Heard the groundhog saw his shadow, but Colorado Springs’ commercial realtors don’t seem to be worried. In fact, things are heating up – especially where land sales are concerned. Good parcels, especially in the southeast part of town continue to sell – and prices are impressive.
Coldwell Banker expands; announces industrial project
Coldwell Banker’s managing broker, Jay Carlson, recently added several new members to his team – and he expects to make a major impact on the local commercial real estate market in 2002. According to Carlson, Chris Barnett and Candy Seaton both joined the retail group – and Clint Darnell came aboard to work on industrial projects, including the new Aerotech Distribution and the Aerotech Commerce Centers.
Last week Carlson debuted a rendering and construction plan for the Aerotech Distribution Center in the Newport Tech Center. “The timing is perfect for Aerotech,” said Carlson. “A few years ago, when Sealy approached me about renting 70,000 square feet in the back of the former Pace Plaza, I realized that Colorado Springs didn’t have enough inventory to meet market need.” Pointing to the growth of large distribution centers like Ace Hardware or Sally Foster near the airport, Carlson believes that Colorado Springs is ready to absorb additional warehouse/industrial space in the near future. In phase one, a 100,000 square foot facility will be built at the Aerotech Distribution Center, located on seven and one-half acres – with another 100,00 square feet to be added in 2003.
The developer has an option on a total of 80 acres off Fountain and Powers where he hopes to eventually build Aerotech Commerce Center, a master planned business park, strategically located in the Enterprise Zone. Plans call for more than 1,000,000 square feet of light industrial warehouse/distribution and flex-tech office space.
The retail group, headed by Carlson, manages leasing for Citadel Crossing Shopping Center, Bally’s Plaza, Gateway Shopping Center, and Star Ranch Shopping Center. They will also be responsible for the marketing of the new Shops at ArrowsWest, located just east of WorldCom at Garden of the Gods and 30th Street. “I just got back from our Coldwell-Banker annual meeting in San Antonio with brokers from offices in 350 communities around the country in attendance,” Carlson said. “Our offices are located in most large and second tier cities. Some of our brokers in those cities refer companies to us who are looking to expand into new markets – and Colorado Springs offers them a great expansion opportunity.”
National industrial market declines
Meanwhile, on the national front…in the February issue of Commercial Investment Real Estate, approximately 162 million square feet of new construction was added to the industrial market during 2001, according to Torto Wheaton Research. Net absorption, meanwhile, was down 116 million square feet. Research and development space exhibited the biggest increase in availability over 2000. That was due to heavy construction activity in the sector and a loss of tenants in such high-tech markets as Dallas, San Francisco and San Jose.
George Jury of Fidelity Real Estate must still be celebrating. He recently represented the buyer and the seller on just under 15 acres of industrially-zoned land at Capital Drive and Granite Loop in Rocky Mountain Industrial Park. The buyer was Home Lumber, and the site will be used for a lumberyard. Selling price was $1,499,000. Jury has been working on this one for a while – congratulations!
In other news, Greg Kaufman and Mark Useman represented the landlord, a private family trust on the recent lease of 1,680 square feet of retail/restaurant space in Satellite Plaza. New tenants are Pedro and Delia Ramirez, who will open La Sinaloense.
Danny Mientka, vice president of The Equity Group and commercial broker, reports closing on the sale of 16.3 acres of commercial land located between U.S. Highway 24 and the main gate of Peterson Air Force Base. The purchaser was the U.S. Air Force, who paid $2.1 million for the parcel, considered an important security buffer to one of the country’s most important military command centers. The Equity Group originally purchased the property in 1983 from Mobile Oil Corporation. It was then master planned for an office park development with an adjacent conference center, restaurants and health club to support Colorado Springs’ second largest employer, says Mientka. His patience after years of legal battles was rewarded when acquisition of the property was included in the 2000 Defense Authorization Bill in order to upgrade the main gate and to improve security for Peterson AFB. Jeff Crank of the Colorado Springs Chamber, Military Affairs Division, and U.S. Senator Joel Hefley worked to obtain the necessary U.S. Air Force and Congressional approvals for the sale. But that’s not all the news from The Equity Group…
In addition, Mientka signed two new leases at Vindicator Professional Center, a 25,000 square foot suburban office building located at Vindicator and Centennial Boulevard – filling up the remaining space in its second phase of development. New tenants include Steven Castillo, DDS who leased 2,425 square feet for his dental practice, and David Morford, DPM, who leased 1,525 square feet for his podiatric medicine headquarters. It must be nice to have a building 100 percent leased! Other tenants include Pericle Communications Company and Foundation of the Heart. Mientka handles all leasing and marketing for the Vindicator Professional Center.
Sounds like the Colorado Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMB) will offer several meaty continuing education courses at the Denver Marriott Southeast on March 12. The CAMB program will include information on the benefits of the home mortgage from the investor’s standpoint, efficient closings, and the details on the new improvement location certificates (ILC). More information is available by calling the CAMB office at 303/758-9611.
First time homebuyer program announced
Colorado Housing Enterprises (CHE), an El Paso County Home Ownership non-profit lending program, will offer some 5.95 and 6.5 percent interest rates on 30-year fixed loans for first time homebuyers, now through July 31, 2002. According to Sylvia Scalabrini, loan coordinator, CHE’s mission is to create safe and affordable housing for low to moderate income families and individuals. The organization is able to offer under-market rates thanks to its membership in the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation and its affiliate, Neighborhood Housing Services of America
Wall Street Journal reports likely multi-family overbuild
In the March 1 issue of The Wall Street Journal, industry professionals were quoted expressing concern that multi-family construction is continuing at a solid pace despite weakening consumer demand. As a result, some apartment providers are beginning to complain about an impending inventory glut. Industry analysts and professionals are blaming the aggressive efforts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to finance developers of apartment buildings nationwide.
The chairman of Equity Residential Properties Trust, Sam Zell, criticized government lenders, stating that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have made things worse through their “very aggressive overlending” in the apartment sector. According to the article, in 2001, Freddie Mac invested $12.3 billion in the multi-family sector, a record for the organization. Fannie Mae, meanwhile, almost doubled its investment in apartments by providing $22.8 billion.
In my opinion…
My hat is off to the individuals and companies working to improve the livability of our community – most notably the visionary City Urban Renewal Authority and the private developers who take the financial risks associated with re-development. You hear the rumblings –
especially from Colorado Springs’ young entrepreneurs – expressing dissatisfaction with the City’s deteriorating infrastructure. This real estate column is about news, not opinions, but given the opportunity, I’d like to support those who take the risks that will someday lead to a better community…