Harry Salzman sold real estate from the same 538 Garden of the Gods Road location for more than 30 years.
Monday, Salzman merged his company with ERA Shields, 5475 Tech Center Drive. That day, his Realtor license officially transferred to ERA Shields. Later in the week, the former Salzman Real Estate headquarters building was to have been razed.
“It’s a mutual benefit for us to be together,” said Salzman of the merger. “It’s going to be a benefit to the community to be with a real estate company who also can implement a gain in corporate relocation to the city.”
Over the past three decades, ERA Shields and Salzman have traded off as the top seller for corporate relocations, said Realtor Stuart Vestal, who sells with Salzman.
“It seemed to be a good fit for us,” Vestal said.
“ERA Shields also respects my work in corporate relocation. If we bring better jobs to town, there’s an absolute correlation to everyone’s market value of their house,” Salzman said.
“We’ve been in competition with each other for over 20 years. In my mind, when you put one plus one together, it’s three. It’s a community benefit. The individuals and the business sector will achieve wins.”
Salzman’s and Vestal’s business cards and real estate signs will reflect the merger: ERA Shields/Salzman Real Estate Services. The phone numbers will remain the same, Salzman said.
Dallas-based restaurant chain Taco Bueno purchased the Garden of the Gods Road property from Salzman with the intention of opening one of its fast-food Tex-Mex restaurants there.
Now in seven states, Taco Bueno plans to open three restaurants in Colorado Springs — the former Salzman property, at 7970 N. Academy Blvd. and another at the intersection of Dublin and Tutt boulevards.
Each restaurant will feature a drive-thru window and seat around 50 people. The company said in a news release the expansion should create more than 100 jobs.
“They like being near Chick-fil-A restaurants,” Salzman said. “The other reason they like my location is when tourists come off the highway, this is the first most convenient location other than Taco Bell.”
“Taco Bueno is thrilled to have selected Colorado Springs for our first market expansion in six years,” said Kenn Miller, Taco Bueno vice president of development, in a news release announcing the expansion. “Coloradans love Mexican food, and we’re excited to introduce their taste buds to our take on freshly prepared, signature Tex-Mex tacos, burritos and nachos.”
Across the city, Salzman and six partners who had owned a two-acre parcel on Austin Bluffs Parkway donated the land to the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance’s Foundation for Colorado Springs’ Future, Inc.
Valued at $422,000, the property is west of where Oro Blanco Drive meets Austin Bluffs Parkway.
“At my stage of life, I want to give to the community and be a positive role model,” Salzman said. “I am pleased to do anything that I can to help our wonderful city retain and attract more jobs. This is just our way of giving back to a community that has given so much to us. I am hopeful that this gift will encourage others to do the same. Together, we CAN make a difference.”
Salzman added he is not leaving the real estate business.