For 30 years, Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners has taken a leading role in the acquisition and development of property throughout Colorado's Front Range, earning the company its current status as the premier commercial real estate company in the greater Denver area. Dedicated to innovating while maintaining a fiscally sound base, Etkin Johnson is committed to providing clients with the highest levels of service.


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Denver, Colorado 80202

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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Essex Arranges $85 Million Loan

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal – Oct 15 – Nov 4, 2014

Denver-based Essex Financial Group recently arranged an $85.13 million refinance of a 19-property, 1.95-millionsquare-foot industrial portfolio along the Front Range.

The longtime owner of the properties is Denver-based Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners.

The lender was TIAA-CREF, according to Etkin Johnson. TIAA-CREF is a longtime correspondent life insurance company with Essex.

The refinance was handled by Jeff Riggs and Mike Jeffries, who are, respectively, the president and a principal of Essex.

The 10-year, nonrecourse loan for the 63 percent loan-to-value transaction has an interest rate of 4.45 percent. The loan is amortized over 30 years.


Shown here is Broadway Business Center, one of the properties that Etkin Johnson recently refinanced.

The properties, known as the Colorado Industrial Portfolio, or CIP, are located from Boulder to Colorado Springs and range in size from 26,078 sf to 293,150 sf.

“The Essex team did an excellent job helping us navigate through this process and successfully closing the financing,” said Aaron Johnson, Etkin Johnson’s vice president of investments.

“They played an important role in our financial strategy,” Johnson added.

TIAA-CREF had refinanced the loan several times in the past, allowing Etkin Johnson to take advantage of falling interest rates.

“This is the third time we have done a transaction for these properties with this particular insurance company,” Jeffries said.

The current loan was maturing at the end of the year.

“We, like everyone else, think that interest rates are going to shoot up, although it hasn’t happened yet,” Jeffries said.

After meeting with Etkin Johnson and the lender, the best strategy was apparent: “Let’s get a great rate locked in before the party is over,” Jeffries said.

The refinance into a lower interest rate will increase Etkin Johnson’s cash flow by $2 million per year.

The company also intends to use a portion of the excess cash from the refinance to address near-term capital improvements as well as establish a working capital reserve.

“CIP has been a big winner for Etkin Johnson and its investors,” said David Johnson, president of Etkin Johnson.

“Our investors have achieved more than double their return on capital and we look forward to increasing their returns over the next several years,” Johnson said.

There would have been a lot of lenders interested in refinancing the portfolio if it had been shopped to the entire market, according to Jeffries.

Since TIAA-CREF originally made the first loan 17 years ago, “The plan was to give the lender the first crack at refinancing it,” Jeffries said.

“If that didn’t work out, we would have gone to the market. But the existing lender provided a great rate with great terms.”

When the process began, there were 20 buildings in the portfolio, which had a total of about 2 million sf, but Etkin Johnson sold one.

“That complicated the deal a bit as far as allocating the dollars to each property,” Jeffries said, but that issue was addressed and resolved.

Etkin Johnson acquired the properties between 1990 and 1998.

“They run the gamut from high-finish buildings that have got low finishes to low finishes with high ceilings,” Jeffries said. “There are a few single tenant buildings, but most of them are multitenant buildings. In total, they probably have 175 different tenants.”

The one sale from the original portfolio was for a single-tenant building. The tenant wanted to be an owner-occupant.

“He probably paid more than the market value for it,” Jeffries said. “It was one of those deals where he would say, ‘I can buy it for $100 per square foot, which is a bit above the market, but I know I can’t build a new building for $100 per square foot, so it makes sense.'”

Overall, the portfolio was about 94 percent leased at the time of the sale, a bit above its historic average of 90 percent to 92 percent, he said. Twelve of the properties are 100 percent leased.

“I’m very pleased with the extraordinary work and dedication of our entire team that led to this financing,” said Bruce Etkin, chairman of Etkin Johnson.

