AURORA, Colo. — Second Chance Bicycle Shop, a nonprofit that donates bikes to kids throughout the Denver metro area, may have to permanently close this fall.
Second Chance is located in the East Bank Shopping Center in Aurora, but in a few months, Evergreen Development and Kimco plan to redevelop the shopping center into an apartment complex.
“Our biggest problem right now is trying to find a place where we can move in and stay in for a little while,” Second Chance Bicycle Shop owner Ernie Clark said. “We can’t afford the big rent.”
Second Chance began 28 years ago, according to Clark. In that time, the nonprofit has moved five times due to rising rents and other circumstances.
The organization's East Bank Shopping Center location came with a big financial break.
“The city got us a tax write-off. So they give Kimco, our property manager, the owners, a tax write-off for us to stay here,” Clark said.
The agreement, which has been in place for four years, allowed Clark to operate his bike shop rent free.
Clark fears he won't be able to find an affordable location. But a representative from Kimco and Evergreen Development said the developers plan to make sure Second Chance Bicycle Shop stays open.
“We just said, "Hey, let’s be collaborative and see if we can find space for you to open another location and continue this great operation,"” said Marcus Pachner, land-use consultant for Evergreen Development and Kimco.
Pachner said the developers don’t have a solution yet, but they are working with other communities.
“It’s not really a retail operation, it’s more of a warehouse. So he doesn’t have to be in a storefront, but he needs the space for his volunteers and for his bikes,” Pachner said. “I’m still working on it, the city is working on it, Councilwoman Alison Coombs is working on it. There’s a lot of people who have committed to find him another location.”
Pachner and Clark said they hope to have a new location secured by October.