Earlier this week the Realtors Commercial and Industrial Society (RCIS) met at the former RockShox offices at 1610 Garden of the Gods Rd. for its November monthly meeting. The commercial and development community turned out in force for remarks by Bill Healy, the city’s new planning director. Based on early conversations with Healy, he’s ready to tackle all the challenges the local community can muster.

Nichols & Comito Named Pacesetters

Congratulations are in order for Larry Nichols and Claude Comito for garnering the prestigious 2002 Pacesetter Award for Management in ceremonies held at the annual Custom Homebuilder Symposium in Scottsdale last month. The competition, sponsored by Custom Homebuilder Magazine, attracted hundreds of entries. “We were extremely appreciative and pleased to be selected,” said Nichols. Approximately 500 of the country’s top builders were in attendance and awards were given in various categories. “As far as I know, Nichols & Comito is the first Colorado Springs builder to win this award,” Nichols added.

Claude Comito and marketing director, Phyllis McCoy, were on hand at the American Cancer Society’s annual Cancer Ball, held November 9, to receive the organization’s Corporate Partnership Award. Emcee and honorary chairman, Jerry Smith, noted that Nichols & Comito, through its three-year Celebration Home benefit for the Rocky Mountain Unit of the American Cancer Society, helped raise more than $60,000.

As far as the luxury homebuilders’ business is concerned, business continues to be good. “Our clients have been less affected by the economy I think,” said Comito. “We are still busy at Stratton Preserve and are already selling custom lots in our new Stratton Pines gated community.” With two homes already in the design process, Nichols estimates that development infrastructure and utilities work will completed by early 2003. “We will do an official opening but are showing lots,” says Nichols, adding that the seventeen of nineteen remaining acre-plus home sites are priced from $400,000.

Have Money… Will Invest

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The number of “wants and needs” that come across the CSBJ real estate desk are amazing. It appears that a fair number of brokers have an investor or two in their hip pocket just waiting for the right deal. Here are just a few examples.

Dale Stamp, president of Grubb & Ellis/Quantum Commercial, needs an existing 10,000-square-foot industrial building east of Academy Boulevard. His user would also like to acquire eight to ten acres of vacant land in the same vicinity for light industrial and outside equipment storage.

Rich Kelly of Grubb & Ellis/Quantum Commercial has a client who needs a 20,000 to 30,000-square-foot building to buy north of Fillmore in the one to two million dollar range.

Kent Properties’ Dick Rackley is looking for ten acres for a 24/7 distribution facility along I-25 between the Fillmore exit and Monument.

Doug Wasson of Wasson Real Estate is searching for a Class A or B office building in the south or southwest part of town – from 10,000 to 25,000 square feet, for a client. The purchaser needs 7,000 to 8,000 square feet for his own use.

Palmer-McAllister’s Steve Hunsinger represents a restaurant operator from New York City who wants to rent a 1,000 to 1,500-square-foot space with a kitchen. His client will go downtown, Academy Blvd., Broadmoor, Briargate or Rockrimmon.

Finally, Jerry Trent of Trent Real Estate has a client looking for a site to build (or an existing) auto repair shop for paint and body work. He is also looking for two acres of C-6 ground for a used car dealership on a major artery, north of Platte Ave. and for a small retail center or office/warehouse building in Monument, Palmer Lake or an alternative site in northern Colorado Springs.

This is just a sampling. The market may be slow but it certainly isn’t dead.

John Laing Homes’ Earns Top Rating

Every homebuilder likes to think that he or she is worthy of customer satisfaction and loyalty. Ron Covington, president of the local John Laing Homes office, is no exception. Fortunately, his division recently received recognition for the overall customer satisfaction of its new homeowners during the six-month period from March to August of 2002. In the Pikes Peak region, the builder currently has six developments open including the Tapestry and Newtown collections at Mayfair at Ridgeview, The Park at Templeton Heights, Wagon Trails at Nor’Wood, DayBreak at Claremont Ranch, and Sage Meadow at Heritage in Fountain, Colorado.

National Survey Systems, an independent consumer research firm that monitors the satisfaction levels of new homebuyers from 59 major homebuilders every month, collected survey responses from 30 of the division’s 40 new homeowners over the six-month timeframe. The latest report ranked the division first, second or third in ten of the 12 categories, including: number one rankings in customer service, escrow and title services, construction personnel and process, construction options and upgrades, walk-through orientation and overall satisfaction.

Transaction Report

Oyler Signs Coffee Shop

Office specialist, Andrew Oyler, has finalized three deals so far this month – including location of The Coffee Warehouse, a new coffee shop at 526 S. Tejon (just north of Rich Guy’s Computer Resource store). The 1,670-square-foot retail space was leased from NFW, LLP, a local partnership. He also facilitated the lease of 4,300 square feet to new tenant, The Cutting Edge, at 1110 Elkton in Garden Park. In the same office park, Oyler also represented the owner on a lease of 1,709 square feet as office/distribution space for a Mary Kay operation.

Diocese Hires Griffis Blessing

Griffis/Blessing has been selected by the owner to manage a 23,518-square-foot office building at 228 N. Cascade Ave, owned by the Diocese of Colorado Springs says marketing director, Shannon Burke. Jennifer Rueling, commercial property manager, will oversee management of the property. Current tenants include Senator Wayne Allard, Craddock Development Company, the Southern Colorado Chapter of the NECA, Village Physical Therapy and Raymond James Financial. Of course, Griffis-Blessing dominates the downtown property management market with such properties as the Historic Alamo Building, Cascade Medical, Pueblo Bank and Trust, College Shops, The Carlton Building, 25 N. Cascade, the U.S. Bank Building, the Hibbard Building and many more. Burke says that the company’s total portfolio consists of more than five million square feet of commercial and residential space.

Quote of the Week

“There are more investors looking for investment properties at the moment than there are investments or at least investments that make sense. Once required cap rates of 10 percent are getting lower – as low as 8 percent due to low interest rates. Many investors are resorting to real estate as they have lost faith in the stock market.” — Sam Cameron, London Real Estate Group