Briefs: Broadmoor Main Hotel renovations continue+

If you haven’t had a chance to see the tremendous Broadmoor Main renovation yet, you’ll want to find a reason to stop by or to set up a meeting there. The former Terrace Lounge on the mezzanine level is fantastic – the “$100 million bar” boasts a gorgeous white oak paneling and woodwork and stained hardwood floor certainly meets and exceeds any Mobile Five-Star criteria. Gary Gregoire, a local luxury homebuilder who supervised woodworking, construction and design of the bar was on hand for the grand opening, and said that Steve Bartolin and the Broadmoor’s staff seemed very pleased with overall results. Some painting and restoration continues – and a few Mezzanine furnishings have not arrived according to interior designer, Tag Galyean, but the Hotel is definitely open for business and welcoming guests.
Ron Wilson, M.A. Mortenson’s project manager, credits art restorer, Gunar Gruenke, from the Conrad Schmidt Studio out of Milwaukee, with bringing many of the hotel’s ceilings, bas-relief and ornate rococo finishes back to life. The entire project from the massive stamped concrete porte-cochere entry to the mosaic “B” entry tiles and polished marble lobby floors — to the new elevators, renovated guest rooms with complete electronic connectivity and updated five piece baths is a knock-out.
Of course, with $1 million a week invested on renovation between October 22, 2001 and April 30, 2002, the Main Hotel renovation represents a landmark in the Broadmoor’s history. From Gaylord’s financial commitment during the dark days following September 11th to the staff and management’s positive attitude and adaptability during the height of construction, to those companies responsible for the finished product, what a contribution you have made. Congratulations. Next phase: a renovation of the El Pomar Building just east of the Hotel.

Issue: Banks in the Real Estate Business
In the April 26th issue of Realty Times, Blache Evans writes that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is still bucking attempts by the banking industry to get legislation passed to allow banks in real estate brokerage and property management. So far more than 265,000 NAR members have sent letters to the White House, Congress, the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve in opposition of large national banks entering real estate – both residential and commercial.
The reason the NAR is fighting the move is that it will lead to higher costs to consumer, large scale consolidation in the real estate industry, and potential conflicts of interest, should banks be able to steer homebuyers to their own insurance and loan products. Implications for the commercial real estate market are not clear, but Martin Edwards, Jr., president of the nation-wide association and a commercial realtor, believes banks will have an unfair advantage in deal-making. “We aren’t talking about even ground,” he said. “They have insured depository capital and I (brokers) have to borrow money to be in business. That’s not a level playing field.” While a decision has been postponed until 2003, the NAR is cementing relationships with House and Senate members – and does not expect the issue to go away soon.
NAR president, Martin Edwards, Jr. also said in an article for Commercial Real Estate Quarterly, published last month, that fortunately economic data continues to exceed expectations, with retail and multifamily sectors expected to lead the upturn into 2003. The NAR projects net absorption of office space to turn positive this year, rising from a negative 12.6 million square feet in the first quarter to 17 million square feet in 4th quarter. Construction of new office space, for example, is expected to be 114 million square feet, jumping to 109 million square feet in 2003 from only 15.8 million this year. Of course, in the short run, this will force rents down, according to NAR research, as slow absorption simultaneously pushes vacancy rates over 15 percent this year.

Transaction Reports

Palmer McAllister Announces Land Sale
With Powers corridor development exploding, it comes as no surprise that Mark Useman, retail broker for Palmer McAllister, reports he represented the buyer on the purchase of 5.44 acres at the corner of Tutt Boulevard and North Carefree. The site, owned by Nor’Wood Development, was sold to Michael and Juanita Bochnak who will construct a 55,000 square foot family bowling alley-restaurant-bar-arcade facility.
In other Palmer-McAllister news, David Bacon and Kevin Heinicke represented the owner on the lease of 2,381 square feet of industrial space at 1130 Elkton Drive. The tenant is Apogee Components, Inc., distributors of model rocket components and software. Rampart Realty represented owners, Eugene and Barbara Caroll.
Kevin Heinicke also represented the owner on a lease of 1,750 square feet of industrial space to Diamond Texturing, a drywall contractor, at 3340 Adobe Court. The owner, Calco Investments, was represented by Hoff & Leigh.

