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

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

In 2019, the company publicly announced on Facebook that it planned to expand into the Denver market. The next year, QuikTrip said it aimed to open 50 to 70 stores in the area around the capital city and the state, and was actively looking for general contractors to help build through 2025, Denver7 reported.

As of last year, Quiktrip was eyeing not only Denver and the suburbs, but other locations 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

QuikTrip requested that the tenants vacate the building by closing, Horwitz said. The timing worked out because the 40 West Art District is building a new property for the galleries, he added.

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

QuikTrip didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment.

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