Milner all about finding, preserving the right spaces

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Lee Milner has been involved with trails and open space in Colorado Springs since 1989.

Lee Milner has been involved with trails and open space in Colorado Springs since 1989.

Lee Milner calls himself a geographic real estate broker because he has a master’s degree in geography.

Geography, he reasons, is the study of people in the environment, and real estate sales, especially on the buying side, involves finding the right environment for people to live in.

He also has been involved with trails and open space since 1989 and was a candidate for the Board of El Paso County Commissioners.

Milner took time recently to tell CSBJ about himself and his work.

Organization: Heritage Realty, and I’m a board member of the Trails and Open Space Coalition.

Hometown: Born in New York City, grew up in Pleasantville, N.Y.

How long have you lived in Colorado Springs: Since October 1984.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in government, Clark University, Worcester, Mass.; master’s degree in geography, University of Idaho.

A few words about your company: Heritage Realty is a medium-size independently owned real estate brokerage. I have been with Heritage since 1991.

Recent accomplishments: I survived the recession and spearheaded the preservation of Corral Bluffs, just east of Colorado Springs as open space through a 522-acre city purchase of open space using TOPS funds.

Biggest career break: Moving to Colorado Springs. This is a wonderful city with great access to the mountains, reasonable economic opportunity, and a fair range of cultural activities.

The toughest part of your job: In real estate, working hard and having a deal collapse. For TOPS, having the right amount of patience and persistence. Many projects take years and years to fulfill.

Someone you admire: Richard Skorman. He has been an incredible progressive leader as well as a successful businessman.

Statewide, I admire Ken Salazar. I think his role as secretary of interior perfectly combines his skills as a conservationist and an attorney.

When I lived in Idaho, I admired Sen. Frank Church for preserving the River of No Return Salmon River Wilderness and his foreign affairs skills.

About your family: I’ve been married for four years to a psychologist who made me an instant father of two and grandfather of three. My sister, Hope, still lives in the same house my parents built during 1951, a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired Usonian community in Pleasantville, N.Y.

Something else you’d like to accomplish: In real estate, I would enjoy a steadier stream of business.

For TOPS, I’d like to see the completion of all the connections in the planned trail system, and the connection of the current Corral Bluffs open space (522 acres) with Jimmy Camp Creek Park (about 700 acres), creating about 3,000 acres of open space.

How your business will change in the next decade: Real estate will become more computerized.

What book are you currently reading? “Travel as a Political Act” by Rick Steve.

What is the one thing you would change about Colorado Springs? More open-mindedness.