With almost a year of real estate columns behind me, I realize how much there is to report in this ever-changing, fast-paced field – and so many stories still to tell. Downtown re-development deserves a full column – as do many of the transactions the Colorado Springs Business Journal reports each week. In the days ahead, I hope to dig deeper into interesting in-fill projects, retail and commercial development on the city’s north and east sides (it’s tough to stay ahead of Powers Blvd., Falcon, Fountain, Interquest and Briargate, just to name a few). And I plan to do some one-on-one interviews with the men and women who make commercial and residential real estate tick. In the meantime, thanks for sending along your stories.

Mortgage Brokers Moving Toward State Regulation

You’ve probably heard that Colorado is one of only three states in the country that does not require mortgage brokers to be licensed. Although this debate primarily affects residential real estate transactions, it does signal a historic move by the Colorado Association of Mortgage Brokers to tighten the reins on mortgage originators with sub-standard ethics and business operations. At its recent annual conference Corky Kyle, CAMB’s lobbyist, gave a presentation outlining Senate Bill 02-226 to attendees. Included in his talk was an outline of the kind of regulation sought by CAMB for all Colorado brokers. Among the seven criteria were: creation of a mortgage originator board; specific requirements for licensure; a fee structure; background checks (both state and national); creation of a recovery fund for consumers; bond requirements for out-of-state originators and a revocation/suspension process for unprofessional conduct. For many who operate under the Colorado Real Estate Commission’s stringent rules and licensing requirements, it is hard to believe that such a key financial area has operated in a “caveat emptor” fashion. Although the bill passed with Senate approval, the session ended before the House could review the measure. Kyle expects a revised version to pass in 2003 – forecasts that the measure will be implemented by 2004.

Transaction Report

Coldwell Banker

Reports More Than $16M in Sales

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Here it is – straight from Jay Carlson and Bob Nolette: the two Coldwell Banker Commercial brokers handled both the purchase and the sale of the $11.6 million sale which closed earlier in September. Carlson and Nolette both represented the seller, Pace Plaza Development Corporation, while Nolette represented the buyers, Quan Van Nguyen and Quang Thi Tran, in the purchase of the 210,790-square-foot center located at 1705-1891 South Academy. Coldwell Banker will continue to handle property management responsibilities. Jay Carlson and Bob Nolette also will continue leasing – but note that the retail center has a vacancy rate of only 5 percent or 10,000 feet at this time. Not a bad way to start the fourth quarter 2002…

Nolette also sold two mini storage units located at 1625 La Shelle Way and at 330 Karen Lane for his client, Quan Van Nguyen. The purchasers were Nate Winterfield of Colorado Springs, Brody/Hobbs, LLC of Chicago and Bob Nolette. Sales price was $4,165.

In leasing news, Candace Seaton has just finalized three notable deals. Seaton and Jay Carlson represented the tenant, TFC Corporation, on a 9,251-square-foot lease at 3350 Chestnut – and she also represented the landlord on the same 10-year lease. In addition, Seaton participated on both sides of a lease between tenants, Latino Market, Inc. and South Academy Family Laundromat, at 2412 South Academy in the Gateway Plaza Shopping Center – and worked with Chris Barnett to represent the landlord on the same transaction. Finally, The State of Colorado Department of Revenue Lottery Division leased 17,000 square feet of space at 250 South Sante Fe in Pueblo. The two “winners” in this lucky transaction were Candace Seaton of Coldwell Banker Commercial who represented the landlord and Mary Francis Cowan of Grubb & Ellis Quantum who represented the tenant.

Bob Nolette and Dan Cathcart represented the buyer in the purchase of a 6,000-square-foot building at 1604 21st St. Julie Strodtman of Fountain Colony represented the seller in the $10,000 transaction. The Nolette-Cathcart team also represented the tenant, Robert M. Duitch, P.C. on the lease of 2,682 square feet at 665 Southpointe Dr. – and Lonnie Wagner of NAI Highland Commercial represented the landlord.

