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The Latest NEWS & EVENTS for Colorado's Front Range

NAIOP Colorado Chapter Monthly Highlights


NAIOP Fight Night 2021 Presented by Fidelity National Title National Commercial Services

Announcing the Real Estate Ringers and Date Change to October 28
By Fight Night Co-Chairs, Ian Nichols of Flywheel Capital and Brandon Kramer of Marcus & Millichap

Presented by Fidelity National Title National Commercial Services, NAIOP Fight Night is the commercial real estate industry's most-anticipated and exclusive networking event of the year! Join over 500 of the industry's elite for an unforgettable evening of gourmet tapas, cocktails, limitless mingling, and ringside entertainment to include the thrilling Real Estate Ringers Bouts - featuring boxing talent from the local CRE industry! This year's event is now scheduled for Thursday, October 28 beginning at 6:00 PM MDT at the NEW Social Capitol Events in Arvada.


Don't miss this year's "Real Estate Ringers" Amateur Bouts (f/k/a White Collar Brawlers) featuring CRE professionals from metro Denver, to include: 

In addition to the exciting boxing entertainment and networking, guests will have the opportunity to win over $45,000 worth of raffle prizes and packages such as: The Unico Locomotive of Leisure to Pebble Beach; Alcorn Construction Fly Fishing Get-Away; Vail Excursion with FirstBank Icelantic Skis; and More!  All raffle proceeds will again benefit Denver Active 20-30 Children's Foundation - dedicated to contributing to the betterment and welfare of children in our local community.


LEARN MORE about securing your tickets for the premier networking event of the year! 

6900 Layton Office

Construction Corner Sponsored by The Weitz Company, LLC

Featuring 6900 Layton, NAIOP's 2021 Office Development of the Year
By Shawn Donohoe, Senior Business Development Manager, The Weitz Company, LLC

When 6900 Layton broke ground in the dynamic Belleview Station development back in 2018, Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock was quoted to say, “Belleview Station is well on its way to redefining how people can work, shop, dine and live all in one place – making it a signature asset for economic development and underscoring Denver’s position as a leading city for business success. We’re proud to celebrate the latest premier office space to take shape at one of Denver’s many transit-oriented development sites.”


Completed in September 2020, this sleek 385,000-square-foot Class AA Design Build and it's custom...READ MORE


Public Policy Corner

August 2021 Public Policy Update
By Kathie Barstnar, Executive Director, NAIOP Colorado

The Colorado General Assembly adjourned on June 8 after 116 days. This session has been described as one of the most controversial in recent memory and many in the business community believe the impacts will be felt for many years. Click Here for a recap of all the bills that NAIOP worked on in 2021.  A couple of the key bills were:

  1. HB21-1286 Energy-Use Benchmarking and Performance Standards for Buildings: This is one of the bills on which NAIOP Colorado secured a significant victory. At the beginning of the session it appeared that this bill would sail through as drafted. As introduced it would have required owners of buildings 50,000 sf or greater all across the state to benchmark their energy usage AND reduce such energy use by 15% by 2026 with additional reductions being designated by the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) every five years until 2040. Additionally, it would have required severe penalties for non-compliance including a $.02 per sf per day fine until compliance is achieved. NAIOP, along with a wide coalition of other building related organizations opposed this bill as overreaching and too aggressive. After significant testimony in opposition and a threat by the House Republicans to filibuster the bill, sponsors met with our industry representatives and an agreement to pivot the bill to a task force was forged. READ MORE
The New Normal Series

New Normal Series Focuses on Future of RE Development

By Jodi McCulloch, Business Development Manager, Crosslands Company

On Wednesday, August 18, NAIOP Colorado hosted the first panel in its Education Series. This year’s them is “Post-COVID and The New Normal”. Our first panel, “The New Normal: Psychological and Behavioral Patterns”, hosted by Katie Donahue, Associate, Handel Architects was a great way to kick off this series.


Panelists included:  JJ Ament, CEO, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation; Dr. Angela Loder, Vice President, Research at International WELL Building Institute; and Sarah Le Tourneur, Partner/Principal, EY Americas.


JJ shared that it is the talent and people of Denver that attract companies to the area. Industries of growth in Denver include Aerospace, Bio Science, Financial services, Aviation, Broadcast and Telecommunications, Healthcare and Wellness, Food and Beverage, Energy, and IT Software. READ MORE

Member Spotlight

Jeff Goldman
Company: Antonoff & Co. Brokerage, Inc.
Title: Associate Broker
NAIOP Involvement: Programs Committee

Number of Years in CRE: 7
CRE Experience: Industrial Broker; Tenant Rep for Land Acquisition and Investment Properties; Retail Leasing.

Jeff recently moved back to Denver from Savannah, GA where he was an advisor with NAI Mopper/Benton for the 4th largest Industrial Port in the U.S. Learn More about Jeff. 

Max Marcum Headshot

Maxwell Marcum
Company: Marcum Commercial Advisors
Title: Senior Advisor
NAIOP Involvement: Developing Leaders Committee

Number of Years in CRE: 5
CRE Experience: Prior Marketing and Research Associate for Chrisland Real Estate; joined Marcum Commercial in 2015. 


Max was recently promoted to Senior Advisor at Marcum Commercial in January of 2021 and he looks forward to growing and developing Marcum as a competitive presence locally. Learn More about Max. 

Get Noticed: Submit your NAIOP Member Spotlight Form to be featured in an upcoming Chapter Newsletter.

  • Denyse Airheart, Bryan Construction
  • Silas Campbell, Boyd Watterson Asset Management
  • Shari Canon, Boyd Watterson Asset Management
  • Nikki A. Carpenter, Boyd Watterson Asset Management
  • Victoria Chapman, First Integrity Title Company
  • Todd Cooper, Dynamic National, Inc.
  • Alexander J. Goldberg, Page Southerland Page
  • Maxine Hepfer, International Capital, Inc.
  • Timothy O. Horne, Boyd Watterson Asset Management
  • Kris Kucharski, Prologis
  • Peter Liebman, Boyd Watterson Asset Management
  • Bennett C. Miller, University of Colorado
  • Jack Oberg, University of Colorado
  • Christopher Rodgers, DeVry University
    Matthew Stewart, L.C. Fulenwider, Inc.
  • Travis W. Sytsma, Dynamic National, Inc.
  • Della Wegman, Boyd Watterson Asset Management

Upcoming Events

September 9
DL Leadership Spotlight feat. Ryan Good


September 15

New Normal Series: Industrial and Retail


September 15

DL Mentor Program Happy Hour


September 16

DL Volunteer Day and Happy Hour


September 21
Building Confidence in Return-to-Work Force Webinar

September 27 - 29

CRE.Converge 2021


September 30

Real Estate on the Rocks at Junction Food & Drink


October 5
Project Tour & Case Study: Lakehouse


October 7
DL Leadership Spotlight feat. Katie Kruger


October 12

Shaping the Workplace Webinar


October 20
New Normal Series: Office, Multifamily & Senior Housing


October 28

NAIOP Fight Night 2021 at Social Capitol, presented by Fidelity National Title National Commercial Services


November 11 - 12
I.CON East 2021: The Industrial Conference


Coming Soon to the NEW NAIOP Colorado Monthly Newsletter!

  • Construction Corner Featured Projects - highlight your upcoming or completed project!
  • Job Postings
  • Dedicated Advertisements
  • Members on the Move
  • Industry News Features

Interested in more exposure for you, your project or your company, contact us at [email protected].

SUSTAINING SPONSORS | Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP | Transwestern | SUPPORTING SPONSORS | Polsinelli, PC | Alcorn Construction | Interior Environments | ROCKY MOUNTAIN REAL ESTATE CHALLENGE | Land Title Guarantee Company - Major Sponsor | Town of Minturn - Project Sponsor | Opus Foundation - Scholarship Sponsor | Brue • Baukol Capital Partners - Supporting | Alpine Bank - Kick-Off | DEVELOPING LEADERS PROGRAM | First American Title - NCS - Major Sponsor | CoStar Group, Inc. - Sustaining | Essex Financial Group | Barton Properties - Supporting | FIGHT NIGHT TITLE SPONSOR | Fidelity National Title National Commercial Services| CONSTRUCTION CORNER SPONSOR | The Weitz Company | MARKETING SUPPORT | Small Giants, LLC | MEDIA SPONSOR | Colorado Real Estate Journal | CHAPTER SPONSORS | Arch-Con Corporation | Brinkman Constructors | Brookfield Properties | Calcon Constructors, Inc. | Capstone Companies | CBRE | Citywide Banks | Confluent Development | Conscience Bay Company | Denison Parking | DPC Companies| Eide Bailly LLP | Evergreen Devco, Inc. | FirstBank | Flywheel Capital | Golub & Company | Granite Properties | Hines | Hogan Lovells US LLP | Holland & Hart LLP | JP Morgan Chase | Kirkpatrick Bank | LBA Realty | LCP Development | Lincoln Property Company | Lowe | Majestic Realty Co. | Marcus & Millichap | Messner Reeves LLP | Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation | Milender White | MTech Mechanical | Newmark |  Opus Development Company L.L.C. | Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti, P.C. | Pinnacle Real Estate Advisors, LLC | Prime West | Prologis | RMR Real Estate Services | Stream Realty Partners | Swinerton | Taylor Kohrs | Trammel Crow Company | U.S. Bank Commercial Real Estate | UMB Bank | United Properties | Xcel Energy

View the full list of sponsors at






Contact Us: 303.782.0155 I [email protected] I
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@Copyright NAIOP Colorado 2021. All rights reserved.


Deals Happen Here

At NAIOP Colorado, we bring together relationships, resources and informed insights to get business done while helping Colorado develop in a responsible way. We keep our eyes open for unexpected business opportunities and innovative partnerships. We initiate and build key conversations. And we bring the right people to the table at the right time to make deals happen here.


