Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

Changes to come for Niwot building


January 22, 2020 | View PDF

Vicky Dorvee

Harrington Stanko Construction, the new owner of the Excel Electric building at 2nd Avenue and Murray Street in Niwot, is looking forward to making several changes to the property's use.

Excel Electric's office has been located in Niwot for 35 years, so the sale of the building it's in and subsequent move to a newly constructed larger property in Longmont will be momentous. On Jan. 10, 2020, Harrington Stanko Construction closed on the purchase of the property owned by Related Investments Partners LLP, and occupied by Excel Electric (EE).

"We're pretty excited to bring something really nice there for the town and the people to enjoy," Tim Harrington, partner at Harrington Stanko (HS) said. HS, owned by Harrington and Tom Stanko, is best known for its high-end residential construction, and the company also builds a variety of specialty commercial projects such as Movement Climbing in Boulder.

"We normally build for other people," Harrington said. "This is our first go at buying a building and turning it into something that's ours."

Stanko lives in Niwot, Harrington is a Gunbarrel resident, and the two have been partners since 2007. HS relocated its offices to the EE building a couple of months ago, sharing space with EE for now.

EE co-owners Shane Heil and his brother Corey Heil started the company with their father John Heil in Longmont, and shortly after, moved their facilities to Niwot. They have 22 employees, including several family members. EE has been generous in working on community projects in Niwot over the years, including the facilities at Whistle Stop Park.

When asked what prompted the move, Shane Heil said, "The demographic of the city has changed a lot since we first moved here. It's trending more towards shopping and office space. And as a company, we're kind of condensed to a point where we're out of space."

The new EE building in Longmont will have a storage yard to accommodate all of its equipment, some of which is now stored at off-site locations.

If all goes according to plan, EE will relocate to its new building, already under construction in the industrial area just north of Nelson Road on Disc Drive, in August 2020. EE and HS have a history of working together. HS is the builder for the new EE building in Longmont and EE supplies electrical services for HS's projects.

Plans for the over 8,000 square foot EE building on .57 acres at 2nd Avenue and Murray Street will not alter the footprint of the structure, according to Harrington. He didn't think they could add to the building, because of the new floor area ratio provision in the land use code updated in 2019.

HS plans to keep the hand-painted mural spanning the entire west facing exterior wall. Left Hand Ditch Company, which occupies the downstairs northeast unit, will continue to lease for at least two more years, and Muay Thai, a martial arts studio that took over tenancy from My Mom's Pies on the north end of the building, will also continue its lease.

A chain-link and barbed wire fence enclosing the east side of the building will be removed, Harrington said, and there will be some work done on the façade of the building, particularly the brick facing 2nd Ave.

Harrington said they hope to add a rooftop restaurant on the north end of the building which would allow patrons to enjoy unobstructed panoramic mountain views.

Shared office space on the south end of the building is likely part of the plan, along with a number of ideas being mulled over for the center section of the building, presently a warehouse. That large space may be converted to retail, workout or recreational businesses.

"We've kind of started the process, but just aren't sure on everything," Harrington said. "As we meet with our architect more, we'll get things figured out."

The Heils and HS have been working on EE's move to Longmont for more than two years. After the initial steps of securing financing and designing the building, approval of building permits from the City of Longmont took significantly longer than anticipated.

"We really appreciate the town of Niwot and will miss it," Heil said. "It's been a long time coming, but it's kind of one of those deals where you're sad to leave Niwot because we've been here for so long it's like a community to us, but I think it's a better move for us and the guys who are taking over the building will be a better fit for Niwot."

Harrington said, "We really want to make it a special building for the town of Niwot and we think we can do that." He added, a yet to be decided historic name is likely to accompany the property as its destiny unfolds.


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