From local multifamily expert, broker and former Pikes Peak Apartment Association president, Doug Carter, come the results of his latest quarterly apartment survey. Carter, who just closed on the sale on Pebble Creek Apartments last month, conducts his survey of complexes with ten units or more each year during the week of Sept. 15. He received 215 responses to the most recent questionnaire, representing almost 2/3 of the total apartment market. “We were very pleased with the level of participation,” says Carter.

The news for landlords and apartment owners was mixed. Occupancy rates are down slightly as rents hold steady. According to Carter, the average rent for a local apartment has edged up only $20 or 3 percent in the past twelve months. The vacancy rate for 30,000 units in local apartment complexes rose 2.5 percent since December. The citywide vacancy rate has been below 5 percent since 1991.

One factor contributing to the slowed rent increases are declining mortgage rates. Home mortgage rates at 6.5 percent allow renters to become single family home owners. Older complexes fared better than newer apartments, thanks to lower overall rents. Carter is the owner of Doug Carter Investment Real Estate Brokerage.

OFFICE/COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS REPORT

Latest reports from the office/commercial sector this week indicate that leasing and sales continue, though at a slower pace than before. Town & Country Credit Corporation just signed a lease for 2,300 square feet in the Vanion Building. Listing brokers were Kent Mau and Greg Phanauf of Palmer McAllister. The listing broker was Gary Feffer of Fountain Colony.

Kevin Heinicke of Palmer McAllister brokered the sale of a 4,452 facility at 2519 East St. Vrain to Automated Systems Engineering on August 31, 2001. Fidelity Real Estate represented the buyer. Heinicke also represented his tenant, Prime Cut Meat and Seafood, on the lease of 2,880 square feet in Elkton Garden Park. The listing firm was Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group. Mark Useman and Greg Kaufman, Palmer McAllister listing agents for an office/warehouse building at 19475 Beacon Lite Road in Monument recently sold the building to Spencer Real Estate, LLC. Selling price was $550,000.

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From NAI Highland Commercial Group comes an update on the Beverly Business Center. Jim Spittler and John Onstott completed a 1,639 square feet lease to Jayhawk Enterprises, Inc. last month. The Spittler-Onstott team also finalized a 3,177 square feet lease renewal and expansion for Beverly Business Center tenant, Tandem Marketing. Bob Garner of NAI Highland, listing broker on an office building at 320 N. Academy Blvd. just sold the 20,150 square foot facility to Point Aerie, Ltd., represented by Buddy Rutherford of Coldwell-Banker Front Range.

POET LOFTS SEE EARLY INTEREST

Within the 58 acres that comprise the Lowell Neighborhood Development, approximately 750 residential units including apartments, condominiums and town houses are planned along with office condos, over 40,000 square feet of retail space, a 150,000 square foot business campus and an extended stay hotel. Roger Hukle, Director of Marketing,Windsor Marketing, sees major progress on the project. “Our first phase are the most expensive lofts and condominiums running from $350,000 to over $700,000 – and we’ve sold 20 percent of available units already,” he says. First phase construction is scheduled for completion by late Spring 2002. A topping off ceremony for the first building was set for this week.

“So far we have over 200 people signed up to receive information packages on our next phase,” Hukle said. “Those condominium and loft units will run from $150,000 to $250,000.” A total of four residential buildings are planned, incorporating a mix of condominiums, lofts, apartments with commercial/retail services on the first level. “We have young singles, young and middle-aged couples and retired people expressing interest in the project.,” Hukle notes. “What we haven’t seen so far are families with children.”

REALTORS CONVENE FOR ANNUAL MEETING

It looks like another banner year for organizers of the Colorado Association of Realtors state convention, set for Oct. 21-23 at the Broadmoor Hotel. According to CAR spokesman, Tyrone Adams, for 81 of the past 82 years, the Broadmoor has hosted the popular event (the only change came in 1990 when the convention moved to Keystone. Adams says the membership prefers the Broadmoor’s “campus-like” luxurious five-star setting and amenities). “There’s no better networking opportunity around than at the State Convention,” says Adams.

Educational programs offered include everything from how to negotiate deals to the latest technology, licensing and legal issues facing Realtors. Of special interest will be two marketing seminars which will focus on Emerging Markets: Profit From New Opportunities, and on Ten Guaranteed Ways to Grow Your Business. Some continuing education courses are offered as well.

So far registrations are over those from last Oct., and those still interested in signing up for the education, networking and special programs offered may do so at Colorado Hall on Sunday or Monday, Oct. 21 or 22. Cost is $80 to members for all education sessions and exhibit hall access. Golf and special banquets or speakers are extra. Adams expects more than 3000 people, including members, guests, exhibitors and local visitors to attend. For more information contact the Colorado Association of Realtors at 1-303-790-7299 or the Pikes Peak Association of Realtors at 633-7718.

The Pikes Peak Association of Realtors announced new officers and handed out industry awards at ceremonies held Sept. 21 at the Adams Mark Hotel. Past chairman, Wynne Palermo, owner of Wynne Realty, Ltd. was named Realtor of the Year. The Affiliate of the Year award was presented to Ann Brown of First American Title company; two Extra Mile awards were given to Steve Glisan, Remax Properties for RSC Board and computer conversion service and to Steve Wrestler, Prestige Properties of America for his efforts to offer the High End tour over the past few years.

New Chairman of the Board-elect is Doug Barber, Rawhide Company. Other Board Directors include: Wynne Palermo, Immediate Past President; Rosalinda Chaney, Gloriod & Associates, Dana Duncan, RE/MAX Performance; Steve Glisan, RE/MAX Properties, Jay Gupta, Gloriod & Associates; Rob Henderson, Shields Real Estate; Alan Lovitt, Prudential Professional Realtors; Judy Music, Veteran Properties of America; Monika Newman, Fidelity Real Estate; Lori VanDerWege, Rusinak Real Estate; Ginger Clark, Metro Brokers/Ginger Clark and Associates; Frank Howard, Heritage Real Estate; Randy Reynolds, Prudential Professional Realtors; and Gary Beres, RE/MAX Properties.

KELLER WILLIAMS CHANGES OWNERSHIP

Al Alba and Rich McCarthy became the new owners of Keller Williams’ Colorado Region on Sept. 1. Despite the events of September 11 and slower real estate market, they are moving forward with their plans for expansion. The 2001 REAL Trends 500 ranked Keller Williams Realty as one of the fastest growing firms in 2000. The publication also lists Keller Williams as fourth in Colorado based on the number of sales closed. Started in 1983, the company has more than 175 franchised offices with more than 10,000 agents nationwide, 1,100 of which work in Colorado.