Glenwood Springs’ Grand Avenue Mall gets remodeled |

Glenwood Springs’ Grand Avenue Mall gets remodeled

John Gardner
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent photoA renovation is under way at the Grand Avenue Mall, recently purchased by Israel Shapira.

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – After more than three years since fire destroyed the Grand Avenue Mall in Glenwood Springs, there is new life at the old building.

Israel Shapira, 57, a Carbondale-based structural engineer, has purchased the property from previous owner Gus Lundin. Shapira said Friday that he took possession about three weeks earlier and quickly started renovations.

Shapira said that renovations should take about one year to complete and have space ready for leasing.

He said plans for the 15,000-square-foot space include office space on the third floor, similar to what was previously in the building, and retail space in the basement level. Shapira said he was unsure of what he plans for the ground floor but said that he would wait until he had a reliable renter who knew what they wanted to use the space for.

“Instead of spending energy right now on things that may not be used or may be demolished later on, I’m going to be patient and hold on for someone who knows what they want,” Shapira said.

He said the large space would allow for a restaurant.

Shapira is not new to refurbishing old buildings. Shapira, along with his co-worker Erich Vogt, remodeled the Midland Building and constructed the new Mercantile Building in Rifle, both of which Shapira also owns.

With those buildings he said that it was his goal to retain the historical architectural integrity of the original buildings, and that he will try to do that with the Grand Avenue Mall as well.

“That was the original idea,” Shapira said. “We are going to put the efforts into it to accomplish that.”

But he didn’t know for certain if it could be done because the original brick facade has been covered with stucco, which is difficult to remove without damaging the bricks underneath.

Shapira also purchased and renovated the Taylor House at 903 Bennett Ave. in Glenwood. The project developed 11 small condominium units in the historic house.

The mall, located at 812 Grand Ave., has been closed since fire destroyed the interior of the building in March 2006.

The fire reportedly started by an electrical short in a copy machine in one of the businesses at the time.

Lundin, who owned the building at the time of the fire, told the Post Independent in October 2008 that he received a settlement from the insurance company, more than two and a half years after the fire. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed but Lundin at the time said that he had no immediate plans for the building in the near future.

A couple of months later the building was up for sale.

Most of the businesses that were located in the building have since relocated or have closed altogether.

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