Home & Garden

Shape Shifter

After 30 years, the storied grocery store-turned-home is for sale. What will it be next?

JOE Coca is used to folks knocking on his doorasking for him to tell the story behind his two-level Magnolia Street red brick home.

The 1912 Fort Collins landmark housed Everitt Atherly’s East Side Grocery until the early 1950s, when it became The Barter Mart, then a Carpenter’s Union and the East Side School of Dance before Coca purchased it from a friend in 1988. He set up his photo studio downstairs and he and wife Lee Anne Peck put down roots in the sprawling upstairs apartment outfitted with a rooftop deck and brick patio. The basement serves as their offices, as well as housing a guest bedroom.

“Joe was kind of like the Wizard of Oz; no one knows what’s going on behind those doors,” says realtor Markus Konle. After 30 years, Coca and Peck are ready to sell, hoping their 3,400-square-foot East Old Town home’s $1.1 million price tag will fund a bit of travel and, eventually, retirement.

What’s in the cards for the plate-glass storefront and 12-foot ceilings? Even though historically it was a commercial building, it’s zoned as residential, Konle says, adding that a home occupation license can be obtained to allow half the residence to serve as a business.

“My vision on it would be to make that place into an absolute dream home, a single-family residence like no other,” Konle says.

The Specs

• 429 E. Magnolia St.

• 2 Bed, 2 Bath

• 3,484 Total Square Feet on 0.11 Acres

• 5,000-Square-Foot Lot

• Built in 1912

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