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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Industrial space can support evolving retailer needs

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal’s February issue of Retail Properties Quarterly.

An emerging trend is the growing reliance on the industrial market for manufacturing, storage and distribution solutions as companies employ more e-commerce strategies.

The retail industry is evolving, and while the growth of e-commerce has not made traditional retail obsolete, as once predicted, it has forced the entire industry to adapt to changing consumer behaviors and meet a new set of expectations.

With almost any product available for online purchase, consumers are less likely to drive to a store, park, walk in, make a selection, stand in line, pay and then drive home, unless there’s a compelling reason. As a result, retailers are introducing new solutions that offer customers both the ease of online shopping as well as memorable in-store experiences that reinforce their brands.

This evolution also means that retailers in Colorado and across the country are thinking differently about their real estate needs. One emerging trend is the growing reliance on the industrial market for manufacturing, storage and distribution solutions as companies employ more e-commerce strategies.

Future demand for industrial space. Regardless of how companies are choosing to adapt to changing consumer demands, the industrial market is starting to play a major support role in the retail revolution and will continue to do so in the coming years.

E-commerce users typically require up to three times more industrial space than a traditional retail supply chain user, according to CBRE’s 2018 U.S. Real Estate Market Outlook. The report goes on to predict that with e-commerce sales forecast to grow by 10 percent annually and to top $500 billion by 2020, demand for high-quality, well-located industrial real estate will remain steady.

Last year alone, the Denver metro area delivered 5.4 million square feet of new industrial space – the highest since 2001 – according to CBRE. Looking at 2018 and beyond, Denver’s strong industrial and logistics market is well positioned to continue providing the type of proximity to consumers and accessibility to major transportation arteries that the retail industry needs.

Deliveries of industrial space in the Denver market, compared with population growth for the area. Courtesy CBRE

How industrial space can be used. Advances in e-commerce have created a new kind of retail experience that allows consumers to get what they want, when they want it. Consider the evolution of Amazon, for example.

In 2005, Amazon introduced Amazon Prime, which offers free two-day shipping on most products. More recently, the company introduced Prime Now, which guarantees free two-hour delivery in select cities, including Denver. This type of on-demand consumerism has created a feeding frenzy and, to keep up with demand, Amazon has constructed dozens of fulfillment centers across the country to store thousands of products that are ready for shipment at a moment’s notice.

Amazon aside, smaller operations also are driving demand for industrial space. As companies continue to grow in Colorado, many are finding success through e-commerce retail strategies that require more space for their operations.

For example, Fenix Outdoor Imports (the parent company behind popular outdoor brands including Fjällräven) nearly doubled the number of its Colorado employees a couple of years ago, necessitating a move into a larger industrial/flex space in the Colorado Technology Center that could accommodate immediate and future growth. The warehouse houses manufacturing, distribution and office functions, as well as a showroom that doubles as a retail staging area.

Similarly, WishGarden Herbs – Colorado’s herbal remedies expert – relocated to the Colorado Technology Center from Boulder in 2014 to expand its manufacturing and distribution operations due to increased consumer demand across the country. This woman-owned, family run company has grown from a small startup to a nationally recognized company by employing both traditional and e-commerce retail strategies.

Other retailers are pioneering solutions that incorporate e-commerce strategies into new concepts that most likely will require more industrial space in the future. For example, the recently introduced 3,000-sf Nordstrom Local keeps limited inventory on site with the opportunity to purchase selections online. With off-site storage nearby, customers can expect same-day delivery of their products to the store or their homes. It is yet to be seen how this type of model will affect the demand for new industrial space, but it is certainly a trend to watch.

As retail continues to evolve in Colorado and throughout the country, companies will continue to figure out new and innovative solutions to meet the changing demands. And while this evolution might take many different forms, it’s becoming increasingly clear that retail will rely heavily on the flexibility and functionality of the industrial market moving forward.

Denver’s Etkin Johnson to build 3-building industrial campus in Louisville

As Seen In The Denver Business Journal – October 5, 2017

The lease-up of 633 CTC Boulevard triggered the development of a 400,000-square-foot industrial campus in Louisville’s Colorado Technology Center.

Denver-based Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners will break ground on a 400,000-square-foot, three-building industrial campus in Louisville following the lease-up of another of its industrial projects.

Both projects are located in Louisville’s Colorado Technology Center, located roughly near the intersection of Northwest Parkway and 104th Street.

“Now that 633 CTC Boulevard is fully leased, we’re starting construction on a brand new spec campus in the Colorado Technology Center with state-of-the-art technology and amenities,” said Ryan Good, executive vice president and partner at Etkin Johnson.