March 28, 2023 | Submitted by Sage Strever

An affiliate of Denver-based DPC Companies, who is a long-term investor in Colorado Springs, New Northpark LLC, announces the sale of their industrial asset located at 4710 Northpark Drive.  Sitting on 4 acres, the property includes the fully leased 76,500 square foot former Coors distribution building, with an additional 2,400 square foot out-building. 

New Northpark purchased the property in 2016 and made significant improvements.  After two well-known companies leased the buildings, New Northpark decided to market the property for sale.  Michael Helwege with Core Commercial Brokerage Company, representing broker, along with his brokerage partner Parker Curry, listed the property for sale last July.  A long time Colorado investor contracted to purchase in October, and the sale closed on February 10, 2023.  Justin Lutgen, DPC’s Chief Investment Officer oversaw the project and directed the sale process.

“While the Northpark asset is a very good building with a great location, our business plan was always to improve, lease and sell as an investment.” comments Chris King, President and CEO of DPC Companies.   “With the building stabilized with 100% occupancy, it made sense to pass on the investment to an owner with long term ownership objectives. Colorado Springs is attractive to business and very supportive, and we will likely deploy our investment into another local value opportunity asset.”

DPC is well known for their office, industrial and retail portfolio, with over 4 million square feet under ownership and management.  Since its inception in 1986, and headquartered in Denver, the Company has a long history of owning properties in Colorado Springs and surrounding communities.





Central Connection | Denver, Colorado

In December 2020, Comunale Properties completed Central Connection, a 200,000 square foot, two building, infill development project located in the North Central industrial market. The project had immediate leasing success and was delivered 76% preleased – a record lease up for a speculative industrial project in the submarket – and achieved 100% occupancy shortly after delivery.  The project’s success was only possible after completing an intensive entitlement process.

Prior to embarking on Central Connection, Comunale Properties completed a 70,000 square foot build-to-suit in the same submarket and was eager to grow its footprint in the area.  Brandon Kramer, First Vice President Investments at Marcus & Millichap and a long-standing NAIOP member, began marketing the land that would eventually make up the Central Connection project and thought of John Comunale (a NAIOP member and future member of the board of directors) and the company’s recent success in the area, which had also required a rezoning process. The sales process for the site was very competitive with a “whose who” of developers submitting offers.  The Seller had operated the site as commercial greenhouses and knew the buyer would have to rezone the land from agricultural to industrial to successfully develop the site into an industrial park.  Despite the stiff competition, Comunale was awarded the deal as a result of their strong relationship with Brandon Kramer through NAIOP and the credibility built from their previous project.  The Seller knew they needed a buyer who was knowledgeable of the area’s rezoning process and flexible with timing to navigate the process.  

John Comunale, President of Comunale Properties, said, “Our relationship with Brandon allowed us to be able to meet with the Seller and tell our story as a well-capitalized family company with recent success in the area.  Had I not been involved with NAIOP, Brandon wouldn’t have known about our success with a similar project in the area and I don’t think we would have been awarded the project.”  The Seller appreciated that Comunale was also a family company and not a large institution, as navigating the entitlement process would take relationship building with the neighbors and local community.  On top of that, Comunale and the Seller had to quickly develop trust to work closely as a team in navigating two neighborhood meetings and four public hearings to receive the necessary entitlements for a successful development project. 

Comunale prides itself on being a local operator that is plugged into the community. Without the relationships made through NAIOP it would be difficult to have a competitive advantage over the well-capitalized national developers targeting Denver’s growth. Investors often target the same return profiles which leads to competitive deal flow. As such, a successful deal comes down to maintaining strong relationships and credibility in the market, assuring the public you have the proven expertise to undertake complicated projects. For Comunale, NAIOP has been a great facilitator of those relationships.

724 S Pearl Street | Denver, Colorado

On December 1, 2021, five NAIOP Colorado members collaborated on the successful close of an office building purchase in West Washington Park (“Wash Park”).  In June 2021, SC & Hansen Certified Public Accountants along with Flywheel Capital were actively in the market for an office building in South Denver that the two companies could cohabitate.  After looking at several buildings from South Broadway to Cherry Creek the duo identified 724 S. Pearl Street in Wash Park.  The 5,000 square foot two story building is within two miles of the managing partners residences.  It is also within walking distance of Wash Park, Vert Kitchen, and Kentucky Inn, which is a long standing local bar and grill (one of the most important features).  After some early conversations with other banks, Ian Nichols, Senior Director at Flywheel Capital, thought this acquisition would be better suited for a smaller local community bank.  

In September 2021, Ian reached out to Shane Mahoney, SVP Commercial Banking Relationship Manager with Community Banks of Colorado, a division of NBH Bank.  Ian and Shane have been acquaintances through NAIOP Colorado for years and both serve on its Board of Directors.  After working through underwriting with Shane and his team the group agreed to terms on outstanding long-term owner-occupied debt on the property.  Luke Davidson and Mindy Humphrey of Land Title provided the title services.  Also, with one final NAIOP twist, Justin Pless from Pless Law completed the legal work for both parties. 

SC & Hansen and Flywheel Capital will be moving in in late December 2021 after a light remodel.  This acquisition is truly an example of how NAIOP members collaborate in a real world commercial real estate business setting.


Public Policy Corner

Learn more about NAIOP Colorado's efforts to advance public policy that protects and encourages responsible, sustainable development that creates jobs and benefits the communities in which our members work and live. 


Public Policy Update: 2023 Colorado Legislative Recap

Submitted by Wade Warthen and Kathie Barstnar - May 2023, Posted August 2023

Colorado’s General Assembly officially concluded the 2023 Legislative Session on Monday, May 8th. The CRE community faced several challenging pieces of legislation during the session.

Despite the odds, NAIOP and the CRE community in general had several successful outcomes this year, thanks to the help of several testifying members, our Executive Director, Kathie Barstnar, and our lobbyist, Erin Goff, from Husch Blackwell Strategies. Metro districts were under attack, but we managed to stave off HB-1090 and pass SB-110 instead. We also fought off an attempt to repeal the statutory prohibition against local governments imposing rent control. A governmental right of first refusal affecting certain multi-family properties, HB-1190, was passed over our opposition, but we were successful in obtaining several amendments, making that bill less onerous.

The General Assembly killed SB-213, a major overhaul of Colorado’s local government land use system. The bill would have imposed state mandates and stripped local governments of their authority over land use and zoning. The measure died on the calendar after negotiations between local government supporters and those pursuing a statewide solution failed to find a compromise between the Senate and House versions of the bill.

The final days of the session saw the quick introduction and passage of SB-303 concerning property tax relief and corresponding TABOR adjustments. That bill triggers a voter approval measure on the November ballot to become effective.

The key bills NAIOP actively lobbied this session are listed below, along with brief descriptions and status.


SB-110: Transparency for Metro Districts. This bill requires that:

  • an organizing metropolitan district include maximum mill levy and debt issuance in a service plan submitted for approval to municipalities and counties;
  • beginning 2023, active metropolitan districts that have residential units and were organized after January 1, 2020, conduct an annual meeting with information about outstanding projects and debt, and allow for questions from the public;
  • prior to issuing debt to a director of a metropolitan district on or after January 1, 2024, a registered municipal advisor certifies that the debt’s interest rate, prior to issuing debt, is the lesser of the current market interest rate or the AAA general obligation municipal bond rate plus 400 basis points; and
  • sellers of residential property located within a metropolitan district provide the purchaser with the official website established by the metropolitan district.

Signed by the Governor.

HB-1005: New Energy Improvement Program Changes. The Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (C-PACE) allows certain property owners to obtain financing for new energy improvements, resiliency, and water efficiency improvements. Signed by the Governor.

HB-1023: Special District Construction Contracts. This bill increases the threshold for public notice of bids to $120,000 or more and is adjusted for inflation every 5 years. Signed by the Governor.

HB-1184: Low Income Housing Property Tax Exemptions. This bill expands an existing property tax exemption for vacant land held by a nonprofit organization to build and sell affordable housing units beginning in the 2024 property tax year. The bill also deems certain land held by community land trusts and nonprofit affordable homeownership developers as being used strictly for charitable purposes and therefore, constitutionally exempt from property tax.

HB-1255: Regulate Local Housing Growth Restrictions. This bill prohibits a local government from enforcing or enacting any local housing growth restriction. In the event of a declared disaster emergency, the local government may enact a temporary growth restriction for no more than one year after the disaster declaration.

SB-35: Middle Income Housing Authority. The bill clarifies that the Middle-Income Housing Authority Under has the power to enter into public-private partnerships and specifies that the affordable rental housing component of a public-private partnership is exempt from state and local taxation, among other changes.

SB-175: Financing of Downtown Development Authority Projects. This bill allows municipalities to adopt 20-year extensions for property tax increment financing arrangements for downtown development authorities, following an initial 30-year period and a one-time 20-year extension under current law. The bill continues a default split of incremental revenue, with 50 percent allocated to the municipality that established the DDA and 50 percent allocated to other governmental entities that levy property taxes within the boundary of the DDA. The bill also requires that the base value of the DDA advance by one year during each year of the automatic and recurring 20-year extension periods.

SB-304: Property Tax Valuation. This bill makes changes to the valuation of property by county assessors. The bill requires that assessors consider the following when determining a property’s actual value: current use; existing zoning or government land use, environmental regulations and restrictions; multiyear leases or other contractual agreements affecting the use of or income from the property; easements and reservations of record; and covenants, conditions, and restrictions of record.



HB-1090: Limit Metro District Director Conflicts. This bill would have prohibited a metropolitan district director or board member who approved the issuance of debt from acquiring any interest in the debt individually, or on behalf of an organization.

