Photo by Tom Ross
The new owners of The Old Pilot Building, KC and JoLe Wilson, sail the ocean in their sailboat when not attending to four commercial properties, including two hotels in other cities. He previously worked in the construction and development industry and she was a corporate securities legal assistant.
Friday, November 11, 2011
Steamboat Springs The Old Pilot Building was once a health care facility, but it was never, as the name implies, a home for aging aviators. Today, the building at 1041 Lincoln Ave. is under new ownership and is one of the largest downtown office spaces.
KC and JoLe Wilson purchased the building Oct. 26 for $1.16 million from OPB LLC, whose principals were Richard Friedman and Brooks Kellogg. The building was subject to a foreclosure filing with an unpaid debt balance of $912,654.
Kellogg is the Steamboat developer who was convicted this year in a murder-for-hire plot and sentenced to a prison term of six years.
Health care history
Built in 1938, the Old Pilot Building originally may have been known as the Hooper Hospital, or was merely a medical office, according to a report from the Colorado Cultural Resource Survey posted at the Web page of the city of Steamboat Springs’ Planning Department. The building’s architecture is identified as prairie style, but it’s described as being ineligible for historic designation.
For approximately 18 years, and until 1999, the building housed the offices of the Steamboat Pilot & Today. A pressroom facility added onto the rear of the building in 1994 now serves as two of the largest suites in the building, complete with an industrial loft look and mezzanine that were part of the old pressroom.
Walls have been moved to combine the small examining rooms in the old medical facility to create office suites.
The new owners wasted no time and hired a painting contractor to freshen the interior of the building and add color to the exterior. JoLe Wilson said the new color scheme is only one-third complete, and the balance will have to wait until spring.
The Wilsons, who live in Alaska for part of the year and on an ocean-going, 41-foot cutter during other parts of the year, said they have leased 11 of 18 available office suites and that three more are being looked at by prospective tenants.
Among the current tenants are ATP Financial Services, The Cannon Law Group, Full Circle Massage Therapy, Steamboat Investment Advisors and EPH Trust, some of whom occupy more than one of the office spaces.
Rents for various sized office suites range from $300 to $750 a month. The rent includes Internet, the use of two conference rooms, a guest computer and a small kitchen facility and photocopy room. There is no CAM (common area and maintenance) fee added to the base rent, KC Wilson said.
The Wilsons insist they will be hands-on managers, making several visits a year to Steamboat for skiing and business. They have retained The Management Group in Steamboat to work with subcontractors and vendors. They came upon the opportunity at The Old Pilot Building during a search of commercial properties in Western ski towns. They say they have learned from experience with three other commercial properties they lease, including two hotels, how to take care of business from the far-flung ports where they dock their boat, STX.
“We don’t really do much business off-shore,” JoLe Wilson said. “But we have satellite phones, single sideband radios, a wireless printer, cellphones and laptops. We can do business from anywhere.”
On a recent trip, the Wilsons sailed the STX from Hawaii to Dutch Harbor, Alaska, now widely known from exposure on the TV show “Deadliest Catch.”
Just as they’ve found Steamboat a friendly place to do business, JoLe Wilson said, Dutch Harbor is one of the friendliest places they’ve ever been.
“There’s not a single unpleasant or unhappy person,” she said. “And here in Steamboat, we haven’t come across anyone who hasn’t been willing to bend over backwards to help us.”
— To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205 or email tross@SteamboatToday.com