to carolwood@ncbr.com.