His namesake company prides itself on taking care of its tenants.

“With a focus on best-in-class management, preventive maintenance and responsive service, we’ve optimized tenant loyalty and maintained the assets in a superior condition,” Etkin said.

“This steadfast commitment from our associates, investors and tenants has allowed us to maximize the portfolio’s long-term growth, income and stakeholder value,” said Etkin, whose company’s entire portfolio includes 5 million sf of office, retail, apartments, hotel and industrial holdings worth more than $500 million.

In addition to the CIP loan, Etkin Johnson has secured another $56 million in financing through a variety of life companies and banks for four industrial/flex properties in Colorado Technology Center, three assets at Lafayette Corporate Center along with three buildings and nearly 18 acres at Church Ranch Business Center, rounding out the year-to-date loan volume of more than $141 million.

“This is a great time to take advantage of today’s capital markets and low interest rates,” David Johnson said.

“In addition to the financing we’ve secured year to date, we anticipate refinancing another $60 million before year-end,” said Johnson.

If Etkin Johnson ever wanted to sell the portfolio, there would be plenty of buyers, Jeffries said.

“I think strategically, it is their intention to keep it for the long term,” Jeffries said.

He estimated the value of the entire portfolio at about $150 million.

“If they were going to sell the portfolio, there would be a lot of big players interested in a $150 million, diversified portfolio across a wide geographic area, as opposed to paying $150 million for one asset in downtown,” he said.

He also said it is always possible that there will be a “oneoff” sale here and there, such as property that sold to the tenant after the refinance process began.

Etkin Johnson Sells Building To Qualcomm Inc. For $100 Per Sf

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal – Oct 1 – Oct 14, 2014

An industrial/research-and development building off the Diagonal Highway in Boulder sold to a tenant for $100 per square foot.

Qualcomm paid $100 per square foot for Lookout  Business Center.

Qualcomm paid $100 per square foot for Lookout
Business Center.

Qualcomm Inc., which has been in the 59,355-square-foot building at 6150 Lookout Road for almost a decade, bought the property from Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners for $5.04 million. Etkin Johnson had owned the single story building, which sits on 5.15 acres, since 1997. The building is known as Lookout Business Center.

“Qualcomm is looking to expand their Colorado operations and Lookout Business Center is a great solution as its location is across the street from their primary facility,” said Ryan Good, Etkin Johnson vice president of leasing and sales.

Qualcomm, founded in 1985, is a wireless technology company with 170 offices in more than 40 countries. The Boulder group provides engineering services for a range of products that include software, systems, firmware and hardware design, according to the company’s website. The team was established in 1991.

Lookout Business Center was constructed in 1981 and sits just off the Diagonal, or Highway 119, in Gunbarrel West Business Park.

The single-story building features broad windows, mature landscaping, an outdoor volleyball court, and dock and drive-in loading doors. It is fully sprinklered.

Denver-based Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners is a development, investment, ownership and management company with a portfolio of more than 5 million sf of office, retail, hotel and industrial holdings worth more than $500 million.

Etkin Johnson Starts Another Speculative Building At CTC

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal July 2-July 15, 2014

Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners has started construction of another industrial/flex building at the Colorado Technology Center in Louisville after buying the last piece of an 11.14-acre development site.

Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners has started construction of a 136,701-square-foot speculative building at 1900 Taylor Ave., at the corner of Taylor and CTC Boulevard in Louisville.

Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners has started construction of a 136,701-square-foot speculative building at 1900 Taylor Ave., at the corner of Taylor and CTC Boulevard in Louisville.

The 136,701-square-foot building at 1900 Taylor Ave. is the larger of two buildings the company is building on a speculative basis at CTC.

Etkin Johnson, through an entity called EJ 1900 Taylor LLC, purchased 2.49 acres of land at 1900 Taylor from Winchester Investments LLC. Combined with 8.65 acres it bought in 2012, it paid $1.46 million, or $3 per sf, for the site.

