Unico Properties has increased its stake in Lodo.
The Seattle-based firm on Wednesday purchased the office component of a five-story office building at 1755 Blake St. and a hardware block at 1515 Wazee St. from Maryland-based ASB Real Estate Investments.
According to public records, the firm made a combined payment of $84.45 million – $61.2 million for the Blake asset and $24.25 million for the hardware block.
Austin Kane, Denver-based vice president and regional director of Unico, said the deal covers a total of 170,868 square feet, of which about two-thirds is at 1755 Blake St. The deal is around $494 per square foot.
The move represents a commitment to downtown Denver by Unico, which in June sold office space in Platt Street and Boulder to Boston-based Beacon Capital Partners. The firm still owns other local properties, including 1430 Wynkoop St. Office buildings in the U.S. and LoDo include 1875 Lawrence St.
“Workers will return to offices at some point, and Denver will continue to attract highly educated workers,” Kane said. “Companies looking for highly reducted workers are following suit.”
In addition, “the opportunity to make value-added acquisitions at Lodo was very difficult to pass up,” he said.
Kane said the full scope of the improvements is still to be determined, but the company is working with Oz Architecture, Kestrel Design Group and Digg Studio to come up with a plan. One possible focus is the perimeter of the 1755 Blake Building.
“We’re going to try and change the streetscape so that the corners feel a little more welcoming,” he said.
Kane said the office space within the hardware block — which also has a residential component not included in the deal — is fully leased. But there is a vacancy in 1755 Blake.
“We have some big blocks of space out there,” he said.
ASB had owned both the properties since 2013. It paid $16.3 million for hardware block space in January and $53.5 million for 1755 Blake in December 2013, records show.