Owner store

Convenience chain QuikTrip to build first store in Denver area

The Denver area will see one of its first QuikTrip convenience stores after the chain purchased the site of a former arts center in Lakewood for $1.7 million.

The deal with QuikTrip Corp., a private company headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., was officially closed on Wednesday.

In 2019, the company publicly announced on Facebook that it planned to expand into the Denver market. The following year, QuikTrip said so aiming to open 50 to 70 stores in the Capital and State area, and was actively seeking general contractors to help build through 2025, Denver7 reported.

Since last year, Quiktrip was peeping not just Denver and the suburbs, but other places in northern Colorado, including Firestone, a site farther north on Interstate 25, and the Greeley-Evans area, according to the Greeley Tribune.

Fred and Mona Pasternack bought the building at 6851 W. Colfax Ave. in Lakewood in 1989, first turning it into Pasternack’s Pawn Shop, according to their website. The family still owns another pawn shop at 9745 E. Colfax Ave in Aurora.

Located in the 40 West Art District, it transformed into Pasternack’s Art Hub, a space for artists, in 2017, said Josh Horwitz, a commercial realtor in Colorado who has known the owners since childhood. The first art gallery to take up residence was the Next Gallery.

Others include Flourish Creative Spaces and Galleria, Edge Gallery, Kanon Collective and Core New Art Space.

However, “it was costing us quite a bit of money to have them there,” Scott Pasternack, Fred and Mona’s son and one of the owners of the Aurora pawnshop, said in a phone interview.

On top of that, QuikTrip bought the parking lot next to Pasternack’s Art Hub, so “we would have lost all that parking lot,” Pasternack said. “We just decided the time was right.”

“When we sold it, we really wanted to find a buyer who would keep it as an art building for 40 West Art District because sellers want the best,” Horwitz said. “But, the offer we ended up getting was from QuickTrip Corp.”

The chain, which was founded in 1958, is worth more than $11 billion and employs more than 24,000 workers. QuikTrip has more than 900 stores in 14 other states, according to the company’s website.

QuikTrip asked tenants to vacate the building as it closed, Horwitz said. The timing worked because the 40 West Art District is building a new gallery property, he added.

“The art industry is very important to our family,” Pasternack said, pointing to a building he owns around the Aurora Cultural Arts District that could potentially turn into another arts space.

QuikTrip did not respond to multiple requests for comment.