STEVE LEWIS/Durango Herald
Businesses on East Second Avenue are playing musical chairs as 2nd Avenue Sports, 1st Southwest Bank and Durango Antique Market get new digs.
1st Southwest Bank has been searching for a place to build a new Durango headquarters since Kent Curtis was appointed president and CEO in June, Curtis said.
The owner of the lot catty-corner from the bank’s current location at 679 East Second Ave., which houses 2nd Avenue Sports and Point to Point Graphics, decided to sell, and the bank bought the property in February.
The lot was home to Durango Antique Market until the market moved downtown next to Seasons Rotisserie & Grill two weeks ago in response to the sale.
1st Southwest Bank plans to demolish the existing structures on the corner next to the city’s downtown parking lot and construct two buildings with three residential units, a parking lot and a drive-thru window for bank customers.
One of the buildings will house the bank and a residence on top of the bank with the drive-thru in the middle of the parking lot. The second building will contain 2nd Avenue Sports, two residences and another commercial venue. All of the spaces, including the residences, are spoken for, Curtis said.
2nd Avenue Sports owner Gary Provencher is excited about the move and ready to get out of his current building, which he describes as a bit of an “eyesore.”
Provencher initially was concerned with finding a new place because of the sports store’s moniker, and for good reason: Only so many buildings exist on East Second Avenue.
The shop’s new building will be across the parking lot from its current structure, and while it will be about the same size (6,800 square feet), Provencher has designed the space to fit his needs.
The new building will have a shipping and receiving garage in back, twice as many bike work stations and a sidewalk surrounding the building for those trying out new bikes.
Not everyone is happy with the sale, though.
Durango Antique Market owner Nikki Morrissey originally was upset her business was being uprooted from its location of 12 years, but it may have worked out better than she hoped.
“Change is good, and it forced us to clean house,” she said. “The other store was a destination for antiquers, but we’ll get more foot traffic at this location.”
Morrisey had to downsize to 5,300 square feet and cut the number of vendors participating in the market from 36 to 25.
Point to Point Graphics still is at East Second Avenue and College Drive, but owner James Borton said he’s looking to buy a shop downtown.
He keeps looking for spaces but is waiting until he finds the right spot before making the leap.
“We know our time line, so we’re just playing our cards right,” Borton said.
The bank plans to bid out its project to a builder who would buy the property and then sell it to the owners occupying the space, Curtis said.
The project still is in the preliminary stages, and a builder most likely will not be selected until April with construction beginning in spring.
2nd Avenue Sports’ building will be constructed first so it won’t have to close, and the bank hopes to start construction on its building in spring 2014, Curtis said.