It is a challenge to keep ahead of the Colorado Springs commercial real estate community…Here are the latest reports from the front lines.

Sterling Centrecorp selects Olive Retail Group
The Retail Group at Olive Real Estate Group is handling all the leasing, marketing and sales for the Toronto-based Sterling Centrecorp, Inc., which last week announced its purchase of a 35.7 acre tract at the southwest corner of Powers Boulevard and Palmer Park Boulevard. According to Olive’s retail chief, John Winsor, a 200,000 square foot Wal-Mart Superstore will be constructed on 20.7 acres of the property. The Olive Retail Group (including Winsor, Scott Gray and Tracy Morton) will represent the owner on approximately 40,000 square feet of adjacent shadow space and pad sites to national, regional and local retailers and restaurants. Lease rates are expected to range from $22 to $24 per square foot plus triple net costs and the owner will provide a wide box tenant finish.
Sterling officials say that following the sale to Wal-Mart, and necessary dedications (including roadway), the company will retain a 100 percent interest in 6.4 acres of commercial land upon which it will develop the Superstore-anchored center.
“We’ve already had a number of inquiries,” Winsor said. “One contract has been submitted on a pad site so far, and we are accepting letters of interest.” The Retail Group has been working with Sterling Centrecorp for the past year and will likely be involved in more deals to come. John Preston, co-chairman and co-chief executive officer of the company said, “This is the first of many additional retail projects currently in our pipeline from our Scottsdale office.”

Perkins-Shearer building sold for $1.85 million
Chuck Schoninger of Zephyr Real Estate Company assembled the investors and represented the buyers in the recent purchase of the historic Perkins-Shearer Building in downtown Colorado Springs. Paul Abrahamson of The Rudolph Company represented the sellers, Kiowa & Tejon Partners. The 15,000 square foot building is home to six retail and five office tenants including Mister Neat’s Formalwear, Colorado Baggage, Roger’s Shoes, Documart, 3 Doors Down and Hunan Springs Restaurant.
Schoninger says that the new owners appreciate the opportunity to own an historic piece of downtown. Noting that downtown continues to be a popular location for retail and office activity, he said “Everyone involved is proud of this purchase.”

EDC briefing: space industry updates and demographic revelations
In an EDC-sponsored presentation on Wednesday, March 13 for the local media, both Scott Smith, chief operating officer, La Plata Investments, and EDC’s CEO, Rocky Scott, reviewed aspects of economic information that will determine Colorado Springs’ growth trends.
Scott reiterated the importance of space initiatives and of Homeland Defense contracts to the city’s future. He referenced Ron Sega (former Dean of the College of Engineering at UCCS) who now heads up the Defense Department’s Technology R & D program. Sega’s team received $8 billion of funding to determine the Department of Defense’s (DOD) existing technological capabilities and future needs, says Scott – that’s in addition to the $48 billion Congress has allocated toward development of a Homeland Defense initiative. Scott noted that government contractors such as Lockheed Martin, TRW, Boeing, and others with a presence in Colorado Springs, stand to increase both facilities and manpower as federal dollars are directed into military intelligence, surveillance and satellite programs. He also noted that our increased unemployment may actually prove to be a boon to companies who will need new employees for expanding aerospace and technology contracts.
Smith of La Plata has done his homework and uses demographic information to determine how and where the Pikes Peak region is growing. His conclusion: based on the net birth-death rate and on migration, El Paso County will also see ongoing absorption of one to two square miles of new developable land per year and 2100+ new homes sold annually just to keep up with natural growth trends. Using a median home price of $170,000, that represents more than $350 million in new home sales each year just to accommodate new residents. “Many of us think that it’s the migration of Californians and Texans to our area that creates traffic and growth concerns,” says Smith, “but statistics tell us that both net growth (births minus deaths), and the influx of newcomers contribute evenly to our 10,000 new residents each year.” Point well-taken, Scott.

