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Saturday, July 24, 2021

After 70 years, the family sold the Glendale retail center to Kentro for $13M . sells in

In the late 1940s, Jim Austin’s father bought the Square One retail center in a bar through a $100 handshake deal.

“My dad met someone who was clearly in the mood to sell, I’m guessing, at the old Cosmopolitan Hotel bar,” Austin said. “That was the down payment, but I’m sure there was more money involved.”

“Family legend has it that it was bought back when Colorado Boulevard was a two-lane dirt road,” he said.

Square One, located at the corner of Colorado Boulevard and Mississippi Avenue in Glendale, was home to the first McDonald’s in Colorado, which opened in 1962 and was also the first McDonald’s to have indoor seating. Austin still has a letter to his father from Ray Kroc, who bought the business in 1961 and is credited with building the fast food chain it is today.

When his father James died in 1976, Jim and his older sisters Patricia and Michelle took over Square One.

“But about 20 years ago we set a target date and agreed that when we all reach a certain age, we need to reevaluate our choices so that we can use our sunset years. Enjoy,” Austin said.

Last week, Jim, 62, Patricia, 65, and Michelle, 70, sold the retail center after nearly 70 years to Denver-based Kentro Group, Austin, and Kentro Group co-founder Jimmy Balafass for $13.1 million.

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