Toastmasters new HQ in Denver area

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Toastmasters International moving its world-wide headquarters to Denver area.

Toastmasters paid $19.4 million for a  Class A office building.

Organization leaving Orange County because it is too expensive.

Toastmasters

This building is the new world headquarters of Toastmasters International. Photo courtesy of NGKF.

Toastmasters International is moving its world headquarters to the Denver area.

Toastmasters had paid $19.5 million for a vacant, Class A office building along Denver’s Southeast suburban corridor, officials said on Friday.

Toastmasters, a  non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs, plans a major renovation of the 106,574-square-foot building it bought at 9127 S. Jamaica St.

The building’s mailing address is in Englewood, but the building is in the Meridian International Business Center in Douglas County, south of the Denver Tech Center.

Toastmasters, founded in 1924 in California, has 345,000 members worldwide. It has 15,900 clubs in 142 countries.

In August, more than 800 delegates from the organization  overwhelmingly voted  to move its world-wide headquarters to the Denver area, because Orange County, California, was too expensive.

Toastmasters has been based in Rancho Santa Margarita, California since 1990. Its headquarters empoys more than 150.

“When you look at the availability of workers, when you look at the cost of commerce and real estate, this is something that makes sense,” Daniel Rex, CEO of Toastmasters International told the Los Angeles Times last month.

The seller of the property was Columbia Property Trust.

Columbia purchased the building and three nearby buildings in 2006 to serve as an office campus for CH2M, the privately held, engineering giant.

Toastmasters is planning a major renovation of the building. It expects to move into it in July 2018.

Kevin Shannon, Ken White, and Laura Stumm of NGKF Capital Markets in Los Angeles, in cooperation with NGKF Colorado capital markets expert Dave Tilton and the NGKF leasing team of Jamie Gard and Jeff Castleton, represented Columbia in the transaction.

Toastmasters International was represented by JR Bitzer from Lee & Associates.

“This property offers a quality campus environment in a neighborhood with excellent transit and amenity features which will appeal to Toastmasters employees,” Shannon said.

The building is on a 9-acre site. It has granite-clad lobby, efficient floor plates, 10-foot high ceilings, and LEED Silver certification with an Energy Star rating.

The building is near the Interstate 25 and Colorado 470 exchange and is close to a light rail station.

“Most notably, this high-quality property was the only asset for sale fitting Toastmasters’ requirements in the Southeast Suburban market,” Tilton said.

“All other comparable properties were only available for a lease option,” he explained.

“The 9127 South Jamaica Street building offers a canvas for Toastmasters comparable to new construction, for less than replacement cost,” Tilton said.

The same NGKF Capital Markets and leasing team represented Columbia Property Trust in the recent $122 million sale of three of  four buildings in the campus setting. Those buildings total 370,485 square feet. CH2M leases all of the space.

Angelo, Gordon & Co. acquired the three buildings at 9189, 9191 and 9193 South Jamaica Street.

Toastmasters plans to sell its 147,000-square-foot California headquarters.

Toastmasters has deep roots in California.

While the first “unofficial” Toastmasters meeting was held in Bloomington, Illinois in 1905, by founder Ralph C. Smedley, the group wasn’t an overnight success.

Smedley moved to California to open a new YMCA in Santa Ana, California. On Oct. 22, 1924, the first official meeting of Toastmasters was held in Santa Ana, in what is now Club No. 1.

Rex told the LA Times it was an emotional decision to leave Orange County for Colorado.

“I raised my kids in O.C. and it’s not that I want to go, but it’s not about how I feel. I need to look at the greater good,” he told the newspaper.

Have a story idea or real estate tip? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com. DenverRealEstateWatch.com is sponsored by 8z Real Estate. To read more articles by John Rebchook, subscribe to the Colorado Real Estate Journal.

 

 

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for GlobeSt.com, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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