Spring has sprung…and so has the brokerage community. The healthy list of transactions reported here is testimony to both the strength of the local commercial real estate market and the stabilizing affect small businesses have on our economy. According to local Chamber of Commerce statistics, 80 percent of businesses in Colorado Springs qualify as small business – and it’s the company with 15 or fewer employees that most often expands or relocates.

First quarter report from Palmer-McAllister research team

Interesting news was announced this week by Palmer-McAllister. According to the company’s in-house research team, in first quarter 2002 the Office market vacancy rate averaged 12 percent with the combined sublease/new construction figure coming in at 16.3 percent. According to president, Gary Hollenbeck, real estate investors and developers are moving ahead with deals – a good sign for the local economy. He also highlights the development of a new Marriott Hotel on Interquest Parkway and major new retail centers along Powers Boulevard and Briargate Parkway which will meet the pent-up demand for services in fast-growing parts of the community.

The Industrial sector is surprisingly stable with vacancy rates at a respectable seven percent. New projects slated for kick-off in 2002 include the Platte Airport Industrial Center and Aerotech Commerce Center. Platte Airport will add two buildings of 14,620 square feet and 30,200 square feet to the existing complex – and Aerotech includes two buildings totaling 106,000 square feet.

In addition, Hollenbeck believes that the aerospace industry will fuel future real estate activity based on news that four firms with offices in Colorado Springs have won more than $2.2 billion in government contracts. “This flurry of aerospace activity will translate into hundreds of new jobs and absorb thousands of square feet of office and manufacturing space,” he said.

So far this year, the company reports more than $7 million dollars in sales and leasing – including the sale of the TCF Bank building at 2870 New Center Point by Mark Useman along with the sale of 7.4 acres of land to Aerotech DC, LLC at Newport Drive by Paul Engel and David Bacon.

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Doug Carter releases multifamily quarterly update

This time around Carter says the Colorado Spring’s northern sector is still noting the highest vacancy rates – especially in newer, more expensive complexes with 13.8 percent to 17.9 percent vacancy rates and extensive rent concession programs. He also sees an average 8.4 percent vacancy citywide, with rent concessions offered in 64 percent of the 200 communities reporting. That’s up from 29 percent at the end of 2001, says Carter. One bright spot: 1980s vintage apartment vacancy rates dropped from 13.1 percent to 10.9 percent in the first quarter. Rents, however, remain below last year’s average $670 per month at $644 per month

Transaction Reports:

The Olive Real Estate Group

For the weeks of March 18 and 25 Charley Conrad, CCIM, reported three completed transactions. He represented the landlord, Colorado Springs Business Park, and tenant, General Machine, in the 15,600 square foot lease of industrial space at 710 Wooten Road. Conrad, a long-time industrial specialist also represented the buyer, Interwest Seamless Gutters, and the seller, Mike Underwood, on the sale of a 7,500 square foot building at 740 Hathaway Drive. Finally, Conrad represented the tenant, Optimum Filters, on the lease of 5,000 square feet at 4750-4752 North Chestnut.

Lloyd Riphenburg from Olive represented the landlord, Thom Work, of TOPS Countertops, and Hoff and Leigh brought the tenant, Personal Touch Gardening, on a 2,400 square foot lease at 57 Sunflower Road. The Personal Touch will headquarter their landscaping business at the new location.


Two retail leases were finalized last week by Greg Kaufman and Mark Useman of Palmer-McAllister, a Frederick Ross Company. The first is a 5,940 square foot space at Ridgeview Plaza, 24 60 Montebello Square Drive, leased to Christian International of the Rockies. The landlord, Ridgeview Plaza, LLC, and the tenant were both represented by the Kaufman-Useman team. In addition, the two brokers represented the owner and the tenants, Dana Gardiner and Art Minneman, in the lease of 2,751 square feet at 2360, Suites I & J, in Ridgeview Plaza. The retail location will be used for a startup ceramic instructions and supply business

My apologies to David Bacon! The Palmer-McAllister industrial broker served as the listing broker on the lease of 3,000 square feet to InSure Fire and Water Restoration, a cleaning company, at 3435 Fillmore Ridge Heights back in February. He was erroneously listed as representing the tenant but actually handled the transaction for the owner, FN, LLC and Dar Faarborg. Mea culpa, Dave!

Finally in this week’s report, Cameron Mogadam just closed on the sale of a 28,373 square foot retail facility at 5761 Powers Blvd. The buyer, Martin Broin purchased the building from the Air Academy Credit Union. He paid cash for the building which will be used for a dry cleaning business. The selling price was $283,000.

Grubb & Ellis/Quantum Commercial Group

Andrew Oyler represented the owner on two office leases completed in March. The first was an office lease to a financial advisor at 6035 Erin Park Drive. The second lease, for 1,500 square feet at 5801 North Union will be used by a technology company.

The Offices at the Park, a Grubb & Ellis/Quantum Commercial listing, announce the lease of office space to Jason Congin for a fire protection education business.

NAI Highland Commercial Group

Randy Dowis and Jim Spittler represented the owner at Clark Place Business Park on the sale of 2.1 acres of land to ESI Holdings dba United Restaurant Supply. According to Dowis, the selling price was $161,845. George Swintz represented the buyer.

Senior housing needs attention

Ready for an eye-opener? In the March 21 issue of Realty Times, Broderick Perkins, in his article entitled, “AARP Renews Forecast of Major Housing Crisis,” took a look at the coming “baby boom demographic bulge.” He predicts that the trend will create a housing crisis not seen since the end of World War II – and will affect the next, or “echo boomer” generation. This projection, says Perkins, is based on a report presented to the federal Commission on Affordable Housing and Health Facilities Needs for Seniors in the 21st Century (Seniors Commission).

n 82 million Americans are currently between 38 and 56 years old – nearly one-third of the entire U.S. population.

n The median age in the U.S. in 2000 was 35.3 years – the highest it has ever been

n 74 percent of the “Me Generation” say they don’t want to depend on their children – but only one-third expect to have to scale back on their lifestyle during retirement. Seventy-four percent also say that they plan to do, or are currently doing, some kind of paid employment.

Westside story

If you haven’t been reading this neighborly newsletter published by the Organization of Westside Neighbors, you might want to subscribe – just to keep up with activity under the usual commercial real estate radar screen. According to the Spring 2002 issue, the editor points out that a Mixed Use Task Force “composed of city planners, developers and neighborhood representatives” have been working on a plan to implement consultants’ recommendations to lessen restrictions on mixed use developments.

According to the article entitled, “New ‘Mixed Use’ Zone in Store for Colorado Avenue,” the author notes that based on consultants’ research, the current mixed use zoning code triggers public processes and is “an impossible task.” without multiple variances and modifications – and would result in a long negotiated and public rezoning process. Tim Scanlon
is the contact at 385-5394.

NEXT WEEK: Yes! Hoff and Leigh are back with a myriad of Transaction Reports.