By 2014, Colorado Lending Source hardly resembled the grassroots organization it once was. Nearly 280 loans were being approved through three loan programs, membership was at an all time high, and education and entrepreneurship were at the forefront of the organization’s future. There were also over 40 employees working toward the mission, and sooner than later Colorado Lending Source was bound to outgrow its downtown Denver location.
Executive Director Mike O’Donnell set out to find new headquarters for Colorado Lending Source, and after touring many properties settled on 1441 18th Street in LoDo Denver, also known as the Blake Street Building.
Built in 1906, the Blake Street Building was first a warehouse and distribution center for General Electric. In the 1980’s the interior was converted into a five-story office building, and although basement window wells were added to the southwest side, the exterior kept its original art deco inspired façade, earning it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mike’s vision for the Blake Street Building was a collaborative, open concept office space, with many meeting rooms, including a bigger, unique meeting room for trainings and events. Renovations began in the early summer and by the end of 2014, the new office was ready for residents. In the first year, two resource partners have moved in and Colorado Lending Source has hosted dozens of events, including Entrepreneurial Mindset Training (Ice House) classes, lender trainings, full day conferences, and Denver Startup Week events.
In 2014 another small business, Eldon James Corp, relocated their office after working with Colorado Lending Source to obtain their fourth SBA 504 loan. Since 1987, Eldon James Corp. has designed and manufactured a diverse line of plastic tubing for everything from brewing to medical supplies out of their two Northern Colorado locations. After experiencing rapid growth, owner Marcia Coulson decided to bring the business under one roof and build a 75,000 square foot facility north of Denver. The business is now better than ever with ample room to grow in Denver. In 2015 Eldon James announced plans to open another manufacturing facility in Utah, and was named a Colorado Company to Watch.