27 January 2006

Denver Business News Shorts

The Tattered Cover Bookstore has announced that on June 25, it will move from its location across from the Cherry Creek Mall in Denver to the Lowenstein Theater on East Colfax Avenue near East High School (although it is looking for a small satellite store at a new location in Cherry Creek North). The Fourth Story restaurant above the store will close before then. Twist and Shout Records, which is currently located in two storefronts across the street from each other at Alameda and Logan in West Washington Park will join the Tattered Cover at its new location. The Denver Film Society had initially planned to join these two businesses from its Tivioli location on the Auraria Campus but has backed out of the deal. Tattered Cover, the metro area's leading independent bookstore, also has a location in LoDo on the 16th Street Mall near Union Station, and in Highland's Ranch.

A 55 story condo tower is planned for 14th and Lawrence Street in LoDo. The project is immensely expensive, costing $165 million for just 200 units (which means that each condo must sell for an avearge of more than $825,000, just to break even), and will change the Denver skyline. Given the size of the lot, 25,000 square feet, the number of stories, and the number of units, each unit will likely be several thousand square feet in size, comparable to a Cherry Creek townhouse or a reasonably large single family home. UPDATE: "The units, which will range in size from about 1,200 to 7,000 square feet, will be priced from the mid-$500,000s, although 10 percent of them would have to be affordable under the city's inclusionary housing ordinance."

Chipotle, the McDonald's owned Mexican fast-casual Burrito chain, has gone public and double its share price on the first day, one of the most successful public offerings in years. The offering is of a minority of the shares, with McDonalds and the original ownership group together still controlling the chain. The West Washington Park Chipotle's in the Alameda and Logan strip mall that is about to loose Twist and Shout is one of the chain's earlier stores and is a great favorite of area police officers, despite substandard parking availability. The first store opened in 1993 near D.U., and had fourteen stores when it was purchased by McDonalds in 1998. It now has 480 stores. There is speculation that McDonalds will also spin off "Golden, Colo.-based Boston Chicken Inc., which operates the homestyle meat-and-potatoes Boston Market restaurants", which it purchased when the chain was in financial distress and is also in the fast-casual market, to focus on its core fast food market. But, Chipotle has been considerably more successful than Boston Market financially.

Also in local Wall Street News, First Data, one of the largest public companies based in Denver, will spin off its Western Union money transfer division into a seperate business, while keeping its credit card processing business in the original company. Congressman Tom Tancredo made a fool of himself a year or two ago by proposing a new tax on international money transfers (designed to penalize immigrant families) which would have almost entirely impacted First Data, his own Congressional District's biggest company (something neither he nor his staff was apparently aware of). The tax proposal crashed and died.

Congratulations to the Three Kings Tavern, having their grand opening today, previously mentioned here and here on this blog, for appearing on the front page of the Denver Post (in the part visible through newspaper box windows) and on the entire top half and the center of the 7 Days weekend entertainment section of the Post with a custom graphic. Westword has also profiled the new business. You can't buy that kind of advertising for any price.

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