Following the end of Verizon’s lease at 2424 Garden of the Gods Road in August, 450,000 square feet of office space became available — one of the largest unleased spaces in the state, according to Steve Kohls,  who is part of the leasing team for the office space and is the CBRE vice president in Colorado Springs.

In August 2016, Verizon signed an agreement with Westside Investment Partners to sell the property but also remain in 80,000 square feet of the building to maintain its operations.

The company will unveil Westside’s $3.5 million in interior renovations at an open house on Sept. 21 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Improvements include: campus-wide Wi-Fi connections, a renovated lobby and atrium with updated technology, a 250-seat auditorium, a conference center, community workspace, a yoga and fitness studio with lockers and showers, a renovated café and outdoor barbecue areas.

The space is currently leasing at $13.50 per square foot — including rent, utilities and other costs — but might increase, according to Kohls.

“The fact that we have the largest office space availability in the state, combined with the value proposition that it offers — I think it’s a premiere office setting that gives us the opportunity to pursue regional headquarter-type operations with companies that would bring high-paying jobs to the city,” Kohls said. “That’s a very real opportunity for us. We’re hoping to partner with local and state economic development to make sure that any companies considering Colorado are aware of this rare opportunity.”

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CBRE is particularly interested in attracting technology, defense aerospace, engineering and science, technology, engineering and math companies.

Four national firms in high tech, defense and aerospace have shown interest in the space so far, said Kohls, though he would not release their names.

“That’s what we want for [Colorado Springs], what we want to use for the city,” he said.

“The fact that we’ve got 38 percent of the [Colorado Springs] population with a bachelor’s degree or higher, and the fact that we already have quite a bit of talent in the engineering and technology fields — I just feel that those wages here compared to what they get paid in other places along the Front Range are very comparable,” Kohls said.

A CBRE press release quoted Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, who extolled the virtues of Westside’s property and the Springs’ economy and lifestyle.

“Here in Colorado Springs we have seen impressive year-over-year population, job and economic growth, with talent and companies relocating from all over the country to take advantage of our lower cost of living, higher quality of life and skilled labor pool,” Suthers said.