NAI Highland owners John Onstott, Frank Tuck, Randy Dowis, Jim Spittler, Bob Garner and Craig Anderson say the decision to move their offices back downtown “on a scale of eight, was a nine.”

The Research Corporate Center offices at 8610 Explorer Drive were impressive, and the Front Range views were spectacular, but that said, NAI Highland Commercial Group’s six owner-members decided to move back downtown to 2 North Cascade Ave., Suite 300, said spokeswoman Bonnie Nuss.
The commercial brokerage left downtown two-and-a-half years ago in favor of Class A offices on the city’s fast-growing north side.
Absence evidently made the heart grow fonder, however, and the group has subleased 5,635 square feet of its 7,000-square-foot space on Explorer to Rubicon Alliance LLC, a real estate, fixed income and energy investment group with headquarters in Colorado Springs. Troy University’s western regional offices took the balance.
Susan Beitle and Mark Dyer of Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group represented the sublease tenant and Bob Garner and Lonnie Wagner of NAI Highland represented their firm.

Land acquired by foundation

The Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy Foundation has purchased 8.3 acres of vacant land adjacent to its existing campus at 1832 S. Wahsatch St. for $500,000 from the Estate of Allan E. Pezoldt.
The site, near the Martin Luther King bypass and Interstate 25, will be used for sports facilities.
The buyer was represented by Wayne Timura of Next Level Development Inc. and the seller was represented by John Dworak of Rampart Realty and Hermann Spielkamp of Grubb & Ellis Commercial Real Estate.

UMB adds investment firm

An investment firm owned by Michael Papa has opened a 1,200-square-foot office at 101 N. Cascade Ave. in the UMB Bank Building.
The tenant and the owner, 101 N. Cascade LLLP, were represented by Andrew Oyler of Grubb & Ellis Quantum Commercial Group.

Wind, solar sidelined

Just as wind farm equipment manufacturer Vestas Inc. is cranking up manufacturing plants to produce wind turbine components at its northern Colorado and Pueblo facilities, a number of national wind and solar projects are being canceled because of the credit crisis.
The news comes as utility companies have agreed to buy all output, according to the Wall Street Journal, and referenced by Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America in his Nov. 17 “Daily Digest.”
Specifically, companies like the Texas-based Duke Energy Corp. have cut in half a planned $100 million investment that included leasing space on the roofs of homes and businesses to erect solar panels to feed electricity to the grid.
The company has also “pulled the plug on a $400 million windpower project it planned to build with a partner,” Simonson said.
FPL Group, one of the country’s biggest producers of wind power, said it is cutting capital spending for wind-energy projects by nearly $1 billion next year.
In addition, Simonson said American Electric Power Co. plans to cut capital spending by 23 percent to about $2.6 billion.
More than half of those cuts will occur in “environmental” spending on pollution scrubbers planned for Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.

Curves hit Centennial West

A 2,100-square-foot Curves fitness center has opened in the Centennial West shopping center at 4105 Centennial Blvd.
Greg Kaufman of Southwestern Commercial Properties represented the landlord, the Sahin Family Trust, and Jim Chacon of Grubb & Ellis Commercial Group represented the tenant.

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Sustainability conference

In addition to the more than $1.5 billion in new construction with an emphasis on “green” under way at Fort Carson, the post has taken a leadership role since 2002 in developing sustainable communities.
This year, in a transitional move, Army representatives passed the baton to the Catamount Institute which hosted the annual Sustainable Communities conference.
The event attracted more than 600 participants, according to Fort Carson sustainability contractor Susan Galentine, up 25 percent compared to 2007. Forty-nine exhibitors also were on hand to demonstrate sustainability technologies and services.
Among the presenters were Christopher Juniper, a sustainability economist and member of the Sustainability Leadership Group; Joe Cascio, the federal environmental executive within the Council on Environment Quality of the Executive Office of the President; Denise Coogan of Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc.; and Eric Cefus, executive director of the Catamount Institute.
Topics covered included green buildings, sustainable energy, sustainable businesses and economic development, military sustainability and zero-waste programs.
Becky Hurley covers real estate for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.