Event Round-Up: The Legends & Trailblazers of Denver CRE

NAIOP Colorado_Legends and Trailblazers_Denver CO

By: Julie Wanzer, LEED AP

NAIOP Colorado_Legends and Trailblazers_Denver CODenver, CONAIOP Colorado hosted The Legends and Trailblazers of Denver Commercial Real Estate at the Ritz-Carlton Denver this week on Tuesday, November 8th. Doug Wulf, Executive Managing Director and Principal at Cushman & Wakefield, served as the moderator for this panel of legends that included:

– Marcel Arsenault, Chairman, CEO & Founder, Real Capital Solutions

– Kittie L. Hook, Managing Director, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

– George L. Thorn, President & Founder, Mile High Development LLC

– Walter A. “Buz” Koelbel, President & CEO, Koelbel and Company

– Mickey Zeppelin, President, Zeppelin Development


NAIOP Colorado_Legends and Trailblazers_Denver COMarcel Arsenault kicked off the event with a brief presentation focused on creating wealth. He reminded the crowd that included owners, developers, brokers, insurance agents, bankers, lawyers, contractors and architects, that “Wealth is a by-product of commitment.”

Mickey Zeppelin shared his esteemed history in commercial real estate in Colorado, noting that the key to his success lies in the Socratic Method – “The answers are not as important as the questions.” He even admitted that he was often touted as “crazy” when it came to his development style and commented that, “Commercial real estate is about looking at things in a different way and not accepting the as-is.”

Buz Koelbel rounded out the panel recalling stories and lessons learned from the past 40 years he has spent at Koelbel & Company, a multi-generational real estate company. He emphasized that commercial real estate takes grit, tenacity and perseverance by saying, “Commercial real estate is a slow, ponderous walk to wealth by doing a lot of the right things along the way.”

Images courtesy of Business Rewritten

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