The developer also is building a 66,350-sf spec building at 1900 Cherry St., where tilt-up concrete walls were erected early last month. Activity on both buildings is strong, according to Ryan Good, Etkin Johnson vice president of leasing and sales.

“Were currently seeing great activity in CTC and we hope to land several deals at the new buildings before theyre developed,” Good said in a statement. “Its evident from the interest were seeing that these buildings will meet a demand for larger users who currently have limited options to start up or expand their operations in the Northwest corridor. Were excited about the opportunity to bring these quality developments to the CTC and fulfill this need.”

The building at 1900 Cherry is scheduled for completion in July and 1900 Taylor will be delivered in November.

Both buildings will have 24-foot-clear ceiling heights, heavy power and stunning mountain views. They also are designed to be energy efficient to minimize environmental impact. Green building features include low-E glass, which transmits more than 60 percent of the suns natural light while blocking more than 70 percent of its heat, dramatically reducing energy consumption and utility costs. The GenFlex cool roof systems white surface reflects more than 7 percent of the suns heat away from the building, and Etkin Johnson said an exceptionally energy-efficient HVAC system will generate operating cost savings that will flow directly to tenants. The buildings also will have strategically placed skylight, LED exterior lighting and electronic-vehicle charging stations.

Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners owns and manages eight state-of-the-art industrial/flex properties totaling approximately 650,000 sf in the Colorado Tech Center, along with 30 acres of land for flexible build-out. Tenants in the master-planned park, which is located along the Northwest Parkway and U.S. Highway 36 corridor, include Fresca Foods, Babolat, Intertek and Kiosk.

Business Center At Westminster Mall Reaches Full Occupancy

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal May 21 – June 3, 2014

The Business Center at Westminster Mall reached 100 percent occupancy with the completion of two industrial leases totaling more than 30,000 square feet.

The Business Center at Westminster Mall.

The Business Center at Westminster Mall.

Surefire Medical Inc., a growing developer of innovative infusion systems for the interventional radiology and oncology markets, signed a five-year lease for 20,840 sf, which was the largest block of remaining contiguous space. Surefire will have its corporate headquarters and central operating facility in the business center.

Conception to Reality, an engineering and project management company that provides a range of expert services for large-scale food and beverage packaging initiatives, signed a three-year lease for 9,420 sf. The company will expand into the space from its existing facility at 7100 Broadway.

The Business Center at Westminster Mall consists of six light industrial/ service buildings totaling 122,444 sf. The property is located at West 91st Avenue and North Harlan Street. The center was constructed in 1980.

Ryan Good, Etkin Johnson vice president of leasing and sales, represented the owner in the transactions. Hadley Cox and Jeremy Kroner of CBRE represented Surefire Medical, and Mike Wafer of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented Conception to Reality.

“Business Center at Westminster Mall is a great fit for our company,” Lori Ann Santamaria of Surefire Medical, said in a statement. “The space has the capability of supporting our companys continued growth and the propertys location will allow us to access the most highly skilled labor pool in the region.” The company expects to hire as many as 45 new employees as it expands its medical device manufacturing operation, she said.

Etkin Johnson Joins Northwest Denver Business Partnership

As Seen In Boulder County Business Report April 7, 2014

BROOMFIELD – Denver-based Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners has joined the Northwest Denver Business Partnership as a managing partner and board member.

Bruce Etkin Chairman

Bruce Etkin

Etkin Johnson owns and manages more than 1 million square feet of office/flex/industrial space and approximately 150 acres for future development within Denver’s Northwest Corridor. Additionally, in 2013, the company placed nearly $150 million in new developments within the region.

The Northwest Denver Business Partnership was formed in 2013 to promote the economic and business prosperity of Northwest Metropolitan Denver. Its service area borders are roughly Interstate 70 to the south, Interstate 25 to the east, the Larimer County line to the north and the mountains to the west.