HB-1115: Repeal Prohibition Local Residential Rent. This bill was an attempt to repeal current law prohibiting a local government from enacting laws that control rent on private residential real property, or private residential housing.

HB-1118: Fair Workweek Employment Standards. This bill attempted to create new labor standards and requirements for employers in the food and beverage establishment, food and beverage manufacturer, and retail establishment sectors related to employee work schedules and wages.

HB-1171: Just Cause Requirement for Eviction of Residential Tenant. This bill attempted to create a “Just Cause Eviction Policy,” to apply to all residential premises in the state, except short-term rental properties, owner-occupied properties, and mobile home spaces, prohibiting a landlord from evicting a tenant unless there is just cause, as defined in the bill or certain no-fault exceptions, with conditions attached.



HB-1190: Affordable Housing Right of First Refusal. This bill creates the right of first refusal (ROFR), with certain exemptions, for local governments to purchase multi-unit residential properties for long-term affordable housing. Local governments are given the right to purchase a qualifying property for an economically substantially identical offer to an offer that a residential seller receives. Any purchase or sale agreement for the conveyance of a qualifying property is contingent on the first refusal of the municipality or county where the property is located. Qualifying properties include any multifamily or mixed-use property consisting of 10 or more residential units in urban counties, and five or more residential units in rural or rural resort counties, and only include buildings 30 years or older. Residential sellers must notify the local government of the price, terms, and conditions of an acceptable offer the seller has received, or for which the seller has entered into a contingent purchase and sale agreement with a prospective buyer. The timelines for notice, offer, and ultimate closing on the property were amended down to approximately 90 days with the local government required to assert its intent to exercise the right of first refusal within seven days, make an offer within 21 additional days and close within 60 additional days. The bill was amended to sunset in 5 years.

HB-1161: Environmental Standards for Appliances. This bill expands the list of appliances subject to statutory Water and Energy Efficiency Standards. The bill phases in prohibitions on the manufacture, distribution, or sale of certain fluorescent lights and heating appliances. The Air Quality Control Commission is required to lower the emission limits for new water heaters, boilers, and certain furnaces by 2029.

SB-184: Protections for Residential Tenants. This bill limits landlords from using certain financial and rental history information about prospective tenants during the rental application process, and places other requirements on landlords concerning rental applications. Specifically, under the bill, a landlord must:

  • not inquire about the amount of income, except to verify that it exceeds 200 percent of annual rent, or credit score, if an applicant uses a housing subsidy;
  • not inquire about income for applicants not using a housing subsidy except to determine whether annual income equals or exceed 200 percent of annual rent;
  • not require applicant income greater than 200 percent of annual rent if an applicant is not using a housing subsidy.

Violations of these provisions constitute an unfair housing practice, with remedies allowed by law. Additionally, landlords are liable for an initial penalty of $50 to an aggrieved party for violations, and another statutory penalty of $2,500 if a violation is not cured within seven calendar days. Finally, the bill prohibits landlords from charging a security deposit greater than two months’ rent, and nothing in the bill precludes a landlord from gathering necessary financial information to verify that a tenant’s income meets requirements for income-restricted rental units if the landlord receives funding from an entity that requires such verification.


SB-273: Agricultural Land in Urban Renewal Areas. This bill limits the inclusion of agricultural land within an urban renewal area. The bill specifies that the land may only be included in a URA if it remains in the same URA in which it was originally included, or modified to include it, prior to June 1, 2010. Thus, agricultural land that was included in an expiring URA prior to June 1, 2010, is prohibited from being included in newly formed URAs. NAIOP is requesting the Governor to veto SB-273.

SB-291: Utility Regulation. The bill makes a number of changes to how utilities set rates and recover costs from consumers. It also commissions two studies and directs the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) to adopt rules regarding rate filings, cost recovery limitations and natural gas infrastructure. The PUC must establish, by rule, mechanisms to align the financial incentives of investor-owned gas utilities with customers regarding fuel costs, including a mechanism to incentivize electricity production cost efficiency by January 1, 2025. The bill prohibits gas utilities from offering incentives to property owners for establishing new gas service and depending on what rules are adopted by the PUC, gas utilities may not charge a customer a fee or penalty for terminating gas service. The PUC must also investigate how residential development drives natural gas infrastructure costs.

SB-303: Reduce Property Taxes & Voter-Approved Revenue Change. This bill refers a ballot measure (“Proposition HH”) to voters at the November 2023 election. If approved, the bill allows the state to retain and spend revenue in excess of the current limit (“Referendum C cap”). With voter approval, the bill creates a new limit (“Proposition HH cap”). Revenue retained in excess of the Referendum C cap, up to the Proposition HH cap, is deposited in a newly created account, to be first used to reimburse local governments (“backfill”) for their lost property tax revenue as a result of the assessment rate and value reductions. Lost property tax revenue that results from reduced mill levies are not reimbursed. Second, the bill transfers five percent of the amount retained under Proposition HH or $20 million, whichever is smaller, to the Housing Development Grant Fund. Any retained amount remaining after reimbursements and such transfer is transferred to the State Education Fund. Money transferred to that fund must not supplant General Fund appropriations for school finance. The bill creates a limit for local property taxes beginning in property tax year 2023, excluding school districts and home rule cities and counties, unless the district adopts a resolution or ordinance to exceed it. Under the bill, growth in revenue is limited to the rate of inflation in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Consumer Price Index. The bill includes several exceptions when calculating the limit including revenue from new construction. The bill makes temporary assessment rate reductions for residential property classes and expands reductions in valuation. Under the bill, a dollar amount set in statute may be subtracted from a property’s market valuation before application of the assessment rate. The bill creates two new subclasses of residential property for owner-occupied primary residences and qualified-senior primary residences. The new subclasses are effective beginning with the 2025 property tax year. The bill makes temporary assessment rate reductions for most nonresidential property classes.



HB-1233: Electric Vehicle Charging & Parking Requirements. This bill includes a number of provisions concerning electric vehicle charging stations, including electric code requirements, local parking regulations, property tax provisions, and potential charging stations at rest areas. The State Electrical Board must adopt rules requiring that applicants for an electrical permit must comply with the Model Electric Ready and Solar Ready Code, which requires multifamily buildings to have charging equipment installed. These rules are effective March 1, 2024. Local governments may decide whether to apply existing codes or the new rules to development that is already permitted. The bill prohibits a lease agreement or a homeowner’s association from preventing a resident from installing an electric vehicle charging station on parking spaces that are assigned or otherwise available to the resident. It further prohibits parking restrictions for plug-in vehicles. The bill specifies how parking spaces served by charging stations must be counted towards local government minimum parking requirements. It also prohibits local governments from prohibiting the installation or utilization of charging stations except when addressing safety concerns. From tax years 2023 through 2029, electric vehicle charging stations are exempt from property tax.



SB-213: Land Use. This bill died on the calendar. The bill would have made significant changes to local requirements for model codes, density requirements, and requirements for planning assessments, with the stated goal of increasing access to affordable housing. It is expected that Governor Polis will call a special session for the Legislature to reconsider this bill.

As introduced, the bill would have imposed top-down zoning and land use standards on municipalities, creating multiple “uses by right”, including accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on single-family lots, middle housing anywhere the municipality allows single-unit detached dwelling units, and minimum density standards in certain areas.

As amended by the Senate, the bill was made more palatable, though still not desirable. Most notably, the Senate reengrossed version included the following changes:

  • Removed most land use and zoning preemptions;
  • Mandated municipalities to adopt affordability strategies; and
  • Removed legislative declarations that attempted to establish traditionally local matters as being of mixed state and local concern.


As amended by the House, the bill was largely returned to its original form—preemptions on zoning authority and mandates for ADUs were amended back in, as was multifamily housing in transit-oriented areas. Counties would be subject to mandates of upzoning in transit areas, although middle housing mandates were not added back in. Additionally, the House

  • Reinserted prohibitions on common interest communities/HOAs regarding ADUs and multifamily housing in key corridors and transit areas; and
  • Reinserted preemptions of planned unit developments regarding ADUs and multifamily housing in key corridors and transit areas.

 Special thanks go out to Husch Blackwell Strategies for their contributions to this article.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact NAIOP Colorado Executive Director Kathie Barstnar

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Public Policy Alert: Governor Polis vetoes affordable housing bill

Submitted by Kathie Barstnar, NAIOP Colorado Executive Director
Posted June 7, 2023

Last night Governor Polis vetoed HB23-1190. This bill would have given cities and counties and their designees the right to step in when the owner of an apartment property has agreed to sell it and take possession instead if it offers “substantially” the same price (Right of First Refusal). The stated intent of the bill was to preserve below-market-rate housing. However, the unintended consequences of the bill were many and significant. An assessment by CoStar estimated HB23-1190 would create a 3.23% cumulative decrease in the value of Colorado commercial real estate, equivalent to the loss of $1.57 Billion in value in what’s now a $48 billion market.

We had received calls from out of state Investment Firms and REIT’s expressing their hesitancy to invest in Colorado if this bill were signed into law. One firm reported pulling out of a deal in process due to the passage of HB23-1190.

Governor Polis understood the challenges that this bill would create. Read the Governor's Veto Letter which explains his thinking.

This bill and others like it will be back in the 2024 legislative session. Our plan is to be involved in the drafting of those to ensure that these types of unintended consequences are identified early and addressed. Housing (both affordable and attainable) in Colorado is an urgent need. Creating and sustaining this housing in ways that don’t add costs is imperative.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact NAIOP Colorado Executive Director Kathie Barstnar

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Public Policy Corner Update for March 2023

By Chris Alcorn, Alcorn Construction 

The Public Policy Committee along with Chair Chris Alcorn, Executive Director Kathie Barstnar, and our lobbying firm Husch Blackwell are hard at work on behalf of NAIOP members as the legislative session is in in full swing.

