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Colorado Mega-Retailer Daveco Is Up For Sale After Owner Surrenders Control

January 25, 2013

Daveco, the 102,000-square-foot liquor mega-store in Thornton, Colorado, will come under new ownership sometime within the next two years. The store currently is being held in a blind trust after Colorado tax authorities ordered proprietor Hani “Henry” Sawaged to surrender ownership in early January.

Daveco remains open for business. The trust is headed by local attorney Roger Keithley. Daveco attorney Chaz Runco told Shanken News Daily that his group is in the process of assessing Daveco’s market value, with an eye toward selling it within the next two years. He also said that there has been “heavy interest” from prospective buyers.

Sawaged lost Daveco as part of a deal with the Colorado Department of Revenue, Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division, after pleading guilty to racketeering in August. He officially relinquished Daveco ownership on January 4.

In the original charges, dating back to November 2009, the Department of Revenue alleged that Sawaged and his brothers, Bassam and Ghassan, underreported and underpaid sales taxes to the town of Thornton and the state in excess of $1 million. Ghassan and Bassam Sawaged are both serving one-year deferred sentences and in August were ordered to pay $200,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to theft and failure to file a tax return. The department also alleged that another brother, Issam Sawaged, loaned money to Daveco, creating a conflict of interest and essentially a family monopoly over multiple Colorado liquor stores. Issam is the owner of Davidsons Liquors in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Davidsons has not been affected by the ruling.

When it opened in November 2006, Daveco claimed to be the world’s largest liquor store, although that claim is difficult to validate as it includes both storage space and retail space. Daveco is divided into 51,000 square feet of retail space and 51,000 square feet of storage space and offices. The Spec’s flagship outlet in Houston, for example, has more retail space than Daveco, at 60,000 square feet.


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