“Northwest Denver Business Partnership and its members are excited to welcome Etkin Johnson into its leadership ranks,” said Wells Fargo’s Dave Marusiak, chairman of the partnership’s board of directors. “As one of the leading real estate development companies in the region, Etkin Johnson adds credibility to the argument for building an influential business voice, led by business, for northwest metropolitan Denver.”

“We are excited to partner with Ball Corporation, Hunter Douglas, Wells Fargo, Xcel, Jones Lang LaSalle, and others to create the first business voice exclusively for northwest metro Denver,” said Bruce H. Etkin, chairman of Etkin Johnson. “We see real value in creating a business partnership that can work across local political boundaries and economic sectors to influence projects and policies that are important to the region’s growth and business climate.”

Denver Marriott Westminster Opens In Colorado

As Seen In Hotel News Resource April 3, 2014

Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners and White Lodging Services yesterday announced the opening of the 215-room Denver Marriott Westminster full service hotel and Tiller’s Kitchen & Bar at the Denver Marriott Westminster.

The Denver Marriott Westminster

The Denver Marriott Westminster

“I am excited for the hotel opening and to represent the Marriott brand here in Colorado,” said General Manager Dave Kennedy. “We are looking forward to welcoming guests and providing a quality experience for both visitors and those that live in the local community.”
Tiller’s Kitchen & Bar at the Denver Marriott Westminster

Previously, Kennedy was the general manager at the Renaissance Flatiron Hotel in Broomfield, Colo. Kennedy joined White Lodging in 2002 as a regional director of training and recruiting and was later promoted to general manager of the Boulder Marriott Hotel in 2003. His recent hotel teams have garnered numerous awards for customer service, event service excellence and food and beverage quality.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the opening team for the new Marriott in Westminster,” said Stasia Patience, director of sales and marketing. “I’m so proud of our team’s hard work and look forward to providing excellent service to our guests now that we are open.”

Patience brings over 33 years of experience working for Marriott branded hotels and has been with White Lodging for eight years. A Denver native, Stasia was previously the Director of Sales at the Denver Marriott South at Park Meadows, as well as the Boulder Marriott, prior to joining the Denver Marriott Westminster team.

The six-floor Denver Marriott Westminster is the first newly constructed, full service hotel in the Denver/Boulder corridor to open in more than 10 years. The 215-room hotel broke ground in August 2012 and features a new guestroom design, 12,000 square-feet of event, ballroom and meeting space and an experienced sales and event management staff.

Tiller’s Kitchen & Bar presents a fresh regional approach to dining while celebrating the bounty of craft producers, local farms, Colorado ranches and sustainable food sources. The restaurant is distinctly American in menu character, indigenous to Colorado and metropolitan in style. The comforting use of dark rustic woods, warm earth tones textured wall finishes and amber lighting on a foundation of stone, glass and steel will define a Colorado sense of place. Tiller’s wine library streams floor to ceiling in an open fire lit lifestyle space. The artisanal menu is understandable, accessible and moderately priced.

The hotel is located northwest of downtown Denver off Highway 36/Boulder Turnpike at 7000 Church Ranch Blvd.

Trelleborg Moving To Louisville

As Seen In The Denver Business Journal Dec 10, 2013

Broomfield-based business Trelleborg Sealing Solutions will move to Louisville?s Colorado Technology Center after inking a 10-year lease for 75,899 square feet, according to the Etkin Johnson Group. The real estate company plans to build two new speculative industrial/flex buildings on the campus after seeing the existing space at the 1886 Prairie Way filled by Trelleborg Sealing Solutions. Trelleborg Sealing Solutions is a division of the Sweden-based company Trelleborg AB that manufactures “engineered polymer solutions that seal, damp and protect critical applications in demanding environments,” according to its website.

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions signed a lease for 75,899 square feet of industrial space at 1886 Prairie Way, Louisville. It will move to the Colorado Technology Center in 2014.