The committee recently voted to support four bills:

  • HB-1005 New Energy Improvement Program Changes - Adds resiliency improvements and water efficiency improvements to the list of energy efficiency improvements eligible for C-PACE funding.
  • HB23-1023 Special District Construction Contracts – Raises the requirement for notice on special district construction bids from $60,000 to $120,000 with adjustment for inflation every 5 years.
  • SB23-035 Middle-Income Housing Authority Act – Clarifies how the middle-income housing authority can enter into public-private partnerships.
  • SB23-110 Transparency for Metropolitan Districts – Many of the bills aimed at metro districts would jeopardize their existence as a means for developers to provide public infrastructure and spread the cost to homes and buildings.  The bill aims to solve the issues claimed by those that would eliminate metro districts by adding transparency and accountability to the metro district process and was written by pro-business and pro-real estate stake holders.

And to Oppose three bills:

  • HB23-1090 Limit Metropolitan District Director Conflicts – This bill would eliminate many metro districts by not allowing developers (people with “conflicts of interest”) to purchase the debt in the early phases of a project when the debt has very little value to anyone other than the developer and investors.
  • HB23-1115 Repeal Prohibition Local Residential Rent Control – This is a very dangerous bill that seeks to repeal the Colorado’s current statutory ban on rent control, which would allow counties and municipalities to enact ordinances to control rent in private residential property.
  • HB23-1161 Environmental Standards for Appliances – This bill controls many appliances, but appears to be a back-handed way to eliminate the use of gas appliances in the state by requiring appliance to meet point of use emissions standards that gas appliances cannot meet.

You can access the full list of bills at the NAIOP bill tracker:

Our Public Policy goals for the year continue to be to advocate on behalf of members, to communicate our mission and actions better to our members, and to develop a more robust fundraising program in order to maximize the impact of our efforts on the political process in Colorado.

Our next meeting is Wednesday, February 22nd at 11:30 at the NAIOP offices.  Please reach out to Chris or Kathie to have the invitation added to your calendar if you would like to join us.

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Energize Denver and Building Performance Update

By Kathie Barstnar, NAIOP

The Energize Denver Performance Requirements updated regulations were adopted on November 17, 2022, originally passed by City Council on November 21, 2021. The ordinance establishes energy use intensity (EUI) targets for commercial and multifamily buildings 25,000 square feet and larger, prescriptive measures for buildings 5,000-25,000 sq. ft., and electrification updates to building code over time. The purpose of these new requirements is to push buildings towards net zero emissions by 2040 through increased energy efficiency, electrification, and renewable energy adoption. 

Energize Denver is launching a new website with technical guidance, resources, and vendor training videos for the performance requirements in December. New compliance notices with building’ performance targets will be mailed/emailed in early January 2023.  

The Energize Denver team is hosting a 2-part webinar series in December to delve into the technical details of the performance requirements: 

  • Register for Part 1 on December 7 from 12 – 1:30 p.m. MT on background of the ordinance, equity considerations, setting 2030 targets, target adjustments, an electrification credit, and the renewables credit. 

  • Register for Part 2 on December 15, 12:00 – 1:30pm MT on alternate compliance options and their minimum requirements, performance evaluation, and penalty assessments. Updates on manufacturing, agricultural, and industrial buildings, and the small building prescriptive requirements.

Please visit the Energize Denver Hub for more information. If you require further assistance, please contact the Hub at (844)-536-4528 or at [email protected].  

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March 2022 Public Policy Update - Energize Denver Building Energy Performance Requirement

By Brie MartinDirector of Property Management, Prime West Real Estate Services, LLC

Since the adoption of the Energize Denver Building Energy Performance Requirement, I’ve spent a lot of time explaining to clients the details of the initiative, what it means to building owners, and how we can plan for it over the next 5-10 years. The ordinance defines Net Zero Energy as highly energy efficient, all electric, provider of demand flexibility to the grid, and powered by renewable electricity. This really means two things for building owners: site EUI (Energy Use Intensity) reduction and electrification of space and water heating systems.

The ordinance establishes requirements for all buildings in the City of Denver over 5,000 square feet, which is important to note as smaller buildings had previously been exempted from various ordinances. The purpose of this ordinance is to push towards net zero emissions by 2040, therefore requiring all buildings to do their part. The first main target year is 2030, with the goal to reach 30% energy savings across all large buildings in the City of Denver. An essential component to this 30% reduction is the phased in approach of partial electrification to space and water heating systems by 2027. The ordinance does allow building owners to request an alternate timeline as long as the same end goals are maintained.

The City of Denver will provide guided assistance to support both aspects of this ordinance. One support mechanism is a resource component on their website that will be added sometime during 2022. This resource will include a performance portal, how-to-guide, checklists, education, and financial assistance, among other components. The second mechanism is working alongside city building code and permitting to help incentivize replacement of equipment within the timeline specified through the ordinance.

The first step for all building owners is to understand the 2030 target EUI for building type, site EUI for the specific asset, useful life of space and water heating systems, and if all lighting is or has been converted to LED. The next step is to compile a 5-10 year compliance or maintenance program for their asset. 

Most building budgets are created in the third quarter of the preceding year, therefore waiting for the resource hub to be complete may create a tricky timing obstacle. Gathering as much information about your building over the next year will help to determine when and how capital money should be spent. 

The 2030 target EUI for building type (buildings 25,000 sq ft and higher) can be found on the Energize Denver Hub website. As an example, buildings deemed to be office have a 2030 EUI target of 48.3. Keep in mind that interim targets for 2024 and 2027 will be building specific and mailed out to owners in March 2022. A building’s site EUI can be found on the Energy Star Portfolio Manager. This will help building owners and property managers to create realistic timelines for each asset. As owners and property managers await the interim target guidelines, it is important to begin the process (if one does not already exist) of understanding what mechanical components in your building are not electrified and when their useful life expires. It would also be beneficial to complete a simple ASHRAE Level 1 Energy Audit which can run around $5,000 or more depending on the size of your asset. If no equipment is reaching the end of their useful life over the next 8 years, other means of achieving the target site EUI will need to be completed. An ASHRAE audit will help to compile possible energy saving components, which include high level energy saving estimates and costs.

Buildings 5,000 sq ft - 25,000 sq ft have a simpler method to contribute to the cause, although all buildings are required to partially electrify space and water heating systems upon system replacement. They must either install all LED lights or install solar panels. The smaller the building, the longer the building owner will have to comply, with the last year being the interim target of 2027. If an owner chooses to go the route of an LED upgrade, one item that will need to be considered is whether the current fixtures are LED bulb compatible or if upgrading to LED fixtures will be the route that needs to be taken. 

The City of Denver and the Task Force is continually learning from the process and will re-evaluate alternative compliance options, technological advancements, targets and timelines as we move throughout this process.  As items are re-evaluated, it is important to lean on local resources to stay in the loop.  The Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency (CASR) is staffing up to implement these programs.  If you have questions before the help center is up and running, don’t hesitate to reach out to Sharon Jaye, CASR Energize Denver Policy Manager ([email protected]) or Daniel Rayner, CASR Buildings Policy Outreach Administrator ([email protected]). 

NAIOP Colorado continues to monitor the rules and regulations as they are developed and adjusted to ensure they meet the direction of the Energize Denver Task Force to include flexibility and options to help us all move from aspiration to implementation.

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March 2022 Public Policy Update - NAIOP Advocating for Greater Flexibility on Denver’s Affordable Housing Proposal 

By Caitlin QuanderPartner at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

As you may be aware, the City & County of Denver is in the process of adopting new regulations intended to create more affordable housing options and increasing funding for Denver’s Affordable Housing Fund. The proposal, which is also known as Expanding Housing Affordability (EHA), focuses on two main areas: 

  • Requiring new residential development of 10 units or more to designate between 8% and 12% of the units as affordable, regardless of whether the home is for rent or for sale. In higher-cost areas of the city, such as downtown, developers would need to provide 2% to 3% more affordable units. 
  • Gradually increasing the “linkage fee,” which is a fee on development used to build and preserve affordable housing for people with lower incomes. Projects providing affordable housing are not subject to linkage fees. 

Over the past year, NAIOP has been working diligently on your behalf to provide data-driven, pragmatic feedback on the draft proposal. Because of our advocacy efforts, city staff has already made the following changes: 

  • Phasing in linkage fee increases over a three-year period to allow the market to adapt. The original proposal would have applied the 200%-900% linkage fee increases shortly after the ordinance is approved. 
  • Cut the linkage fee increases nearly in half for all industrial development. 
  • Exempted ground floor retail from all linkage fees. 

In order to be grandfathered under the current linkage fees and requirements, projects must meet the following milestones under Site Development Plan (SDP) review: 

  • Concept SDP submitted by June 30, 2022; AND
  • Final SDP approved by August 30, 2023 (14-month window)

This 14-month window is based on median review times for concept and final SDP approvals. Based on other peer cities and as we are already seeing in Denver, SDP submittals have increased and thus review times are likely to follow suit. Therefore, NAIOP is working hard to advocate on your behalf for flexibility for projects that are moving through the review process in good faith. 

Over the next few months, City Council and the Mayor need to hear directly from you too! Please consider calling or emailing your City Council representative and the Mayor’s staff on this important issue.   

Click HERE to contact City Council members.

Contact the Mayor’s Office by reaching out to his staff: Analiese Hock ([email protected]) and Brad Weinig ([email protected])  

It’s important to note that our industry is committed to being a part of the affordable housing solution in Denver, but will not overlook the importance of limiting the potential unintended consequences still imbedded within the proposal. The city will continue to take in feedback between now and anticipated adoption of the proposal in June of 2022.  