Fidelity’s Ted Link Closes on Bethesda Sale

On September 16, Bethesda Management Company officially sold its former corporate headquarters building at 1465 Kelly Johnson Blvd. The company built the Class A structure in 1983 and used it as an investment for their ministry, says Link. At the time of sale, the building was 74 percent leased. The purchase price was $5.2 million, and Link represented both the buyer, Kelly Johnson Professional Business Systems, LLC, and Bethesda in the transaction. Leasing will continue to be handled by Link and Bethesda will continue to manage the building.

Shopping Centers are in Capable Hands

Jason Madsen, with Kevin Kratt for a mentor, has jumped with both feet into retail leasing. Since joining Kratt this spring, Madsen has already completed six new retail leases at Safeway Village including: Eden Salon & Spa; Auntie Marcia’s All-Natural Pet Supply & Doggie Wash; Christine’s Bakery (to open by January 2003); Salsa Brava (expanding to accommodate new catering operation); Louie’s Pizza; and Brush Strokes Ceramic Studio. Whew! From what Kratt says, Madsen made over 1,000 phone and personal calls on prospects in order to generate the new leases.

The enterprising Madsen is also hard at work developing new tenants for the Woodmen Valley Shopping Center where he recently added Woodmen Nail Salon and Beyond Juice to the in-line retail community. At press time, Madsen was also working on another pending deal – and says he’s just got 1,600 square feet left to fill. This is one motivated broker – but then Madsen, at age 27, has already built and sold a small empire with the Pikes Peak region Jamba Juice’s stores. Guess he really understands what retailers want – as a former tenant and business operator.

Six Leases Brighten September Ledger for Palmer-McAllister

Palmer McAllister’s retail specialist, Mark Useman was a party to five transactions in September – including three retail and two office leases. Useman and fellow retail broker, Greg Kaufman handled both sides of the transaction on 1,200 square feet in Academy Place Shopping Center at 5146 N. Academy Blvd. The new tenant is Play and Trade, which buys and trades video games. The Useman-Kaufman team also finalized retail leases for a new restaurant, Pikes Pizza & Pasta Company, LLC, at 5901 in the Northpointe Center; Nor’Wood Limited, Inc. owns the center. Finally, the dynamic duo sealed the deal on a lease renewal with Checks 2 Cash at its 638A S. Academy Blvd. location – handling both sides of the transaction.

Dale Wheeler and Mark Useman teamed to represent both the tenant and the owner on the expansion to 3,180 square feet of office space for Fixed Income Securities, LLC (hmm…sounds like a good business bet for 2002). Space was leased from owner, Coyote Corner, LLC in the Woodmoor Oaks Office Building at 18925 Base Camp Rd. in Monument.

Greg Phaneuf represented the owner, Carl Smith Associates, and Mark Useman represented the tenant, Dr. Will Griffis, on the lease of 1,564 square feet of office space at 2160 Hollowbrook Drive. This represents a new location for Griffis. Finally, Phaneuf and Palmer McAllister office broker, Kent Mau, represented the owner, Quilogy (the primary lease-holder), on the sub-lease of 4,353 square feet of space at 2060 Briargate Parkway to Rimrock, Inc. The tenant is a software engineering firm that needed more space to expand its operation – good news! An NAI Highland Commercial broker represented the landlord in the transaction.

NAI Highland Commercial Group Posts Office Leases

Peter Scov
ille has been an active guy in the last 30 days. He has been on both sides of the transaction in three separate leases – teamed either with John Onstott or Michael Palmer. The first was a 2,450-square-foot lease for Newdea, Inc. at 1125 Kelly Johnson Blvd. Scoville and Palmer closed the sub-lease deal on August 26. In the same building, Scoville and Palmer also sub-leased 3,500 square feet to Tighe & Associations Real Estate. Finally, Scoville and Onstott represented the owner and tenant, REM Colorado, Inc. on the new lease of 4,998 square feet at 4815 List Drive.