Throwing the first shovels of ground to begin construction of the new CoBank international operations building are John Svisco, chief business process and accountability officer at CoBank; Mayor Ron Rakowsky, Bob Engel, CoBank CEO, and Peter Culshaw, executive vice president of Shea Properties.
By Jan Wondra
The sky was a cloudless blue and the crowd gathered to witness the groundbreaking for the international headquarters of CoBank was a who’s who of economic, civic and corporate leadership. It only took 30 years for the day to arrive.
“There is a saying that we save the best for last,” said Peter Culshaw, senior vice president of Shea Properties, in his opening remarks at the April 10 groundbreaking for the new CoBank center, to be constructed at 6380 South Fiddlers Green Circle. “We held this property for 30 years, and always envisioned it as a three-building property. Today, with this groundbreaking, the second part of the Village Center Station project, Village Station III, will become a reality.”
Greenwood Village Mayor Ron Rakowsky said, “In life, there are dreams and visions. Visions can become reality. The present and past City Councils and mayors shared a vision of a vibrant village center. Peter Culshaw and the Shea Company had a vision to create a signature building. Bob Engel and the Board of Directors of CoBank had a vision to create a world-class headquarters. Today, we break ground on the confluence of these three visions.”
CoBank will occupy the entire 11-story, 296,000 square-foot structure; leasing the entire building, but sub-leasing the top floor. Adolfson & Peterson Construction will handle construction of the class A building, which will include a six-level parking structure. The entire project will be constructed to LEED, energy-efficient construction. While Village Center I (current location of retail shops and Chinook Tavern), and Village Center II (not yet built) will both feature retail, there will be no retail on the ground floor of CoBank Center. All three buildings are directly adjacent to the light rail station.
“This is an exciting milestone for us, as 2014 is our 25th anniversary,” said Engel.
CoBank began in 1989 with the merger of 11 primarily rural financial institutions. Its more than 560 employees currently occupy space at 5500 S. Quebec St., and it plans to move into its new headquarters in approximately 15 months. The groundbreaking marks its steady growth, from $12 billion in assets that first year to more than $100 billion in assets today, making it the largest financial institution headquartered in Colorado.
“I think Shea Properties held on to this land longer than CoBank has been in existence,” said Engel. “But the time is right. Together we’re going to create a landmark facility that Greenwood Village and the city can be proud of.”
John Svisco, chief business process and accountability officer; Tom Halverson, chief banking officer; Dave Burlage, chief financial officer; Ann Trakimas, COO; Lori O’Flaherty, chief risk officer; and Bob Engel, CEO, all of CoBank. Photos by Jan Wondra
The CoBank groundbreaking drew economic and political leaders. Awaiting the groundbreaking are Mike Fitzgerald, CEO of Denver South Economic Development Partnership; District 4 Councilman Tom Bishop, former state Rep. Jim Sullivan, Mayor Ron Rakowsky, Mayor Pro Tem Gary Kramer and Councilman Jerry Presley.
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