Have questions or feedback, please contact Caitlin Quander at [email protected]

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January 2022 Public Policy Update 

By Erin GoffPrincipal at Husch Blackwell Strategies

The second regular session of the 73rd General Assembly of the State of Colorado is set to begin on Wednesday, January 12. While Democrats remain in control with a 41-24 majority in the House and a 20-15 majority in the Senate, it promises to be an interesting session with the 2022 election looming in the wake of the recent redistricting. 

As is the case every year, NAIOP Colorado will be present at the state capitol actively advocating on behalf of its members. While many issues impact the commercial real estate industry, following are a few that have already appeared on our radar, and with which we are actively involved:

Brownfields Tax Credit

The environmental remediation tax credit (Brownfields Tax Credit) is set to expire on January 1, 2023. NAIOP is working with a coalition of supporters and users of this tax credit on a bill to extend the tax credit another 10 years (through 2033) and increase the annual cap from three million to seven million dollars. This will likely be a late bill as the state auditor’s office has not completed the review of the tax credit. That report is scheduled to be available sometime in January. 

Premises Liability

Last year, a large and diverse coalition came together to educate the legislature regarding the ramifications for all landowners caused by the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision in Wagner v. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. NAIOP was and remains a member of this coalition. The plan in 2021 was to introduce a bill that would reject this decision with respect to the tests of foreseeability and proximate cause applicable to claims brought under the Colorado Premises Liability Act (the Act). The intent of the bill being to establish the tests of foreseeability and proximate cause courts should apply in cases brought under the Act. While this effort did not gain enough traction last year to get a bill introduced, the coalition now has committed bipartisan House and Senate sponsors. A bill title has been secured and drafting should begin soon. 

Affordable Housing 

During the 2021 Legislative session the legislature created a number of interim committees and task forces. One of these, the Affordable Housing Transformational Task Force, was tasked with making recommendations to the legislature regarding how to spend the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds dedicated to affordable housing. In addition to the task force, a subpanel was appointed that includes a variety of community members (non-legislators) representing different housing interests. This subpanel made recommendations to the task force which in turn will make recommendations to the legislature. The ultimate allocation of these funds will be drafted into a bill or bills and must go through the legislative process like any other bill.  

Throughout the interim there has been much discussion (both in and outside of these task force meetings) about the local government-imposed hurdles that developers must overcome in order to build affordable housing. Colorado is a strong home-rule state which prevents our state legislature from placing mandates on local governments when it comes to planning and zoning. However, it is likely that we’ll see legislation come out of this task force’s work that creates incentives for developers and local governments to prioritize density. A significant sum of the ARPA funds could be directed toward grands and low-interest loans meant to encourage developers and local governments to build or preserve affordable units. As always, NAIOP will look for opportunities to push for additional construction defects reform that will further facilitate and encourage the development of affordable for-sale multi-family housing.

An adage often heard at the state capitol “if you are not at the table, you are on the menu” is absolutely true. If you do not know who your state Senator or Representative is, look them up here: The NAIOP Public Policy Committee meets twice a month during the legislative session. 

For more information regarding the Chapter's Public Policy efforts, please reach out to Public Policy Chair Chris Alcorn or NAIOP Executive Director Kathie Barstnar

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August 2021 Public Policy Update 

By Kathie Barstnar, Executive Director, NAIOP Colorado

The Colorado General Assembly adjourned on June 8 after 116 days. This session has been described as one of the most controversial in recent memory and many in the business community believe the impacts will be felt for many years. Click Here for a recap of all the bills that NAIOP worked on in 2021.  A couple of the key bills were:

  1. HB21-1286 Energy-Use Benchmarking and Performance Standards for Buildings: This is one of the bills on which NAIOP Colorado secured a significant victory. At the beginning of the session it appeared that this bill would sail through as drafted. As introduced it would have required owners of buildings 50,000 sf or greater all across the state to benchmark their energy usage AND reduce such energy use by 15% by 2026 with additional reductions being designated by the Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) every five years until 2040. Additionally, it would have required severe penalties for non-compliance including a $.02 per sf per day fine until compliance is achieved. NAIOP, along with a wide coalition of other building related organizations opposed this bill as overreaching and too aggressive. After significant testimony in opposition and a threat by the House Republicans to filibuster the bill, sponsors met with our industry representatives and an agreement to pivot the bill to a task force was forged. The task force will meet and determine ways to bridge the gap from the aspirational goals to implementable actions with a statewide reduction of 15% by 2026 and setting up a plan for future task force input to the AQCC. NAIOP Colorado has been given a designated position on the task force. Stay tuned for updates as the Task Force starts to meet later this year.
  2. HB21-1117 Local Government Authority to Promote Affordable Housing Units. This bill authorizes local government to require construction of affordable housing within their boundaries without being in violation of the state statute prohibiting rent control by exempting local government land use regulations that restrict rents on newly constructed or redeveloped housing units. NAIOP opposed this bill unless amended to provide guard rails on what local governments could implement. A qualification was added stating that “the (local) regulation provides a choice of options to the property owner or land developer and creates one or more alternatives to construction of new affordable housing units on the building site.” It was signed by the Governor and now local governments are considering what policies to implement. Our efforts now switch to working with county and municipal governments as they consider different ordinances with affordable housing requirements.

The City and County of Denver has been very active on several fronts including affordable housing and energy efficiency along with ballot initiative submissions in anticipation of the fall elections of 2021 and 2022. Here are some updates:

  1. Energize Denver Task Force: As an outcome of the recently completed Climate Action Task Force 2020 Recommendations Report the Energize Denver Task Force has been meeting the past 8 months to develop a plan to reduce energy use in commercial buildings to meet the 2030 and 2040. Kathie Barstnar has represented NAIOP Colorado on this Task Force. The final meeting of the task force is set for August 19 after which their proposed report will be presented to the Denver City Council. Here is a link to the latest draft report published on July 29, 2021. As soon as the updated report is available, we will make sure you have access to it and will request your participation during its process through the City Council and Regulatory drafting process.
  2. Denver Expanding Housing Affordability: In line with above report on HB21-1117, the City of Denver is undertaking a public process to involve: 1) Citywide zoning incentive for affordable housing; 2) increase to the City’s linkage fee; 3) requiring affordable housing as part of developments. For more information, please visit the City and County of Denver's Expanding Housing Affordability website.  Please consider sharing your feedback to the City about what you want to see in affordability or sign up to participate and attend an upcoming industry focus group. Click Here for more details

For more information regarding the Chapter's Public Policy efforts, please reach out to Public Policy Chair Caitlin Quander or NAIOP Executive Director Kathie Barstnar.

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Member Perspectives

Our NAIOP Colorado members share subject matter expertise focused on improving the commercial real estate industry through personal stories that inspire enthusiasm, innovation and entrepreneurship. 


NAIOP Colorado Perspectives: Lea Ann Fowler

Submitted by Alicia Nikifarava - May 2023, Published August 2023

Lea Ann Fowler is a Partner at Hogan Lovells specializing in commercial real estate and financing transactions across all product types. She is recognized on a national and local level for legal expertise in real estate law by Chambers USA, Best Lawyers, DBJ and more. Lea Ann, a NAIOP Colorado Past President, provides perspective on the lending market, discusses how staying involved in the organization shaped her career, and gives advice to newcomers.

Alicia: Lea Ann, you have built an incredible legal practice that spans over twenty-five years. What pushed you to pursue commercial real estate and specifically, finance and lending?

Lea Ann: To be honest, I kind of fell into it. I began working for a large law firm right out of law school and our biggest client, at the time, was doing development of the Denver Tech Center. I cut my teeth in real estate assisting with acquisitions and leasing for that client. It was incredibly interesting and gratifying to be a part of the activation of developments in my own backyard and to experience a project from the ground up stage to full development just hooked me. I enjoy finance transactions, in particular because they allow me to work on many different parts of the transaction – entitlements, due diligence, acquisition and structuring and each deal has its own unique aspects.

Alicia: At this point in your career, what makes a transaction interesting to you? Does anything stump you?

Lea Ann: Just when you think you have seen everything, something will come across my desk that I haven’t encountered before. That’s what makes commercial real estate fun to be a part of, even after years in the industry. There are always aspects of a transaction that are just different enough – whether you’re representing a different side of the deal or figuring out a new deal structure that warrants a new type of agreement- it forces me to get creative and work around the issues to do what’s best for my clients. Last year, I worked on a transaction dealing with marina properties which required a working knowledge of submerged land leases, which was a new one for me- always a twist to keep things interesting.

Alicia: Talk to me about what you’re noticing with loan transactions and deal structures today with volatile interest rates and stricter lending requirements than we’ve seen in the last few years.

Lea Ann: We’re seeing more capital sources in terms of where the funds are coming from; there are fewer numbers of the more traditional institutional lenders and more private equity groups and funds coming into the market to try and compete on pricing and less regulation. The deal structures aren’t that dramatically different, but the players involved have changed and has added a level of complexity. There is a greater need for more lenders as a result of bank failures and traditional banks shuttering their lending arms and minimizing their credit limits for real estate assets.

Alicia: How has being not only a member, but a past president of NAIOP, helped shape your career?

Lea Ann: NAIOP is at the center of the Denver commercial real estate community; it provides a platform for both young and established leaders with opportunities to connect in a more personal way. For those starting out in the industry, this is an impactful resource and for those who are well into their careers, it’s an opportunity to give back and shape the next generation.

To be able to attend a NAIOP breakfast, get market updates and sit next to someone you’re either working on opposite sides of a deal with or trying to get in front of is what it’s all about. As with all things, you get out of an organization what you put in, and NAIOP is no different. My best advice is to get involved beyond a surface level. Serve on the committees, attend the happy hours and events, get on the board-- spend the time to build your network and it will pay off. The return on my time spent with the organization vs. the financial investment has been tenfold for me.

