A San Francisco-based apartment developer has proposed an 18-story building that would replace the former home of Turin Bicycles, which was Denver’s oldest bike shop prior to its closure over the weekend.
Carmel Partners — which is currently building projects in RiNo, and recently purchased a site at the edge of LoHi — submitted a concept plan to the city last week proposing the project on 0.71 acres at the northeast corner of 7th Avenue and Lincoln Street.
The proposed structure would replace the one-story 700 Grant St. building where Turin operated through Saturday, as well a one-story building at 726 Lincoln St. that is home to City Bakery Cafe. The remainder of the site is used for parking. The project would not require a rezoning.
A local Carmel executive did not respond to a request for comment. The project would have 304 units and 358 parking spaces, according to the plans drawn up by Davis Partnership Architects. There would be about 4,300 square feet of ground-floor retail space.
Alan Fine founded Turin in 1971, and moved it to its existing location in 1991, having bought the single-story building the previous year. In January 2020, Fine sold the business’ real estate for $2.6 million to Denver-based St. Charles Town Co.
At the time, Fine told BusinessDen that he expected to sell the business itself that spring to two longtime managers, Mike Stejskal and Dave Wileden. Fine said he sold the real estate separately from the business because Stejskal and Wileden didn’t have the resources to buy both. The bike shop signed a two-year lease with St. Charles Town Co. President Charlie Woolley, which the parties said could potentially be extended.
The submittal of a development proposal for the site isn’t particularly surprising. When Turin announced its closure in early March, the business wrote on Facebook that “Alan has looked forward to retirement for some time now and the pressure of development is closing in.”
Speaking to BusinessDen last week, Woolley declined to comment on the development proposal. Developers like Carmel regularly submit proposals for sites they do not currently own but are under contract to buy.
Woolley did say, however, that he attempted to find a way for Turin to continue to operate.
“We spent money on an architect, trying to right-size the bike shop, trying to figure out how we could optimize all the retail space in the basement and first floor,” he said.
Turin shared its building with a dispensary and small catering operation, Woolley said. He said one of his proposals was for the bike shop to pay the same amount of gross rent it had been paying. As part of that, the building would have been renovated and Turin would have leased fewer square feet, so the business would have been paying an increased rent per square foot.
That proposal would have freed up space for another rent-paying tenant to operate at the building.
“We were trying to hit a budget number for them, using less space, but completely renovated space. It wasn’t more dollars than what they were paying,” Woolley said.
In the end, however, the two parties couldn’t find an option that worked for both sides, Woolley said, adding that there were other factors at play like the pandemic and supply chain issues.
“It wasn’t really their decision,” Woolley said. “It wasn’t my decision either.”
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