Thanks to a change in ownership, Main Street Station has transformed over the last year from half-empty property to a lively marketplace. The prime piece of real estate, located at the south end of Breckenridge’s Main Street and adjacent to the slopes, suffered from the recession and a foreclosure prior to the switch.
“I was walking around Main Street Station one day and was curious as to why it was half-vacant when Breckenridge was doing really well,” said Brent Martin, the current property owner.
The Austin, Texas-based investor had worked with foreclosed properties before and knew the process would be a long one.
“It took about a year,” he said.
Since he closed on the property in April 2015, Main Street Station has acquired seven additional tenants, bumping the occupancy rate from just under 50 percent to 80 percent. He teamed up with local commercial realtor Jack Wolfe to help vet the occupants.
“We set out on a strategy a year ago to attract the right tenant mix,” Martin said. “We’ve gotten some good tenants in there.”
Wolfe, who is currently serving as operating partner on the project, served as managing partner for the mixed-use development about 15 years ago. In 2004, the property was sold to New York-based management firm First Allied Corporation; in 2014, they lost the property to foreclosure. Part of the challenge with revitalizing the property was shaking the stigma left by the previous owners, who offered little support to businesses during the downturn and would not return calls, he said.
“These last 12 years, it was just horrible watching it go downhill,” he said. “It was good real estate. Which is why I was pretty bullish to reacquire it.”
A DESTINATION FOR MOM
In the past year, the duo have brought in a juice shop, cheese shop, clothing boutique, spin classes and more. Essentially, Martin said the mix of tenants should appeal to “mom on vacation.”
The new businesses were matched with established local companies, such as Caamano Sweaters, the flagship store featuring Peruvian textiles.
“The kind of person to go to the cheese shop in Breckenridge is the kind of person to go to Caamano’s.” Wolfe said. “All of these businesses feed off each other, which is exactly our strategy.”
Courtney Kenn, with the Cheese Shop of Breckenridge, said they picked the location for their new store in January after hearing about the new owners.
“We decided to go with Main Street Station mostly because of the new ownership group and how invested they were in the revitalization of the plaza,” she said. “Business keeps getting better and better.”
This same attitude also attracted Hub Breckenridge, a burgeoning tech boutique, and its newest neighbor, Elevate CoSpace. Wolfe and Martin also brought back Howard Head Sports Medicine, a physical therapy clinic that had closed its doors under the previous owner.
“After a year of ownership, I think we’ve made good progress,” Martin said. “I feel now we’ve got enough critical mass that we can get the rest of the job done.”
Just a year ago, Main Street Station had 12 or 13 vacant spaces, Wolfe said. Now, it’s down to four. Still, he is in no rush to fill the spaces until he finds the right tenants.
“Brent put together all of the investors for this. They’re very patient, which allows me to be very selective about who we bring in there and make sure there’s good synergy between all of the businesses,” he said.
The plaza has also been tapped to host several local events, including the upcoming Breckenridge HogFest, thanks to a partnership with Rocky Mountain Events.
“We’ve just been working to drive more traffic to that south end of town,” Martin said.
In the near future, Wolfe said Continental Divide Winery would join the mix, as well as a new restaurant. The Colorado-based winery will feature a tasting room, complementing the nearby tenants.
The restaurant will open in the space previously occupied by Poached Breakfast Bar, and will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Martin said Terry Barbu, the owner of FlipSide Burger and the Blue Stag Saloon, would spearhead the effort.
“In the next few weeks, we’ll have a couple of new things,” Wolfe said. “We’re really excited. We have a good vision of where we want to go.”