Independent Records & Video will relocate from its longtime home on Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs and is on the hunt for new digs.
The 43-year-old business, one of the city’s last independently owned and operated music retailers, sold its main building and next-door annex last month, at 3030 and 3020 E. Platte, to Big Splash Car Wash, a Kansas City, Mo.-based chain.
Big Splash plans to raze the structures and develop a car wash on the property. A limited liability company formed by Big Splash paid $1.5 million for the buildings, which sit on roughly an acre, El Paso County land records show.
While Independent Records is moving, it’s not going out of business, owner Orville Lambert said.
Under terms of the property sale, Independent Records can continue to occupy and lease one of its buildings for another five months while it looks for a new location, Lambert said.
The retailer since has consolidated its operations and merchandise — which includes records and music, DVDs, video games, apparel and smoking accessories — into its 3030 E. Platte building.
Independent wants to remain in the same familiar area on what it views as the east side of town, Lambert said. It’s considering one site for now but still is looking, he said.
“We feel very strongly about staying essentially in the same geographic location that we are now,” he said.
Lambert also has said staying on the east side will keep Independent Records close to its main competitor, EntertainMart, a music and movie store at the Citadel Crossing shopping center, northeast of Platte and Academy Boulevard.
One priority for Independent Records will be to find a location with good parking, Lambert said. The retailer buys used merchandise and its customers need space to drive up, park and unload their vehicles, he said.
Lambert has acknowledged that Independent Records has suffered financially of late, though he has declined to get into specifics and has said problems weren’t related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sale of the Platte Avenue buildings has “cured” a lot of those ills, he said, and the retailer is basically debt free when it comes to real estate.
Sales also have picked up lately as Independent Records has received more merchandise on a timely basis and has worked with additional vendors, Lambert said.
“Our situation is improving,” he said.
Lambert, with his younger brother, Lewis, founded Independent Records in 1978. Over the years it expanded and had as many as seven Front Range stores. Now, it’s shuttered its locations except for the Platte Avenue store and another in Pueblo.
Independent Records owns its building in Pueblo, but is working on a deal to sell it and lease back the space from a new owner, Lambert said.
Big Splash, meanwhile, expects to raze the Independent Records buildings on Platte Avenue by year’s end, said Claire Cunningham, the car wash chain’s co-owner along with her husband, Jason.
Big Splash hopes to open its Platte Avenue location by summer 2022 and possibly sooner, she said. Big Splash opened its first Springs car wash in December at 5760 N. Academy Blvd.; the chain also has a location set to open this year in Pueblo.