DENVER-Real estate veteran Steve Tucker hopes he doesn’t have a Mickey Mouse idea with his year-old BridgeCenter concept, a ”virtual workplace” for people who telecommute, travel a lot and corporations that don’t need or want typical office space. But Tucker recently purchased the former Club Disney building in the Entertainment District next to the Park Meadows regional mall in the city of Lone Tree, near Highlands Ranch, the largest master-planed community in the Denver area.

Tucker opened his first BridgeCenter about a year ago in a shopping center he developed near Smoky Hill Road and the E-470 toll road in Aurora.

Tucker will convert the 27,000-sf Club Disney into a BridgeCenter by next June. He will be adding 9,000 sf to it and a second floor. And he’s negotiated a deal with the seller of the Club Disney building, Phoenix-based Spiral Inc., to open his next BridgeCenter in a building Spiral owns in Chandler, AZ.

Tucker also owns the Diedrich coffee franchise in Colorado and plans to open a Diedrich in each of his projects.

Tucker co-founded the BridgeCenter concept with his wife, Mary Claire. He’s looking to open several more in the metro area from Castle Rock to the south to Louisville along the northwest corridor.

Each BridgeCenter features a large atrium, similar to one at a Hyatt Regency or Marriott, he says.

His president, David Blanchard, formerly worked at Blockbuster and Kinko’s.

”Where the pirate ships and space ships used to be, we are going to raise the floor to 2.5-story atrium,” Blanchard tells about the Club Disney building.

The Club Disney was designed to accommodate thousands of children, so they don’t need all of the parking, and instead will build an addition on the structure, he says.

”Caravans of mini-vans used to drive up here and drop off kids,” Blanchard tells

Tucker says he expects to invest about $5 million into each of his BridgeCenters. They’re looking to open other ones in Las Vegas, Chicago and San Francisco, as well as other cities, Blanchard adds.

A 1,000-sf classroom, fully equipped with a white board and nice furniture, can be rented for as little as $15 or $20 per hour.

”What I hear from people who work from their homes is they hate to sign $1-million deals with clients on their dining room tables,” Blanchard tells ”But they also don’t want to rent a room for a half day at a hotel. And hotels really don’t’ want you unless you plan to have them cater it.”

The idea is to provide services for people who live within a five-mile radius.

”We had adults reading to 40 kids today (in the Smoky Hill facility) as part of a local library program. We donated the space to them. We really want to be part of the neighborhood and be good citizens.”

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