Salvation Army lands new home for Christmas
The local branch of the Salvation Army received a much-needed, lasting gift of its own in the midst of the organization’s annual holiday season Red Kettle donation campaign.
Salvation Army’s Intermountain Division closed Monday on the purchase of a new office space in the Colorado Plaza III complex on 14th Street, which will be used to administer the organization’s assistance programs.
“We’re very excited and very relieved to be able to have a permanent location,” said Karen Lee, area case worker for the Salvation Army. “Since we will now own this new office, it will give us a place to call home.”
Lee has been working out of a temporary basement office in the Masonic Lodge building on Colorado Avenue since April, after a previous commercial office space didn’t work out.
After several months of looking for a new location, the regional organization stepped in to buy the 1,500-square-foot unit 125 space in the Colorado Plaza, which had come available through a foreclosure.
The local Salvation Army will rent the unit from the regional organization for somewhat less than the going market rate for commercial space, Lee said.
“Nobody who’s out there ringing the bell for us wants that money to go for rent, when it should be going to help people in need,” Lee said. “Now our clients will know where to find us, and they will have great accessibility to our office and to local transportation.”
The foreclosure sale at the Colorado Plaza was one of two brokered recently by Scott Dillard and Craig Rathbun of the Fleisher Company in Carbondale, which is part of the Rocky Mountain Commercial Brokers network.
The second sale, which is scheduled to close at the end of the month, involves the 3,459-square-foot office area that is now leased to the Social Security Administration for its local service center, Dillard said.
It is slated to transfer from Wells Fargo Bank of Glenwood Springs to Rifle Commercial Bank for $497,500, according Dillard of Colorado Group Realty.
It’s unknown whether the Social Security Administration will remain as the tenant, as it is due to put its local office lease out to bid as required every 10 years by federal law, Dillard indicated.
The new Salvation Army space was sold for $233,000, according to a press release from the real estate group.
“I’m just happy to not have to put energy into finding a new office anymore,” Lee said.
The Salvation Army administers a variety of assistance programs to those in need, including help with rent and utility bills, bus passes for those needing to get to an area job or appointment, and gas or bus fare for those who are stranded in the area and need to get to Denver, Grand Junction or other destinations.
The local office had for several years operated in the Catholic Charities building on Grand Avenue before seeking out a stand-alone location. The Salvation Army was among several nonprofit organizations requesting space in the now-vacant former Glenwood Springs library building at Ninth and Blake, which is owned by the city.
“This is really better because it gives us some stability, and lets us focus on administering our programs,” Lee said, adding she expects to occupy the new space in January or February after some minor remodeling.
Meanwhile, the Salvation Army is currently overseeing 10 Red Kettle locations at grocery stores and shopping centers from El Jebel to Battlement Mesa through New Year’s.
Several service clubs, including Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions, along with private businesses are volunteering to ring bells at those locations during the holiday season. The annual campaign usually brings in between $50,000 and $60,000 to support local relief efforts.
The local Salvation Army spends about $90,000 annually on client services, Lee said. Through the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, Salvation Army had about 1,700 cases, down some from the 2,100 cases in fiscal 2013, Lee said.
Part of that decrease was due to the lack of a regular office space to meet with clients and determine the level of need, she said.
“We are also seeing more people working, so there are fewer people in need than we have seen in recent years,” Lee said.
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