Inaugural Launch: Denver Commercial Real Estate in the Spotlight

As the regional focus for the inaugural launch of Mile High CRE and NAIOP Colorado‘s benchmarking commercial real estate awards, Denver continues to find itself in the spotlight. With such honors as Forbes’ #1 place for business and careers to the U.S. News and World Report #1 city to live, Denver and its commercial real estate market stand to benefit from all of these accolades.

By: Julie Wanzer, LEED AP

March 15, 2016 – On this inaugural launch of Mile High CRE, Denver’s first, daily online commercial real estate source, the publication has set high standards for the ability to provide timely news for the entire commercial development vertical. In this capacity to raise the bar on up-to-date commercial real estate knowledge, one can’t help but take note of the achievements of the frontrunners in the market as recognized by NAIOP Colorado’s Annual Awards of Achievement.

The event took place February 25, 2016 with 500 attendees at the Denver Center for Performing Arts, handing out 20 trophies to the top commercial real estate brokers, developers and industry professionals. The award categories recognized both project transactions for the year and individual achievements. (Full list of winners).

Cantwell Treadwell NAIOP 2016
Capital Markets Transaction of the Year – Denver Union Station, David Treadwell and Michael Cantwell, CBRE, Inc. Photo courtesy of NAIOP Colorado/SE Photography.

Michael Cantwell and David Treadwell from CBRE, took home the Capital Markets Transaction of the year for Denver Union Station. With the goal to secure long-term financing for the retail and Crawford Hotel, the team faced unique challenges such as a lack of comparables, a ground-lease, unusual revenue sources and a lack of operating history on a non-flag/boutique hotel property. This deal came to fruition through the collaborative efforts of CBRE’s valuation group, research department, PKF Hospitality research, Econometric Advisors and the marketing department.

Michael Cantwell, Executive Vice President with CBRE Capital Markets, commented, “We challenged the creativity of the team with this project because there is nothing like this in the country. Denver Union Station is an iconic, historic building that has become the face of Denver.”

Bill Katter, President and Chief Investment Officer of United Properties, accepted the Industrial Development of the Year Award for the Enterprise Business Center Phase II project in Stapleton off the I-70 corridor. Phase II, part of a three-part deal totaling 2 million square feet and 8 buildings, included one of the larger buildings that allowed for a lower cost per square foot and both bulk and flex space. When asked about the future strength of the industrial market, Katter said, “There is still a strong demand in Denver for industrial properties over the next 18 to 24 months, with marijuana production as a major driver in the market for non-class A space.”

Winner of the Innovative Developer of the Year for The LAB at 17th and Platte along with Brue Capital Partners, Marshall Burton, president and CEO of Confluent Development, commented, “It is an incredible honor to earn this award. The LAB is a prime example of the success that can be achieved by local partnerships. Being selected from the many industry leaders means a great deal and we are proud to have helped make this project a reality.”

Photo is courtesy of NAIOP Colorado/SE Photography.
Sherman R. Miller Trailblazer Award – Courtney Hasson of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Also pictured is Kevin Kelley and Mary Sullivan. Photo courtesy of NAIOP Colorado/SE Photography.

Continuing this inaugural spirit, NAIOP distributed two new awards this year including the Sherman R. Miller Trailblazer Award, given to Courtney Hasson, Director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, and the Legacy Broker Award to Barry Dorfman, Managing Director of the Rocky Mountain Region at JLL. Ms. Hasson has been involved in $380 million in office leasing transactions over the past year and is a contributing member of NAIOP, ULI and CREW Denver. She commented, “I am grateful for the mentorship I have received throughout my career from the partners who have been so gracious with their time, especially Jamie Gard and our city and regional leader, Kevin McCabe. Although I have not met her personally, Dana Crawford has been an inspiration as an individual who has made her career her own. It’s an exciting time to live and work in Denver, with its great quality of life and vibrant economy.”

Barry Dorfman
Inaugural Legacy Broker – Barry J. Dorfman, JLL

Barry Dorfman at JLL, with over 30 years of experience, is attributed to negotiating more than 20 million feet of leasing transactions in the Denver market and has served or is currently a board member for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation and Denver Scholarship Foundation. In reflecting back on his career, Dorfman emphasized the importance of creating a knowledge-based culture of teamwork and collaboration. “Knowledge should be the basis of every relationship. The more you know, the better you can represent your client.” When asked about what he hopes to pass on to the next generation of commercial real estate brokers,

Dorfman commented, “Younger brokers who embrace technology can benefit by partnering with more experienced brokers who have a depth of relationships. We are all good at something and when we surround ourselves with others with complementary skills, the whole team stands to benefit.”

As the regional focus for this inaugural publication and all of these benchmarking commercial real estate awards, Denver continues to find itself in the spotlight. With such honors as Forbes’ #1 place for business and careers to the U.S. News and World Report #1 city to live, Denver and its commercial real estate market stand to benefit from all of these accolades. With early knowledge and timely information, owners, developers, real estate brokers, contractors, architects and engineers alike can take advantage of Mile High CRE’s lead source to track the evolving commercial real estate market and increase their firm’s profitability.

Photo Credits: Photos from ceremony are courtesy of NAIOP Colorado/SE Photography.

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