KKTV is coming downtown.
Gray Television, which owns the local CBS affiliate, bought a building at 520 E. Colorado Ave. this month and plans to move KKTV’s studio and offices to the location in early 2013.
“It’s going to be a big project, but it’s going to be fun,” Nick Matesi, KKTV’s vice-president and general manager.
Matesi said Gray Television plans to outfit the new station from scratch rather than bringing KKTV’s old equipment over from its current location at 3100 N. Nevada Ave., where the station has been based since 1969.
“Technologically, we’re really going to go state of the art with it,” he said. “We’re trying to build the TV station for tomorrow, and not just a TV station but a media outlet — so much is about digital now and incorporating that into the workflow.”
The 8,000-square-foot building on Colorado Avenue is far smaller than the roughly 30,000-square-foot studios on North Nevada. Modern technology and equipment just takes up a lot less space, Matesi said.
“We’re very confident it’s plenty of room,” he said. “Even when it gets to (news) set design, you’re moving away from Starship Enterprise, aircraft carrier-looking sets. It’s really more about the content.”
The move is something of a return to downtown for KKTV, which started out in 1952 at a location on Mill Street south of downtown, then spent many years in a building on South Tejon Street.
“There’s just a vibrancy to it that’s good for the staff,” Matesi said of the location. “It really shows our commitment to downtown Colorado Springs as well.”
Steve Zaleski with the Flying Horse Commercial Group, who represented KKTV owner Gray Television in the transaction, said the company looked at more than 40 buildings before deciding on the site on Colorado Avenue.
“The location drove the decision as much as anything,” Zaleski said. “They really wanted to be in the central business core.”
Gray Television bought the building from local architect James Nakai for $1.06 million.
Gray Television plans to sell KKTV’s current building, which started life as soundstages for the Alexander Film Co. in the 1940s. For decades, Alexander was the nation’s largest producer of the advertising shorts that preceded feature films at movie theaters and the company had a complex of buildings on North Nevada Avenue.
Zaleski said there is a demand for combined office and warehouse spaces in the area, so the structure will likely find a new purpose.