Alicia: What advice do you have for recent law grads/young attorneys trying to figure out their practice area, how to pick a firm, work life balance, etc.?

Lea Ann: The most important thing is to be yourself and to understand your own boundaries and limitations. When comparing firms, you should focus on more than the billable hour requirement, remote work component, and salary. If you haven’t focused on your personal and professional objectives before you start interviewing, it makes it that much harder to make the right decision. You may end up not making the best choice if you don’t establish those expectations from the start only because you didn’t take the time to determine what priorities are most important for you and your career path.

I find the commercial real estate industry to be generally a more social, upbeat, and fun crowd to both work and network with. Placing importance on the people you surround yourself with as well as finding a place where you’ll grow the most, meet career mentors, hit career peaks and learn from challenges is key. Those will be the people who will advocate for you throughout your career and help you discover additional opportunities to succeed. With that being said, you also have to do the hard work. You can’t sidestep the learning curve, the continuous effort and hours it takes to do the best job for your firm and your clients. Reputation and work ethic is everything and it is earned every day.

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NAIOP Colorado Perspectives: Justin Pless

March 28, 2023
Submitted by Richard Self


Richard - You are the founding principal of Pless Law Firm. Can you please tell us a bit about your  background, the origins of your Firm, and the nature of the work and legal services your Firm  offers?  

Justin - I grew up on a farm in Minnesota where my family raised corn, soybeans and beef cattle. Joined  the Army right out of high school where I served as an infantry paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne  Division. After serving 4 years in the military, I attended the University of North Carolina at  Chapel Hill where I received my bachelor’s degree in History. I then went on to get my law  degree at CU Boulder.  

I began my legal career at Faegre & Benson in 2007 before breaking off and starting my own  commercial real estate law practice in 2009. We’ve focused on being the best at that, so our  practice is still strictly transactional commercial real estate, but have grown with our clients to  offer expertise in corporate, finance, construction, development, and land use matters. We’re  looking to add partner and associate attorneys in those complementary practice areas within the  next two years but I don’t see us doing family law any time soon.  

Richard - Pless Law Firm opened an office in Texas right after the pandemic. Why Austin? What  similarities/differences have you noticed being in both markets?  

Justin - During the pandemic, we learned the value of being diversified within the different practice  areas and also with the types of clients and geographic locations. For example, while leasing came to a halt in Colorado, we had clients in Missouri and Arkansas that were taking advantage  of the downturn by acquiring land which led us to hire attorneys when other firms were stagnant or laying people off.  

Austin was an easy choice because the markets are very similar aside from the state specific regulatory and statutory differences. Both are very attractive cities from an investment and  development perspective due to inflow migration and corporate relocations from the coasts. Both have experienced significant growth, but Austin tenant mix more tech heavy while the  

Denver/Boulder area has a more diversified base of tenants in tech, bioscience, energy  aerospace. Denver also has more distribution and industrial projects, in part because of the  larger capacity of DIA and the proximity to both I25 and I 70.  

Both cities also face similar challenges related to housing supply and affordability. Austin has a  very complex land use code that is difficult to modify or work around. Denver has a more  straightforward land use code but has recently imposed additional requirements on developers  such as the inclusionary housing ordinance passed in 2022.

Richard - COVID created considerable shifts in the real estate industry – commercial and residential.  What language/provisions have you noticed being added that weren’t standard before?  

Justin - Thinking back to 2021, we dealt with a lot of matters related to tenant delay, rent payment  restructuring, lease amendments, PSA extensions for due diligence, etc. From a long-term  perspective, I don’t think COVID changed contract language dramatically. COVID had a more direct impact on the economics of leases and transactions than anything else.  

Richard - What do you believe sets your Firm apart from others?  

Justin - It sounds cliche, but more than anything our people set us apart from other law firms. I started  the firm on my own, but I've been fortunate to assemble an outstanding and talented group of  attorneys and staff that share my belief that attorneys can serve as an asset rather than an  impediment to real estate transactions. I view our role primarily as that of problem solver and  advisor to our clients, and our team shares that mentality. To accomplish this, all of our  attorneys and staff develop an understanding of both legal and business issues that impact our  clients and their projects. By maintaining awareness of the business side of the equation, we're  often able to manage difficult negotiations by focusing on the legal issues that will have the  greatest impact on our client from a business standpoint, rather than getting bogged down in  legal minutia. Additionally, we are keenly aware that time is the killer of all deals, so we make it  a priority to engage on new projects as soon as possible and to turn drafts and comments  quickly. This focus has helped fuel our recent growth, as we've been able to attract many  sophisticated clients that typically work with larger law firms. 

Richard - How have you been involved with NAIOP throughout the years and what value has the  organization had on your career?  

Justin - I have been involved with NAIOP since the beginning of my career and continue to support it by  sponsoring or attending many of the events. I believe there’s great value in that; NAIOP has  given me the opportunity to meet and develop long-term relationships in the industry and  continues to do the same for my entire team. A large part of that sustained success is due to  Jayma (File) and Kathie (Barstnar) – I don’t think that the organization would be where it is today without their  dedication and leadership. 

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NAIOP Colorado Perspectives: Peter Coakley, A Career of Challenges and Integrity

March 23, 2023
Submitted by Brian Dietz
The greatest asset I developed during my stint at Opus Development Company, a few years ago, was the friendship I formed with Peter Coakley, NAIOP Colorado’s 1992 Chapter President.  I count myself as incredibly fortunate to have been able to go to work every day and spend time with such a smart, kind, and generous individual.  His infectious sense of humor was the cherry on top!

After completing a Bachelor of Science in Finance at Boston College, Peter moved to Aspen Colorado in 1973.  Peter has spent many hours regaling me with stories of camping across from Hunter S. Thompson’s property, driving snowcats through downtown Aspen, countless days on the ski slopes, hiking in the back country, and managing the Highlands Inn at the base of Aspen Highlands.  I spent several years living in Steamboat prior to moving to Denver, and Peter and I immediately bonded over our shared histories of ski bumming in the Colorado Rockies.

In 1981, Peter and his wife, Pam, relocated to Denver.  He moved with few business contacts, no MBA, and limited experience in Commercial Real Estate.  Peter set his sights on brokerage.  Initially, he received negative feedback from potential employers, telling him he didn’t have the temperament for sales.  However, Peter was persistent, and he ultimately landed an in-house office brokerage position with Inverness Properties, working with legendary John O’Meara.  This experience fortified Peter’s instinct to be persistent in the pursuit of his goals, a virtue he endlessly encourages in others.  In that regard, Peter is fond of repeating the quote from Hamlet “to thine own self be true”.

The 1980’s were a challenging time for the office product type in Denver.  At the time, Denver possessed an economy of limited breadth, relying predominantly on the oil and gas industry.  Following the energy crises of the 1970’s, the bottom fell out of the oil market in the 80’s.  This, in the face of an overbuilt Denver office market, resulted in a ten-year depression of the market. Downtown Denver was filled with what were referred to as “see through buildings”, because they had so little occupancy that you could see the sun shining right through the building from the other side.  During much of this time, Peter worked for Trizec Properties leasing Dominion Plaza in Denver’s CBD.  The market was so depressed that Peter and his peers were oftentimes leasing space at rates so low they wouldn’t even cover the owner’s operating expenses.  He told me that if they could cover the owners operating expenses, net of tenant improvements and leasing commissions, they felt like they had won the lottery. Regarding this time, Peter tells stories of real estate professionals trading in their Mercedes for Hondas or selling their Rolexes for rubber Timex watches.  Peter moved his growing family into a new home in 1990.  The residential real estate market was so distressed he had to bring a check to the closing of the house they were moving out of, due to its drop in value since he first purchased it.  When interviewing Peter for this article, he told me this was “certainly a character-building experience”.  However, this challenging time taught him to be adaptable, live within his means, and to operate under the premise that markets do, in fact, cycle… “trees don’t grow to the sky”, he said.  What helped Peter cope during these times was what he refers to as his “PMA”… Positive Mental Attitude.  I’ve heard him say several times “Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. You attitude determines your altitude!”  It was something he learned from the late Walter Koelbel, a Denver real estate icon.

Things did eventually turn around, and Denver has since grown into an internationally recognized city with a broad-based economy.  Peter credits the business leaders and politicians of this time for transforming the Denver metro area by investing in Denver’s infrastructure, Denver International Airport, the DCPA, Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies, mass transit, and the Anschutz Medical campus among many other investments.  For his part, Peter, in the 1990’s, became a well-recognized leader of the Commercial Real Estate industry, having been appointed NAIOP Colorado’s Chapter President in 1992.  During the 90’s, Peter held positions with Premisys Real Estate Services, Transwestern, and with Grubb and Ellis as its General Manger.  During this time and in future positions, Peter gave several now prominent Denver real estate professionals their first shot at the business.  Some refer to these individuals as “Coakley Kids”… Chad Brue, Geoff Baukol, Patrick Devereux, Riki Hashimoto, Scott Perry, and Joe Swensson can count themselves among this group.  While Peter didn’t give me my first shot, I’m honored to refer to myself as a Coakley Kid as well.

During the 2000’s, Peter’s career came full circle with his return to Inverness Properties as a Principal in charge of the company’s brokerage operations.  He held this position until 2014, when Peter took over Opus’ Denver office to round out his career before retiring from the business in 2019.  Peter was honored as the 2019 NAIOP President’s Award recipient, in recognition of his life long contribution to the Denver commercial real estate industry and successful career.

