PR Agency Grasslands Purchases $1.2 Million Denver HQ, Expands Staff to 13 Full-Timers, Accelerates Client Growth

by | Oct 25, 2019

Full-service communications firm Grasslands: A Journalism-Minded Agency is continuing its rapid growth with the recent purchase of a historic $1.2 million property in central Denver to serve as the agency’s headquarters, the addition of multiple new team members to fill newly created positions, and an expanded in-house expertise that will fuel client efforts in a wider variety of industries.

Specializing in strategic communications for brands and businesses in highly regulated industries, Grasslands is cementing a permanent foundation in Colorado with its first real estate purchase, a 5,071-square-foot building at 100 N. Santa Fe Drive, kitty-corner to commercial redevelopment The Yard in Denver’s historic Baker neighborhood. Built on a quarter-acre lot with more than 20 parking spaces, the former neighborhood bar will soon be transformed into a design-focused office for Grasslands’ growing staff, including an oversized art-centered lobby that combines the agency’s DIY aesthetics with multicultural inspirations drawn from the office’s location in the Art District on Santa Fe, a certified Creative District of Colorado.

Grasslands has also onboarded four new colleagues in the last month, focusing on client-facing public relations talent as well as operations staff dedicated to elevating client experience and quality control.

“As we continue to expand and diversify our client roster, it’s important to bring in tactical comms professionals as well as behind-the-scenes operations pros to fully build out a well-rounded team, and our new building—a nontraditional, wildly out-of-the-box agency office that will soon communicate to the world our aesthetics and quality of work the minute they walk through the door—is the cherry on top,” said journalist and TEDx veteran Ricardo Baca, Founder and CEO of Grasslands. “Each of our teammates brings a unique perspective and toolkit to the agency, and their differing backgrounds and experience levels will only enhance the meaningful outcomes we’re able to produce for our clients.”

The Grasslands staff has recently expanded to include Alex Gnibus as Publicist, Sean Billisitz and Madison Ware as Account Coordinators and operations professional Kit Markgraf as Account Manager. Account Coordinator Trevor Maniscalo was also recently promoted to Junior Publicist, and Public Relations Manager Amanda Lowell—who oversees PR initiatives, pitch development and client campaigns—came aboard in June after 10 years at PR agencies in New York City and Los Angeles.

“In the past six months, we’ve worked tirelessly to recruit the best talent possible and amplify the PR program here at Grasslands’ Denver offices—with three of our last four PR hires coming from out of state,” said Sarah Thorson, the agency’s Director of Public Relations. “Our new teammates are extremely bright and strategic thinkers, and already they’re boosting the results we’re securing for our clients.”

Founded in 2016, Grasslands—which pioneered the concept of a “journalism-minded agency”—has quickly positioned itself as an on-the-rise national communications firm offering public relations, thought leadership and content marketing services for businesses operating in highly regulated industries including cannabis and hemp, biotech, sustainability, government and healthcare.

And with this fresh infusion of colleagues who have vast experience in countless other fields, Grasslands will soon be targeting other corporate categories including real estate, hospitality, B2B technology, consumer lifestyle and others.

The agency’s journalistic rigor comes from Mr. Baca, a 25-year newspaper veteran and the Founder / original Editor-in-Chief of groundbreaking news site The Cannabist, an award-winning vertical of Colorado’s largest news organization, The Denver Post.

And with the historic 1954 property already zoned to go five stories up (via its I-MX-5 zoning), Grasslands has positioned itself for future growth—and the team looks forward to moving into their new home in early 2020.

Grasslands’ new headquarters is owned by Biome LLC, co-founded by Mr. Baca and Grasslands Co-Art Director Melana Baca, his wife and a veteran Denver area hairstylist.

The Bacas are both proud Colorado natives, graduates of Colorado universities and longtime residents of the neighborhood surrounding the new agency headquarters and the Art District on Santa Fe.

“Finding a forever home for the agency has been a priority for us since Ricardo left The Post and started Grasslands back in 2016,” said Melana Baca, who is working closely with a team of architects, contractors, artists and designers to create memorable indoor and outdoor spaces that are aligned with the Grasslands brand. “And we felt an oddly remarkable connection to this beautiful, strange, special space the minute we first stepped foot inside.”

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