Xpedx closing stores in Springs, Arvada

The Xpedx store at at 2443 N. Union Blvd. will close next month. Photo by BILL RADFORD, THE GAZETTE

Xpedx will close retail stores in Colorado Springs and Arvada next month, but plans to continue serving Colorado customers through a remaining store and warehouse in Denver, the International Paper subsidiary said.

The company’s lease for the store at 2443 N. Union Blvd. expires in a few months and the Denver-based owners of the Audubon Center where it is located already are looking for new tenants, said Rich Walker of First Properties, which has managed and handled leasing for the center since 2000. The closing will increase the vacancy rate in the 55,000-square-foot center to about 20 percent, but Walker said the center has just one other vacancy and there is plenty of interest in the center from potential tenants.

The addition of a Colorado Department of Revenue driver’s license office in 2010 breathed new life into the 1950s-era shopping center; a Dollar Tree store joined the center last year.

“They (Xpedx) had a long-term lease at a below-market rate that is expiring. That gives us the opportunity to replace them with a tenant that will pay more rent and fit our tenant lineup better,” Walker said. “We will go after a value-oriented retailer that fits our lineup. The driver’s license office is the second-busiest in the state for daily volume and the Dollar Tree location is doing very well and exceeding expectations. This reflects the evolution of retail — old things go out and new things come in to take their place.”

Audubon Center owner Jordan Perlmutter & Co. spent about $1 million in late 2010 to remodel the center’s exterior as well as spaces leased by the Department of Revenue and Dollar Tree. The center’s newest tenant, Kawa Coffee, opened last week even as Xpedx was announcing plans to close, Walker said.

The 10,000-square-foot store in the Springs employs four people to sell paper and office and shipping supplies to printers and small business owners. The distribution center in Denver will continue to provide a variety of packaging and print equipment and supplies to customers that include manufacturers, retailers, commercial facility managers and printers, Xpedx officials said in a press release last week.

“To meet our long-term growth plan, we will transition from our current stores model and begin servicing many of our customers from Xpedx’s well-established distribution network, as well as from 14 additional locations in 10 markets with high concentrations of digital printers," said Rick Ouellette, the company’s vice president of communications.—Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234 Twitter @wayneheilmanFacebook Wayne Heilman

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