In retirement, Peter is thoroughly enjoying time with his family, including four young grandchildren, in San Rafael, CA.  He has several nuggets of wisdom he continues to broadcast to those around him.  Living your life with a positive mental attitude results in a higher quality of life… people respond to that, he instructs.  Develop and nurture friendships both inside and outside of your industry.  Volunteer… it will pay back in dividends.  You had better develop some interests outside of work, as you will have lots of free time in retirement.  Spend time meaningfully, enriching the lives of your family and friends.  Even when it hurts or is highly embarrassing, tell the truth.  Your reputation is your MOST important asset.  These sentiments are representative of Peter’s favorite quote from Mark 8:36: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his soul in the process?”

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NAIOP Colorado Perspectives: Mary Sullivan, Living Your Life Intentionally

August 4, 2022
Submitted by Shane Mahoney

Mary Sullivan was dubbed “Denver’s Queen of commercial real estate investment” by the Denver Post in 2011. A conservative estimate attributes her with $10 billion in career transaction production while working in Denver for firms such as Coldwell Banker, Trammell Crow, Cushman Realty, Cushman & Wakefield, back to CBRE, JLL and HFF. Mary spent 35 years in CRE investments before retiring in 2016 to focus on her grown children, fly fishing, travel, skiing and cycling. Mary was gracious enough to share a salad with me at her kitchen countertop for this interview this last Spring.

Shane Mahoney: Thank you for sitting down with me Mary. Some advice attributed to you is the Importance of Reputation “At the end of the day that is all you have.”
In one of your largest transactions – the sale of $770MM of CBD assets – you mentioned a point where you were asked for honest feedback about a deal. You provided what you knew to be the best information at the risk of losing the listing. Tell us about it.

Mary Sullivan: I was in the process of selling a large portfolio for a client. The deal was ready to award when Jon Gray and Blackstone bought the client and the sale went silent. I ran into Jon at a lunch and suggested he look into the sale – not because I had the listing, but because Blackstone didn’t want to own the underlying assets. After meeting with Frank Cohen I sent them my analysis with the advice to sell whether or not I kept the listing. They agreed with my analysis and advice and the sale went through. That was the prelude.

So later I’m selling three CBD assets for Equity Office Properties – the sale was awarded when Blackstone came in and bought EOP. Frank Cohen called and told me that Blackstone would go through with the deal. Frank also asked if the current deal was leaving any money on the table. I said, “Yes you are, and here is where. If they come back and ask for anything at all, flush the deal.” I’m under contract and I could’ve pushed forward on the deal but instead I suggested killing it. Blackstone did kill the deal and came back to me and said, ‘We’re adding the two other office buildings, take them to market.”

Shane Mahoney: That goes along with another concept I saw in multiple articles/interviews – your ferocious, tenacious representation of your client’s best interest at all cost.

Mary Sullivan: When I retired, I had clients call me and say, “I don’t know if you know this Mary, but you aren’t like everybody else.” That was very rewarding. I’d worked in a bubble and didn’t interact with other brokers. I’d list the property and source the buyer. In representing my client, my client one time might be the seller, but the buyer in that transaction might be my client next time. They knew I was not at all confused about who I represented in the transaction. So you look out for their best interest.

Shane Mahoney: In 2006 (I believe) I had the opportunity to see you speak on a CREJ panel about investment real estate. Your comment to the crowd was something along the lines of “Denver’s CRE Investment market had arrived." I know you’d worked hard making investors on both coasts aware of Denver’s potential. What changes to the Denver marketplace and economy helped make it possible?

Mary Sullivan: I’d like to say I had a hand in it, but I was simply recognizing Denver’s position and sharing that with clients. Tom Clark with the Denver Metro Chamber worked very hard in the late ‘80s and ‘90’s and made a concerted effort to tout Denver’s physical attributes and recent infrastructure investments. The convention center, library, stadium, DIA, TREX and others were all investments that gave us advantages that helped us diversify the economy. All I did was recognize what was going on right in front of me and bringing it to my client’s attention.

Shane Mahoney: So lastly, you are nearing 6 years since your retirement, what have you learned about yourself so far that you didn’t expect?

Mary Sullivan: I knew myself really well my whole life and career. What I did learn about myself happened after Sherman died (her husband, Sherman Miller, passed in April 2015). I knew that when the kids were gone and it was just to be Sherman and me, we would be just fine. We wouldn’t have skipped a beat. But with him gone, I had a void that I had to intentionally fill.

I learned I had to live very intentionally. I no longer had my best friend who I did everything with – absolutely everything with. Half of me was gone. I had to put myself into activities I really didn’t want to do. When people asked, I just started saying yes.

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NAIOP Colorado Perspectives: Wayne Barrett, President of Sterling Road Properties

March 29, 2022
Submitted by James McGill

Prior to his position as president of Sterling Road Properties, he served as the Vice President and Market Officer for the Denver Market of Prologis. He was responsible for the management and expansion of operations through facility and land acquisitions. Prior to joining Prologis in 2003, Mr. Barrett worked for various industrial real estate companies including Lincoln Property Company, Equitable Real Estate Investment Management, Inc., Compass Management and Leasing Inc., Catellus Development Corporation, and most recently, Trammell Crow.

Involved in the industry for over forty years, his diverse responsibilities have included marketing, leasing, development, and asset management of both speculative and build-to-suit industrial projects. Wayne Barrett sat down with James McGill to share his Commercial Real Estate background, what is his favorite development/project to work on and of course what’s next for him.


James McGill - How does Wayne Barrett get into Commercial Real Estate? Give us a rundown of how you spent your time during the 40 years in CRE? How much leasing were you involved in? How did you get to Denver? Tell us about the Norm Blum biking story?

Wayne Barrett - Went to college in New York (SUNY Oswego), and grew up in Armonk, NY (just north of New York City). After school I came home and was not ready to find a typical job, so ended up riding my bicycle with a high school friend (Norm Blum) to Colorado. Bounced around in various jobs (most memorable being the Spaghetti Factory) and found a temporary job with Coldwell Banker (now CBRE) in their data bank. This led to Development positions with Wickliff and Co, Lincoln Property Company, Equitable Real Estate, Trammel Crow and ultimately Prologis (for 18 years), which I left at the end of 2020. All told I have been in the business for 40 years, with over 30 million sf of leasing transactions.


James McGill - What was your favorite development/project to work on during your career?

Wayne Barrett - I really enjoyed developing two dynamic Business parks in the main industrial/distribution area of Denver along I-70. The Former Stapleton Business Center and Prologis Park 70. Ultimately, we developed over 8 million sf, and we began with vacant land (one being a former airport), and no utilities. These continue to be prime locations for a number of Fortune 500 companies distributing throughout the Rocky Mountain region.


James McGill - How has the industrial market evolved over the years you have been in the industry?

Wayne Barrett - When I started in the industrial market (w/Lincoln Property Company), the standard space was 22 foot clear with no more than 100-foot truck courts, no truck parking, and rail service. Obviously, this has changed w/36-foot clear heights (and going higher), 180-foot truck courts and plentiful truck parking. Rail service has become obsolete for most developers which lends itself to the cross-dock configuration that is extremely popular today. 

Another factor that has changed the market dramatically has been the flow of new capital into commercial real estate.  With Wall Street running many of these investments (and REITS), the analysis of the industry has become extremely sophisticated and scrutinized. There are many dynamics that are required by this capital to be considered when acquiring/selling/developing a property. I fondly remember the old days, where it was more of a "Gut" feel of the real estate, and a basic income/cost analysis of the property, was sufficient for most investors. This level of detail does not work today.


James McGill - Tell us a bit more about your “museum”? What are you up to today? 

Wayne Barrett - Since I left Prologis, I have been active in the purchase of small industrial properties in the metro area. Currently I am the owner/manager of over a dozen properties, which keeps me busy, but allows me some leisure time. 

One of the more enjoyable pursuits has been a collection of artifacts from my career. I have dedicated a space to house these in one of my buildings, whose genesis was cleaning out my garage, to my wife's delight, but it's been fun looking back on the last 40 years. When you see the number of cycles we went through, starting with the Oil boom/bust and the S&L crisis of the 1980's to the great recession of 2008, and beyond. New development has continued to change the landscape, from DIA to Coors Field and the rediscovery of the Rino/Lodo/Lohi neighborhoods to name just a few... It's truly astounding the changes we have seen.


James McGill - What are the three characteristics you think are most crucial to be successful in CRE?

Wayne Barrett - Perseverance is probably the best characteristic I can think of for a rewarding career. If you look around at the most successful brokers/developers during my time, they all went through hard times, but figured out how to stay in the business. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from a colleague who summed it up with two words: "Low Overhead".  Do not put yourself in a position to make a decision based solely on the initial monetary gain.

The key is staying in the business long enough to be able to recognize the opportunities when they present themselves.


James McGill - What groups/associations were you involved with that you think were the most valuable to your career? What groups/associations would you recommend a young person getting into the industry join?

Wayne Barrett - Certainly, NAIOP has been a leader in the industry with relationships around the country. In addition, I try to stay active with SIOR and DMCAR who I believe are industry leaders in their respective areas. Being active in any of these will provide an excellent way of staying relevant and a great source of contacts.

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NAIOP Colorado Perspectives: Ann Sperling, Senior Director, Trammell Crow Co.

December 17, 2021
Submitted by Jessica Ostermick

Celebrating an incredible nearly 40-year career in commercial real estate that has touched so many communities and property types including office, industrial, mixed use, retail, hotel and healthcare, Ann Sperling sat down with Jessica Ostermick to share her perspective on resiliency, stewardship, what defines a good job and of course what’s next for her. 

Jessica: First of all, congratulations! In addition to your many achievements, roles and completed projects, your community involvement within and outside our industry throughout your career has been remarkable. What value has such involvement brought to you and how might you advise others on engaging with industry groups and other organizations? Also, remind us how you’ve spent those 40 years in the business. 

AnnI spent half of my career in real estate development – the business of the business – and the other half in leadership roles, of large public real estate companies. Most professionals do one or the other, but I had the privilege of doing both. While leadership and development seem like separate activities, they cross fertilize because the capital partners, stakeholders, brokers and communities are the same. My activities on both sides of the ledger have served to enhance my relationships and industry knowledge. 

Regarding community involvement and especially for those of us that develop or invest in real estate, I believe we should see ourselves as stewards of the community in which we live and work. Personally, I’ve been lucky to have worked in Denver -- a city I love! We have an obligation to engage with the communities we touch in a profound way. One’s involvement more broadly in both industry and civic activities enable us to be much more fluent in what’s important to the community. Lastly, such involvement affords young professionals the chance to develop leadership skills in a low-risk way. 

For example, I sat on the board of Children’s Hospital Colorado, as Treasurer and Vice Chair, and which enabled me to build relationships in the broader community with business leaders. It also enabled me to try on leadership skills within a very sophisticated organization and helped me grow as a leader. For those of us affecting community landscapes, community service is our obligation but also one that affords meaningful professional development and growth. 

Jessica: After 40 years in CRE, several market cycles, and hundreds of projects, is there a project or experience that taught you a valuable lesson and potentially impacted your outlook or approach going forward?  

Ann: There are so many to choose from, but Crossroads Commerce Park comes to mind as a project example. Crossroads Commerce Park was a brownfield industrial site that ultimately showed me the power of public and private sector collaboration. The City of Denver, Adams County, CDPHE and the EPA were all involved in this site that had a fence around it for 20 years in the middle of a neighborhood. When the public and private sectors are on the same side of the fence, it’s amazing what can be accomplished. The public sector was passionate about cleaning up the environmental contamination, the community welcomed the improvements such as the addition of lighting and landscaping, and Adams County sought economic development and job growth. Now a top-notch 1.0 million square foot industrial park, Crossroads has won numerous awards from NAIOP, ULI, EPA and the National American Planning Association; and we intentionally invited our public sector stakeholders to accept the awards with us because it was truly an example of public/private partnership.

Jessica: Resiliency and grit are two characteristics central to a long and successful career in our industry. Where does your resiliency and grit come from, and how do you cultivate it? 

AnnCertainly some is acquired. I’m the youngest of four and the only girl, so growing up with three older brothers prepared me to work in a male-dominated industry. I also lost my mother at a young age and had to “step up” in many ways. I developed an aspirational life view and found a way to engage with my family in a unifying and enduring way. We all have life experiences that help shape us, but it seems that sometimes the worst experiences can also fuel the best things in your life. 

Having great mentors, leaders and partners early in my career gave me a sense of trust and confidence that has proven beneficial while navigating our cyclical high-risk industry. Challenges are expected so being in the proverbial fox hole with the right people is critical to persevering. I have had the honor of being close business partners with several individuals who I respected and trusted which made all the difference in my career.  I took note early on of how people I respected faced economic downturns with integrity and compassion, and honored commitments to partnerships. Life is long so sticking with the relationships, partnerships and commitments you’ve made through hard times pays back in the long term. 

Jessica: Over the years, you’ve worked at Trammell Crow Co. (twice!), Catellus and JLL. What factored into your decisions to take on new opportunities, and how do you define a “good job?”

AnnI certainly didn’t join TCC thinking I’d spend two-thirds of my career there but began with an aspirational view of achieving everything I could at that company – including making partner and being the first woman partner at TCC and after only 4 years. I was constantly looking for opportunity within the firm, and as such had five different jobs or “reinventions” in the first 25 years. I sought out some of those opportunities and in some cases, others saw my potential first, which required me having the guts to go for a job that I didn’t immediately feel comfortable pursuing. You learn a lot about yourself in stretch situations, and I’ve found that being authentic in my identity - even if it looks different than the status quo - is a strength as opposed to trying to fit into a homogenous expectation. 

I evaluate job opportunities in the context of “what good looks like” and certainly the traditional elements of compensation, position and influence matter. What really matters most to me though is culture and a sense of partnership that are not always easily found but are deeply impactful towards your long-term success and overall happiness. 

Jessica: Tell us what’s next? 

Ann:  This is more of a pivot versus a retirement. I will stay involved with some important projects and commitments at TCC for a while, but ultimately, it’s good timing because our company and office are in such great hands. I want to be the person that steps aside so others can step up rather than being in the way of their growth. I have oodles of energy left and have so many things I want to do from skiing, hiking fly fishing, and travelling along with my civic passions of healthcare and regenerative medicine. I am also passionate about corporate governance and am pivoting my business activities to three corporate boards, including two NYSE public corporate boards.  I have been thinking about this next phase for a while and intentionally structured my next chapter to be as active as my last phase, just focused on new challenges. 

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NAIOP Colorado 2022 Fight Night – Real Estate Ringers Feature: Ryan "Marsh Madness" Marsh

September 28, 2022
Submitted by Courtney Schneider, Hines

The energy at NAIOP Colorado’s Fight Night is nothing short of palpable, and this year will be no exception – there will be four Real Estate Ringer bouts this year that will not disappoint.  While I am biased in my predictions for at least one of the fights, Hines is thrilled to have our very own Ryan “Marsh Madness” Marsh as a Real Estate Ringer this year!  

Courtney Schneider: Have you always been an athlete?
Ryan Marsh: I had never done anything athletic until age 25 when I met my wife, Caitlin.  Caitlin got me into working out and it became something I enjoyed.  Learning to box for Fight Night is a sporting competition I never had in high school.  
Actually, I guess I was briefly a high school athlete if you consider my short stint on the golf team – that is, until I got kicked off for smoking cigs on the golf course.  I am still friends with my coach to this day, though, so there aren’t any hard feelings.  

Courtney Schneider: Tell me about the training you are going through to prepare for the big fight.
Ryan Marsh: The biggest thing for me is being part of the boxing culture.  This is something you would never get exposure to otherwise.  It is a culture and community of hardworking, dedicated athletes.  Some of the training techniques aren’t necessarily enjoyable, but you have to trust the process.  Huge shout out to Prodigy Boxing Gym!

Courtney Schneider: What will be your motivation in the ring?
Ryan Marsh: [Laughs] The ego of not getting the sh*% kicked out of me in front of friends, family and the real estate community!  I have been mentally preparing myself for the past year since you’re peer pressured me into “volunteering” for this.  But I also have too big of an ego to say no – something I am working on.  

Courtney Schneider: You mention the mental prep, what has been the toughest part mentally or personally in preparing?
Ryan Marsh: The time away from my family – my wife and two young boys.  Huge shout out to my wife, Caitlin, for all the sacrifices she has made to accommodate the training schedule.  And for putting up with my constant jabbering and hype for the actual bout.  October 6th can’t come fast enough for her. 

Courtney Schneider: Anything else you want out there?  
Ryan Marsh: Shout out to Chris Crawford for making my employment at Hines contingent on winning[!] 


NAIOP Real Estate Ringer Perspectives: James McGill Reflects on 2021 Win

August 4, 2022
Submitted by Vincent Malara, Heritage Title Company

We sat down with James McGill, Vice President of Industrial Services with JLL, who was one of the “Real Estate Ringer” winners at NAIOP Fight Night 2021 – NAIOP Colorado’s annual black-tie boxing event featuring boxers from metro Denver’s local real estate industry – to learn what his experience was like as our 2022 Real Estate Ringers prepare to jump in the ring on October 6th!

Vincent Malara: Did you have any previous boxing experience?
James McGill: This was my first time in a boxing ring, I grew up super competitive and played hockey, golf, lacrosse, and baseball. I was excited to add boxing to the list!

Vincent Malara: Why did you decide to fight?
James McGill: After attending my first Fight Night as spectator and helping sell raffle tickets I was blown away by the event and super inspired to take on such a tough physical and mental challenge with the added pressure of NAIOP and CRE Industry in attendance. At the time a national brokerage hadn’t put a fighter in the ring and I was excited to be the first to represent JLL.

As a newer broker I also saw it as opportunity to get my name out in front of the industry, all while raising money for at risk youth in Colorado. But my main reason was to take on the challenge headfirst and prove to myself and everyone else of my hard work and dedication in everything I set my mind too.

Vincent Malara: What did your training look like leading into the fight!
James McGill: It was crazy!!!! It was the most humbling experience! I worked out with the Rivera Family at their training facility, which was out of their garage. It felt like a movie. We trained Monday-Friday and sparred every Tuesday and Thursday night. Training included an insane amount of cardio and core work. To put things in perspective , I broke my nose during the training if that can help illustrate the intensity.

Vincent Malara: What was the highlight of the fight?
James McGill: When the fight was called and I jumped up on the ring and saw my whole family, the JLL crew, and all my mentors in the crowd rally around me. It was truly an unbelievable feeling and one of the best nights of my life. It was exactly how I had envisioned it and this experience made me a big believer in the power of manifestation.

Vincent Malara: Has your participation as a Real Estate Ringer helped advance your career in commercial real estate? If so, how?
James McGill: I can't think of a specific deal that has come of it but it has certainly gotten my name out there and given me some exposure to people in the industry. I have met a lot of people through NAIOP and it typically comes up in conversation etc.

Vincent Malara: If you had the opportunity to do it all over again, would you? If yes, why?
James McGill: Yes. It was an awesome night and a great challenge. I also enjoy training for something or putting my mind to something and getting it done. In addition, whenever I have the opportunity to raise money for a good cause I am in! I am happy I don’t have to get hit in the face again, that wasn’t too fun.


For more information regarding Fight Night 2022, please CLICK HERE. 


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