Vail’s Wall Street Building gets an extensive renovation
First floor retail shops include Wild Bill’s and the American Ski Exchange.
Second floor offices include new space for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Mountain Properties.
The third floor has several privately-owned condominiums.
VAIL — John Cogswell’s office has been in the same location since the 1970s. It’s finally getting some real upgrades.
Cogswell, owner of Cogswell Gallery and Squash Blossom, has had his office for all these years in the Wall Street Building in Vail Village. The building has several different owners, from people with retail shops on the first floor to owners of office space on the second and condominium owners on the third, top, floor.
A few years ago, Peter Knobel, the owner and developer of the Solaris building and the owner of several other commercial spaces in the village, bought a significant share of the space in the Wall Street Building — three retail spaces and half the second-floor office space.
After securing agreements to do the work from other owners, then getting town approval Knobel’s company launched an extensive renovation of the building in April of this year.
That work started on the ground floor. Besides new paint and new facades for the retail stores, the project also pushed the storefronts several feet toward the street. Condo owners got small patios as part of the work.
The retail space and exterior work was finished in August.
Knobel said there’s no profit in the retail upgrades.
“But it upgrades the quality of the retail tenants,” he said, adding that he believes upgrades along Wall Street will enhance the value of his other retail holdings in town, as well as the village itself.
The office space now is getting an upgrade, perhaps the first real renovation since the structure was built in the 1960s.
Asked if the building had been renovated in the time his office has been there, Cogswell said, “Well, there was a fire in the ’80s, and they had to do some repairs then.”
Like the retail space below, the office space is entirely occupied — there’s actually no vacant retail space in the village right now. Like Cogswell’s, most of the offices have had the same names on the door for decades.
There is one new tenant, though — Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties is opening a new Vail Village location. The space has room for 10 brokers and support staff. There’s also a newly-refreshed conference room on the north side of the building, with views of Gore Creek Drive and, up and to the east, the peaks of the Gore Range.
The quality of the Berkshire Hathaway space is what you’d expect for a real estate brokerage in Vail Village, with high-end finishes. Even with the work not yet finished, Knobel says the renovation has done its job.
“You can see that the quality of the space is bringing new people into the village.”
Onie Bolduc will be one of the brokers working out of the new Berkshire Hathaway office.
“(Knobel) is doing it — you just couldn’t ask for better,” Bolduc said, smiling at his company’s new landlord.
Turning serious, Bolduc added that the renovated space brings a “new, more modern look” to the old building.
“(The company) has been looking to move into Vail Village for years,” Bolduc said. “This space is what we needed.”
“This is great,” he said. “It’s really nice to see.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, email@example.com and @scottnmiller.
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