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions signed a lease for 75,899 square feet of industrial space at 1886 Prairie Way, Louisville. It will move to the Colorado Technology Center in 2014.

General Manager Tom Potosky said the move was necessary because the company is growing, wanted all departments under one roof and liked the newer building at CTC, 1886 Prairie Way, north of U.S. 36 and the Northwest Parkway.

“We had originally looked at the CTC in 2001,” Potosky said. “But we decided to do our expansion here at the time.”

The company has about 125 employees in three buildings. It told the City of Louisville it plans to add 25-50 employees in coming years.

“Some of our customers are in the CTC,” he said. “And we wanted to stay within about 5 miles so we wouldn’t lose any key workforce.”

While the price was comparable when measured against ground-up development, Potosky said the time an effort involved in ground-up construction would have taken too long. It’s planning the move for next summer with plans to be fully operational in the new location by October.

The local division specializes in engineering sealing and bearing solutions for advanced applications in aerospace, automotive, life sciences (health) and oil/gas businesses, he said. Etkin plans to start construction on 1900 Cherry, the first of the two new buildings, on 4.84 acres at the southwest corner of the CTC Boulevard and Cherry Street, this month. A second building at 1900 Taylor Avenue on 11.14 acres at the southwest corner of CTC Boulevard and Taylor is planned for next year, bringing the total new square footage to 203,051 of industrial space. “We are excited to continue our commitment with the City of Louisville and Colorado Technology Center by investing in and developing two new properties,” said David Johnson, president of Etkin Johnson. “The recent Trelleborg lease reflects the growing demand we’ve seen for Class A industrial space in the Northwest Corridor. We are confident these facilities will see strong interest and leasing activity and we are currently working with active prospects for the new buildings.”

“Colorado Technology Center is the perfect setting for technology companies looking for an exceptional location with a prominent image,” said Ryan Good, vice president of Etkin Johnson Group, who brokered the Trelleborg deal with Jeremy Kroner of CBRE Group Inc. Kroner represented Trelleborg.

“CTC’s desirability has allowed us to attract new tenants like Trelleborg and we’re pleased that our property met the company’s high image standards,” he said. ” The leasing success we’ve seen in CTC over the past year has given us the confidence and opportunity to continue developing in the business park.”

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Cyndi Thomas Joins Etkin Johnson Group

As Seen in the Colorado Real Estate Journal Dec 4 -Dec 17 2013

Cyndi Thomas was named director of asset management for Etkin Johnson Group, Colorado’s largest private owner of commercial real estate.

Thomas will lead Etkin Johnson’s asset management team, overseeing operations of the company’s 5 millionsquare- foot commercial real estate portfolio, including budgeting, financial analysis and reporting, contract negotiations and asset performance.

Cyndi Thomas - Director of Asset Management

Cyndi Thomas – Director of Asset Management

Previously, Thomas, who had been vice president at CenterSquare Investment Management, oversaw asset management for its Western region portfolio. She was responsible for all aspects of managing equity and debt investments, including the implementation of business plans, coordination with operating partners, leasing agents and other third-party resources, as well as execution of restructurings, workouts, and dispositions.

Prior to CenterSquare, Thomas worked for Buchanan Street Partners as vice president and ING Clarion as associate in both an acquisitions and asset management capacity for opportunistic, value-add and core real estate portfolios. She also worked at a subsidiary of AT&T, with a focus on corporate real estate.

Thomas holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in real estate and urban land economics from the University of Wisconsin Madison and a Master of Business Administration/ Master of Science in finance from the University of Colorado Denver.

Etkin Johnson Closes Two Deals in July

As Seen In The Denver Business Journal Aug 5, 2013

Capping a busy July, Denver’s Etkin Johnson Group closed two fairly large deals for south metro Denver office buildings.

On Thursday, the real estate company announced it bought an 85,935-square-foot office building called Executive Center One, 11551 E. Arapahoe Road, Centennial, for $7.5 million.

