Word of Mouth

Larimer Associates buys Montclair Plaza, home of the Thunderbird, Kassai Sushi and Moongate

Larimer Associates, the real estate investment company that manages the upscale Larimer Square restaurant district, has purchased Montclair Plaza, a small strip mall at the corner of Quebec and Severn streets, near the Lowry development.

The somewhat run-down row of buildings, which total 9,539 square feet, is home to three restaurants: Moongate Asia Grill, Kassai Sushi, the venerable Thunderbird Lounge at the Spitfire Grill, and a liquor store.

Larimer Associates has made quite a name for itself over the past two years -- outside of Larimer Square -- by buying and refurbishing small neighborhood properties like this one and then bringing in independently-owned neighborhood-friendly restaurants.

Some of the company's conquests have included the properties and retail centers that now house Billy's Inn, 4403 Lowell Boulevard; LoHi SteakBar, 3200 Tejon Street; Ernie's Bar & Pizza, 2915 West 44th Avenue, and Madison Street, 1222 Madison.

But Larimer doesn't plan to bring any new restaurants to Montclair Plaza in the near future. "I think the neighbors like them," says Larimer COO Joe Vostrejs about the existing businesses. "I haven't heard anything bad, and they all have long-term leases."

Vostrejs does plan to make some improvements to the way the strip mall looks, however, including a paint job and new signage. He'd also like to upgrade the landscaping so that "it fits in better with that neighborhood," he says.

Located between 719-745 Quebec Street, the plaza is surrounded by the restaurant-starved Montclair, Hilltop, Crestmoor and Lowry neighborhoods.

Last summer, Larimer Associates bought the historic Hangar 2 building -- built in the 1930s when Lowry was an Air Force base -- and plans to turn the 110,000-square-foot structure in to a mix of offices, stores and up to twelve restaurants.


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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes