ARCHIVED  October 1, 1996

Denver-area brokerages venturing into Northern Colorado

Denver-area real estate companies are venturing into the Northern Colorado market at a record pace, with at least two planning to open offices here.Grubb & Ellis Co. expects to open a Northern Colorado office in Fort Collins or Greeley by the start of the year, said Rick Schreck, a broker with the firm.
Colorado & Santa Fe Land Co. recently completed the purchase of two Fort Collins properties and expects eventually to open an office in Longmont to serve the Northern Colorado market.
Other firms, such as SullivanHayes Cos.; Colliers, Bennett & Kahnweiler Inc.; Fuller and Co.; Cushman & Wakefield of Colorado Inc.; Goldberg Property Associates Inc.; and others also have projects or listings in the region.
“It’s a new market for us, but I think we see it as a growing market,´ said Steve Russell, broker with Colorado & Santa Fe. He added that university towns such as Fort Collins, Greeley and Boulder tend not to have huge swings up or down in the economy.
“I think that the market between Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley is starting to hit a critical-mass stage where there probably is enough business to support an office,” Russell said.
Colorado & Santa Fe has always been attracted to the Northern Colorado market but had its hands full in the Denver metropolitan area, Russell said. The company boasts 3.6 million square feet of space and is renowned for taking distressed properties, refurbishing them and filling them up.
Grubb & Ellis has been doing some land deals in Northern Colorado, with one such deal being the catalyst for the firm to open an office. The company is brokering land in Weld County east of the McLane Western distribution center in Longmont to be purchased by Concepts Direct for a new headquarters.
Concepts Direct would purchase 134 acres, develop 40 acres and place the remainder up for sale, Schreck said.
“As soon as that goes, that would give us the impetus to open an office up there,” Schreck said, adding that “you could flip a coin between Fort Collins and Greeley” as a site for the office.
The office would start with one broker, with another working half-time from the Denver office. Eventually, Grubb hopes to have a four- to five-broker office here.
“It’s just going to boom,” Schreck said of the market. “I really think it’s going to explode, if the city fathers will let it.”
Schreck said that Grubb & Ellis often refers deals to local brokerage houses because it doesn’t have a local office.
“For us, basically, we’re giving away business in Fort Collins,” he said.
But Grubb & Ellis’ strategy isn’t embraced by every Denver brokerage. Randy Schwartz, a broker with Frederick Ross Co., said his firm has no plans to open an office here. Frederick Ross recently listed land near the Rocky Mountain Factory Stores for a power center, but he said that project fell through because the market wasn’t ready.
Geoff Kreusser, an industrial broker with Colliers, Bennett & Kahnweiler, points to Interstate 25 as a major impetus for developers.
“From an activity standpoint, the whole I-25 corridor is seeing a whole lot of activity,” Kreusser said.
He added that users are looking to escape the congestion of the Denver area – as well as the high land prices. Industrial sites in the metro area fetch $2 to $2.50 per square foot, compared with $1 to $1.50 in more-rural areas.
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Denver-area real estate companies are venturing into the Northern Colorado market at a record pace, with at least two planning to open offices here.Grubb & Ellis Co. expects to open a Northern Colorado office in Fort Collins or Greeley by the start of the year, said Rick Schreck, a broker with the firm.
Colorado & Santa Fe Land Co. recently completed the purchase of two Fort Collins properties and expects eventually to open an office in Longmont to serve the Northern Colorado market.
Other firms, such as SullivanHayes Cos.; Colliers, Bennett & Kahnweiler Inc.; Fuller and Co.; Cushman & Wakefield…

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