Executive Center One, 11551 E. Arapahoe Road, Centennial.

Executive Center One, 11551 E. Arapahoe Road, Centennial.

The building is 100 percent occupied by Sierra Nevada Corp., an electronics, engineering and manufacturing company.

Sierra Nevada leases spaces in other, nearby Etkin-owned or managed buildings.

This acquisition was an attractive opportunity for our team given our existing relationship with Sierra Nevada combined with the quality of the real estate, said Aaron Johnson, vice president of the development, investment, ownership and management company.

Cassidy Turley Colorado’s R.C. Myles and Jim Brady represented seller GECMC 2001-3 Arapahoe Office LLC.

“Etkin Johnson performed quickly, and without any hiccups, Myles said. The seller was excited to have the transaction closed and is pleased with the outcome. Long-term, we think Etkin Johnson will do quite well with this asset, having purchased it at well below replacement cost and at 100 percent occupancy with a strong and growing tenant.”

Earlier in July, Etkin Johnson bought the Southpark Business Center, 8000 Southpark Way, Littleton, for $4.55 million from LMC Inc., a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp. The company plans to invest some $2 million in capital improvements into the two-builing, 145,517-square-foot, office complex.

Etkin Johnson Buys SW Metro Flex Project

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal Aug 7-Aug 20, 2013

The Etkin Johnson Group bought Southpark Business Center for $4.55 million and will invest an additional $1 million in the property.

The Etkin Johnson Group bought Southpark Business Center for $4.55 million and will invest an additional $1 million in the property.

The Etkin Johnson Group has acquired the largest available block of office/flex space in Denver’s southwest market for $4.55 million cash and will invest another $1 million in the property. Southpark Business Center, located at 8000 Southpark Way in Littleton, consists of two buildings comprising 144,113 square feet. Lockheed Martin Corp. formerly owned and occupied the property, which sold for $31.50 per sf.

Etkin Johnson Vice President of Acquisitions Aaron Johnson said the property presents strong potential for value creation.

“We immediately recognized the opportunity to strengthen and expand our portfolio and were able to move on it quickly under our new acquisition program and significant equity commitment,” he said.

The Denver-based development, investment, ownership and management company will be seeking one or more large tenants to occupy the property.

“This property has the largest block of office/flex space available within the southwest submarket, providing a tremendous opportunity for a large user,” said Ryan Good, vice president of leasing and sales.

“We also have the ability to deliver large qualified users with a tenant improvement allowance or will turnkey additional building improvements to fit their specific needs.”

The Etkin Johnson Group plans to upgrade the landscaping, paint the exterior of the buildings and make other improvements to enhance curb appeal and promote leasing activity. The buildings were constructed in 1984. Jones Lang LaSalle broker Peter Beugg said the property drew considerable interest at the $5 million asking price.

“We had very, very strong investor activity,” he said, adding it offered a unique opportunity to acquire a large value-add office/flex property in the tight southwest industrial market.

“Etkin Johnson was very professional. It was a very smooth deal,” said Beugg, who represented Lockheed Martin with JLL brokers Tyler Reed, Steve Suechting and Andy Ross. Although Lockheed Martin used the property for offices until vacating in late 2012, the buildings have dock doors and drive-in doors for warehouse users.

The acquisition included an adjacent 7.67-acre parcel with a fenced-in parking lot, providing a parking ratio of 5.5 spaces per 1,000 sf for high-density users such as data centers, call centers or schools.

Southpark Business Center has 5,000 sf of raised-floor data center space. It also offers a flexible, open floor plan to accommodate a wide spectrum of operations and is located just off Mineral Avenue with easy access to South Santa Fe Drive and C-470. Johnson said Etkin Johnson Group is seeking additional value-add properties as well as stabilized assets.

Etkin Johnson Group owns a portfolio of more than 6 million sf of office, retail, hotel and industrial holdings nationwide worth in excess of $500 million.