5:00am

Thu November 10, 2011
Business

Investment Company Scoops Up Office Space at Flatiron Park

A Texas-based real estate investment company has moved into Boulder in a big way, recently purchasing 19 buildings in the Flatiron Park business park. KUNC’s Brian Larson talks with Boulder County Business Report publisher Chris Wood about the deal.

Larson: Goff Capital Partners is the Investment Company that we are talking about – and Chris this is a pretty significant deal for the Boulder office market.

Wood: Well, you’re right that it is a big deal, Erin, at least by Boulder commercial real estate standards. As we’ve discussed before, Boulder has a shortage of quality office space. Flatiron Park constitutes one of the largest collections of office and warehouse space in the city. The park is located along 55th Street in east Boulder, not far from our office, and Goff purchased 19 buildings in two separate transactions, giving it ownership of more than 740,000 square feet of space. The properties were acquired for about $68 million dollars.

Larson: So who is Goff, and what attracted them to this market?

Wood: We talked to a number of people in the Boulder commercial real estate sector, and many of them were unfamiliar with Goff. That’s not surprising, given that the company had not been involved in Boulder real estate before this. But the company is well known in its home city of Fort Worth, Texas, and it does maintain an office in Greenwood Village. Through another entity, Goff also owns two high-rise office buildings in downtown Denver.

As to what attracted Goff to Boulder, you first have to consider that shortage of quality office space that I mentioned. Office properties can be very valuable in the city. Goff’s managing principal, Conrad Suszynski, told us that the company had been interested in the Boulder market for some time, but many of the deals were too small. He added that the company was attracted to Boulder because of the high quality of life, educated work force and entrepreneurial spirit.

Larson: I’m sure scooping up a significant amount of square footage at Flatiron Park was certainly an attraction as well. Who had these properties and why did they decide to sell?

Wood: The bulk of the properties, 18 buildings, were sold by the Flatiron Park Co. That’s the group that built and managed Flatiron Park, beginning in the 1970s, with build-out in the 1990s. The company filled a niche in Boulder, offering quality space for office, R&D, manufacturing and warehouse operations. Flatiron Park principals Larry Frey and Ed McDowell decided to sell the properties as they approached retirement.

Another building was sold by Life Investors Insurance Company. I should point out that Goff has indicated a willingness to invest in other Boulder properties, if the right deal comes along.

Larson: Chris, one other Boulder story that we’ve been following is the votes on creating a city-owned utility. The election is over – 2B and 2C passed – so while we’ve got a just a minute, tell us what the next steps are.

Wood: What lies ahead will be a lot of studying, and probably litigation. Voters last week did authorize the city to create a city-owned utility if certain criteria are met. And they narrowly approved an increase to the utility occupation tax to help fund expenses related to the study. I should point out that the county clerk still has to count some overseas ballots, and given the closeness of one of the votes, observers are watching the count on the utility tax very closely.

These votes do not guarantee that the city will create its own utility. They just mean that the issue will be further studied, and if the city opts to go forward, we are very likely to see years of litigation between the city and Xcel Energy. So we’ll be talking about this story for quite some time to come.

Larson: Chris Wood is the publisher of the Boulder County Business Report.

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