A Moving Story, 0119 COBJ, Vol. 48, No. 1 Pg. 4

PositionVol. 48, 1 [Page 4]

48 Colo.Law. 4

A Moving Story

Vol. 48, No. 1 [Page 4]

The Colorado Lawyer

January, 2019



CBA President John Vaught hands off this month's President's Message to CBA Executive Director Patrick Flaherty, who highlights the CBA's recent move to a new home after 27years at 19th and Grant.

By the time you read this, the Colorado Bar Association will be relatively settled into our new home at 1290 Broadway, Suite 1700, and open for business as of January 2, 2019. It is a moving story of how we ended up in this great facility.

Of Parking Lots

During a recession more than 27 years ago, the CBA moved to 1900 Grant Street in Denver on the outskirts of downtown and surrounded by a sea of inexpensive surface parking lots. Over time, the CBA, and the Denver Bar Association, with whom the CBA is jointly managed, grew with the state and city, as did our affiliate, CBA-CLE. As we grew, surrounding surface parking lots disappeared. By about 1994, we ended up with about 26,000 square feet spread over 2% floors. We renegotiated an excellent lease and settled in for another 24 years.

Though inexpensive, our meeting space was inflexible and divided. With multiple floors, we had double pantries, kitchens, copy/print centers, and mail rooms. Our floors were built with all private offices, which we had outgrown, and many with poor ventilation and no natural light. We even had spots for four receptionists. Despite these inefficiencies, it still made economic sense to stay. Exercising our last lease option has saved the CBA, DBA, and CBA-CLE roughly SI million. It's one reason we have the second-lowest dues among our peers in the county.

We knew we would be out of options by February 2019—literally, there were no options left on the lease. And the Denver real estate market has changed. If we did not shrink our footprint, we would see a 45% increase in rent by staying at Grant Street.

Finding the Right Space

Eighteen months ago, the boards appointed a nimble five-person Building Task Force, and the work began. All I can say is that I’m glad these superstars were on our side: Jim Benjamin of Benjamin & Cohen, Rebecca Dow of Holland & Hart, Dick Gast of Gast Johnson & Muffle, Franz Hardy of Gordon & Rees, and Qusair Mohamedbhai of Rathod Mohamedbhai

Our first task was to develop criteria for space size and features, location, parking, access, costs...

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