NAI Highland Commercial Reports In
Jim Spittler, represented the buyer, Dillon Real Estate Company (Loaf N’Jug), on the purchase of an odd-shaped parcel, adjacent to Chili’s at Vickers and North Academy. Selling price was $535,600 and the owner was represented by Steve Hunsinger of Palmer McAllister.
Lloyd Riphenburg and Peter Scoville of NAI Highland, also represented the buyer on the purchase of a 4,167 square feet building 415 South Cascade, for use by local attorney, Doug Quimby. The selling price was $311,400. Some of you may remember the building as home to Sailing Specialties. The structure will be converted from warehouse to professional office use.
Riphenburg’s tenacity and creativity were also put to full use when he represented the owner of a consortium of Olympic governing body buyers on the purchase of a building at 711 N. Tejon. The opportunity was brought to Riphenburg’s attention by a residential realtor with USOC connections who needed commercial real estate expertise. “We went through the entire Board review and approval process with all five governing bodies including National Archery, Fencing, Table Tennis, Field Hockey and Team Handball,” he said. The result was a decision to condominiumize the building – allowing each group to derive the benefit of ownership, while pooling their resources.” Lonnie Wagner at NAI Highland Commercial acted as the buyer’s agent. Congratulations on a job well done!

Zephyr Real Estate Completes Two Sales
Chuck Schoninger, broker with Zephyr Real Estate reported two impressive sales last month. First, he facilitated the complex transaction between owner, Belevedere Enterprises, LLC and an investment group, headed up by Randy Case, called Kiowa Lofts, LLC and local entrepreneur, Ray Marshall. Selling price was $5.275 million. According to Schoninger, the new owners plan to invest as much as $7 million to renovate the approximately 130 unit building into apartments and condominiums – slated for opening by the end of the summer.

Fidelity Reports Additional Medical Transactions
In a follow-up to last month’s news, Ted Link says he has another four transactions to report…Link isn’t losing any time as the local economy experiences a gentle rebound.
He says that he represented the tenant, ITAC, on a 4,400 square foot lease at 1915 Aerotech Drive. The owner was represented by Randy Miller of Trammel Crow.
Link also represented the tenant, Pikes Peak Urology, and the landlord, Bethesda Management Company on the lease of almost 5,100 square feet at 1465 Kelly Johnson Boulevard. He said that Pikes Peak Urology was able to take advantage of “friendly” (don’t you love that description?) rental rates to expand to make room for a new provider who will join the group in the next one to two years. In another lease in the same building, Link represented
the owner on the lease of 1,195 square feet for American Express Financial Advisors.
The healthcare sector seems to be holding its own through the recession. In fact, Link represented the landlord, Cascade Investment Limited Partnership at 625 N. Cascade Avenue, in the expansion of Dr. Alan Rapp’s offices as well – incorporating an additional 863 square feet — or a total space of 3,024 square feet in the lease.

NAHB’s Chief Economist Sees Money Tightening
In an April 26 news release, National Association of Home Builders’ chief economist, David Seiders says the strong housing market that carried the U.S. economy through recession will “drift down to sustainable growth throughout the year,” leaving other industries to carry on the economic recovery. Seiders says that mortgage interest rates will begin to rise in August from the 7 percent to 7.8 percent by December 2003. David Wyss, chief economist of Standard & Poor’s concurs, noting that housing “looks less overvalued than other assets.” But as both analysts point out, there will now be no pent-up demand to contribute to further economic recovery through the end of the year – with more than 1.7 million housing starts in the past year. The multifamily industry, according to recent NAHB-sponsored conference presenter, Jack Goodman, has just experienced a golden decade, during which time “exactly the right amount of product” was built. As usual, real estate investment seems to provide optimal returns – too bad Enron didn’t have a richer real estate portfolio…