KGNU buys downtown Boulder office builder for new radio studio

BOULDER — Boulder community radio station KGNU is moving into a new headquarters following the purchase of a new downtown office building.

The 45-year-old station, through holding company Boulder Community Broadcast Association LLC, bought the 10,000-square-foot office building at 1720 14th St. from 1720 Building LLC for $3.3 million, Boulder County real estate records show. 

KGNU had considered overhauling its existing home at 4700 Walnut St., but leaders ultimately “concluded that the purchase of a new space in a more accessible location, rather than a remodel, would cause less disruption to operations and better serve Boulder’s creative community,” the station said.

At the 14th Street site, “we’d been under contract for quite some time with Boulder Community Broadcast Association,”  Skye Commercial managing broker Geoff Keys told BizWest. “They finally obtained the necessary city approvals they were looking for and we got (the deal) closed.”

Skye represented the seller, and Eric Rutherford of WK Real Estate represented KGNU in the deal.

“What a ride this was. Just as we ramp up to celebrate our 45th anniversary, the acquisition of the new property provides KGNU with a tremendous opportunity to amplify community voices, culture, and music from the heart of the city of Boulder,” KGNU station manager Tim Russo said in a prepared statement. “I want to thank everyone who shared input and our amazing partners who played distinct roles in bringing this phase of the project to fruition.”

The office building was built in 1960, with light renovations occurring over the years, Keys said.

KGNU is now tasked with transforming the office space into a community broadcasting hub.

The remodeled space, which KGNU expects to move into by early 2025, “will feature state-of-the-art broadcast and production studios, a live music performance space, a community room and café,” the station said.

A big advantage to 14th Street offices, Keys said, “is that it has on-site parking — about 25 parking spaces included in the sale. A downtown building with a parking lot is a pretty unique thing these days.”

The downtown Boulder office market has struggled with vacancy through the COVID-19 pandemic, but Keys said there’s reason to be optimistic.

“The downtown office market is, well, I don’t think I’d say it’s robust, but it’s active,” he said. “This is the third office transaction we’ve closed this year.”

In addition to the KGNU space, Skye helped broker the sales of 719 Walnut St. and 900 Pearl St. this year, and “all three of those came in pretty close to list price,” Keys said.

While many large office spaces in and around downtown remain without tenants, there still appears to be fairly strong demand for spaces smaller than a few thousand square feet, he said. 

“The small tech guys, the startups, the lawyers and accountants are starting to come back to work,” Keys said. “The segment of the office market below about 2,500 square feet is pretty active.

Source: BizWest

Related Articles