Friday, August 18, 2006

Hearthstone Inn to get religion?

In the nine months that Griffis/Blessing has had control of the historic Hearthstone Inn property on Cascade Avenue there have been inquiries about bringing it back as an inn, turning it into office space or a private residence. But president & COO of property services William J. Hybl Jr. says "the bulk of the offers have come from religious ministies" wanting to convert the site to a place where they might hold retreats or conduct training. The two Victorian buildings that comprise the inn have 15,000 square feet with a kitchen and conference facilities which makes it ideal for ministry use. The oldest of the two structures, the Judson Moss Bemis house was built in 1885 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Longtime commercial landlord leaving the Springs

Mack-Cali Realty Corp., a New Jersey-based real estate investment trust that has owned Colorado Springs commercial real estate for nearly a decade, is pulling out of the market and the state. Mack-Cali announced this week it was selling its entire portfolio in the Springs and the Denver-Boulder area for $195.3 million to Westcore Properties, a private commercial real estate firm based in San Diego. The deal is expected to close near the end of the third quarter, according to Mack-Cali, which added it was selling to focus on its markets in the Northeast. Since 1997, Mack-Cali has owned three office buildings in the Briargate Business Campus, southeast of Interstate 25 and Briargate Parkway and one of three business parks on the Springs' fast-growing far north side. Two single-story buildings each have 47,369 square feet; a third building (above) is three stories and 115,250 square feet. The buildings are considered to be Class A properties because of a superior location and amenities. In all, Mack-Cali's Colorado holdings include 19 office buildings with about 1.4 million square feet, 7.1 acres of vacant land and a 1.6-acre parking garage.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

SCORE scores with new Web site

SCORE "Counselors to America's Small Business" announces a fresh, new look for the SCORE Small Business Web Site,, designed to be more visually appealing and easier for clients and visitors to use. New How-To and Business Tools sections offer valuable guides, templates and resources to help small business owners achieve success.

Through focus groups with SCORE small business owners, SCORE found that entrepreneurs wanted more information on starting, financing, managing and growing a business. SCORE re-organized online content around each of those themes. How-To articles provide tips and advice on a variety of topics, including business plans, venture capital, customer relations and increasing sales. Business Tools links offer access to SCORE online workshops, template gallery, business quizzes, public relations toolkit and other free resources.

For more information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800/634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. Or, visit SCORE on the Web at

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

WSJ story is good for Springs business

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but, hey, a 1,000-word news story doesn't hurt, either. Paul Turner, who heads Turner Commercial Research in Colorado Springs, says his telephone has been "ringing off the hook" since a Wall Street Journal story two weeks ago portrayed Colorado Springs and its commercial real estate market in a favorable light.

Turner was quoted in the story; he's tracked commercial real estate for years and publishes a quarterly report on the local market. Turner said he's optimistic that the story -- which highlights Defense Department spending in the Springs, retail growth and a surge in residential development that includes the Banning-Lewis Ranch -- will translate into more business for the area's commercial brokers and developers.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Gas-saving devices don't really save

Buyer beware -- the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado has issued a warning to consumers about gas-saving devices -- they may not work. Not only that, but they can damage your car, the BBB says.

Products that allegedly boost mileage by 6 mpg or imporve fuel economy up to 26 percent or are approved by the federal government "for the most part are without merit," the BBB reports.

The Environmental Protection Agency has tested more than 100 of the claimed fuel economy devices -- including mixture enhancers and fuel line magnets -- and found that very few, if any, improve gas mileage. And some may actually damage a car's engine or increase exhaust emissions, the BBB says.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Stock listings: what's up?

In case you didn't see the correction in Sunday's Gazette, the stock listings in Saturday's Business section were not correct. They were a quite old list that a production worker mistakenly selected. Once in a while this happens so to be sure you can compare the Market prices on the front of the section with the ones on the first page of stocks and if they don't match, the stock listings are likely wrong. The Business editors check the numbers on the cover, the production workers later in the evening are responsible for the listings.

Which brings up another topic: do you actively use printed stock listings or rely more on the ones on the Internet? Would you rather see fewer stock listings in The Gazette in exchange for more news stories about stocks? It's something worth our consideration.

Hospital exec changes posts

A former CEO at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs is changing jobs again.

Michael E. Schrader, who most recently served as chief administrative officer for St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver, has been named president and CEO of St. Francis Health Center in Topeka, Kan.

He also was president and CEO of Wyoming Medical Center in Casper and president and CEO of Southern Connecticut Health System in Bridgeport.