Transaction report
Palmer McAllister, a Frederick Ross Company brokers, Kent Mau and Greg Phaneuf represented the tenant, McGinnis & Associates Real Estate in the February 27 lease of 7,635 square feet at 2025 and 2075 Research Parkway. The landlord, Crescent Real Estate of Dallas, was represented by John Zogg, Jr.
Mark Useman and Greg Kaufman handled both sides of a retail lease at 5935 Constitution Avenue. Kent and Aaron Hoong plan to open a new 2,551 square foot Chinese restaurant in the new Constitution Place South retail center. Nor’Wood Commercial Development is the landlord for the project. Also representing the tenant and landlord, on March 11 Kevin Heinicke leased 1,750 square feet of industrial space to Climate Technologies, Inc., an expanding air conditioning and heating company at 3344 Adobe Court.
Ken Greene, Vice President with Grubb & Ellis and longtime multi-family broker reports the sale of the Bronzetree Apartments, a 171-unit apartment community located at 2503 Hancock Expressway to Mercy Housing South West of Denver for $3,695,000. The seller, Israelite Church of the God in Christ, operated the property with 50 percent of the units designated “affordable” and the balance at market rates. The new owner plans a future transition to all affordable rates. The seller was represented by Edward Tyler of Cheyenne Springs Realty. Mercy Housing was represented by Ken Greene with the Grubb & Ellis Multifamily Group of Denver.
Bob Garner and Lonnie Wagner of NAI Highland Commercial represented the tenant on the recent lease of 7,800 square feet of retail/warehouse space at 1392-1394 S. 21st Street. HyMark Motorsports, Inc. will offer BMW Motorcycle sales and service – the first BMW dealer in Colorado Springs.
The Cottonwood Apartments have been sold to Coolidge Cottonwood Park, LLC, a New York Investment firm. Marcus & Millichap brokers David Potarf and Dan Woodward brokered the sale of the 90-unit property, built in 1990. Selling price was $2,850,000. Interest in the property was high, says Potarf, given its age and attractive $31,667 per unit price.

First Properties announces development of Gateway Plaza
First Properties, Ltd., and Cooper-Davis Partners announced the construction of a new four-story, 28,500 square foot Gateway Building at the corner of Pikes Peak Avenue and Corona last week – along with news that the building is already 30 percent leased. According to Rich Walker, construction will begin by August, 2002, on the brick and glass office building, with on-grade and garden level parking for 75 cars. DCA Architects (the building’s designer) will join First Properties, Ltd. as new tenants. According to John Davis, of DCA, the first floor is ideal for financial institutions requiring drive-up capability or for retail use. The second floor will be 6,000 square feet and the top two floors will be 7,000 square feet. Leasing will be handled by Rich Walker and Tammy Gilbert of First Properties, Inc.
Walker has been busy in the past two years with the sale of just over three acres to the U. S. Postal Service on 8th Street for its new postal facility. Noting that he had originally planned a mixed use office/retail development for what is now a new post office, Walker says working with the Federal govern
ment was a smooth experience. “They’re exempt from all local planning and zoning, and they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
As the listing broker for Doctor’s Hospital, Walker has been in discussions with more than one Denver-based healthcare provider eyeing the facility’s 46 Medicaid-approved beds. He has approached Pikes Peak Mental Health and Beth-El Nursing School about possibly taking the space. Community Health is currently a tenant in the medical facility’s upper floors. During his career, Walker has worked with a number of medical building owners as well as with office and retail development. He also started First Properties, Inc., a property management firm headed by Gilbert, with responsibility for a broad spectrum of retail, multi-family and Home Owner Association (HOA) organizations.

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Calendar notes
Rusinak Real Estate and Pentagon Federal Credit Union are joining to offer two free Home Buyer Seminars on Wednesday, March 27 from 6:00-7:30 pm and again on Saturday, April 27 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. at the Pentagon Federal Credit Union, 3622 Citadel Drive North. Eligible participants will receive a cash rebate after the sale or the purchase of a home through this program Interesting marketing offer – especially for young or first-time buyers. For more information call 590-6130 or 570-7431.

Did you know?
The Palmer Foundation, which includes local members such as former El Paso County Commissioner, Loren Wittemore and developer, Gary Conover, is a public, non-profit land trust composed of individuals, families, and businesses dedicated to the permanent protection of open space, agricultural, scenic, and natural lands in the Pikes Peak region. The organization works in a non-political manner with private land-owners and public agencies (including the Colorado Land Trust). An increasing number of people are interested in leaving a legacy for future generations, and the Palmer Foundation serves as the El Paso County trustee for land set aside for such use.
The organization currently has more than 300 members. George Maentz, Palmer Foundation president, may be contacted for more information at 475-7624.