The 400,000-square-foot Louisville Corporate Campus at CTC will be built on a 33-acre parcel purchased by Etkin Johnson earlier this year.

Louisville Corporate Campus’s construction was triggered by the the lease-up of 633 CTC Boulevard, a 153,018-square-foot project that wrapped up construction last month. The leases bring that building to full occupancy.

The Keystone Group, which specializes in LED safety flares, work lights and sun shades, will move into its 52,336 square feet in January, while Molecular Products, which designs and manufactures safety equipment for working with breathable gases will move into 63,030 square feet in April after completing tenant finish.

Wild Goose Canning, which serves the craft beer, wine and spirits industries, as well as coffee and juice makers, will move into 37,652 square feet in January.

ULI Foundation Governor Bruce Etkin Expands Student Scholars Program beyond ULI Colorado

As Seen In The ULI Foundation Fall 2017 Newsletter

Bruce Etkin

ULI Foundation Governor Bruce Etkin has pledged $100,000 to expand the Etkin Johnson Student Scholarship Program, which began at ULI Colorado to support undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Colorado as they launch their careers in real estate and other land use professions. The funding will be competitively awarded over two years to district councils to support student memberships, networking and mentorship activities, and involvement with ULI at the local level.

“The $70 or so fee to attend a district council event might not seem expensive, but many students simply can’t afford it,” Etkin says. “Building your professional network through ULI is an essential building block early on in your career, and it was important to me to expand this program so that more deserving students benefit from the important skills and connections that a ULI membership brings with it.”

For the 2017-2018 academic year, ten councils applied to participate, and four were selected to recruit and support ten Etkin Johnson student scholars each: ULI Baltimore, ULI Kansas City, ULI North Florida, and ULI Philadelphia. ULI Colorado will also continue to receive funding for its program.

ULI Colorado’s model for the program will be replicated in these other locations, with an emphasis on encouraging student members to participate in district council events, programs, and Young Leaders Group; establish connections with mentors among local ULI Key Leaders; and gain valuable leadership and networking skills. One of Etkin’s goals is to have the scholarship program permanently endowed in these new locations by additional benefactors.

Etkin, also a ULI governing trustee, has been an active ULI member since 1979. He is a former ULI Foundation board member and has served on several ULI product councils. He is chairman of Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners, a privately owned commercial real estate investment and development company based in Colorado.

California-based family trust pays $8.6M for Interlocken building

As Seen In BizWest – September 18, 2017

295 Main Photo_2014

This 65,127-square-foot office/flex building at 295 Interlocken Blvd. in Broomfield has sold for $8.6 million.

BROOMFIELD — Denver-based Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners has sold an office/flex building at Interlocken in Broomfield for $8.6 million.

California-based Steve and Loretta Scheenstra Trust purchased the property at 295 Interlocken Blvd., in the Interlocken Advanced Technology Environment. NavPoint Real Estate Group, based in Castle Rock, will manage the property moving forward.

Etkin Johnson purchased 295 Interlocken in December 2009 for $6.92 million. Constructed in 1984, the property includes 65,127 square feet of office/flex space and is divided into eight business suites. The property was 92 percent leased at the time of sale.

“This sale is the culmination of a successful investment for Etkin Johnson and its partners, and we are working with NavPoint to ensure a seamless transition for all of our tenants,” said Derek Conn, executive vice president and partner at Etkin Johnson. “We remain very invested in the Northwest Corridor and are looking forward to many continued years of prosperity in the region.”

Since the company’s founding in 1989, Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners has developed and acquired more than 85 properties across Colorado’s Front Range, totaling more 7.5 million square feet. Its current portfolio is made up of office, hotel and industrial holdings, totaling approximately 5 million square feet.

Newmark Knight Frank brokers Riki Hashimoto and Dan Grooters represented Etkin Johnson in the transaction. Matt Call and John Witt from NavPoint represented the Scheenstra Trust.

Etkin Johnson sells Clear Creek Business Center for $18.1M

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal – June 21 – July 4, 2017

An eight-building business park under the same ownership for a dozen years sold to a Honolulu-based buyer for $18.1 million.

Denver-based Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners sold Clear Creek Business Center to Watumull Properties Corp. The park consists of 187,865 square feet of office/flex space.

“Clear Creek Business Center has been part of the Etkin Johnson portfolio for 12 years and we are working closely with Watumull Properties to create a smooth transition for all of our tenants there,” said Derek Conn, Etkin Johnson executive vice president and partner. “This sale will allow us to better focus on existing properties in the area as well as new developments and potential acquisitions,” he said.

Clear Creek Business Center, located at 6800-6880 N. Broadway in Denver, was built from 1984 to 1987. It houses 47 tenants from 526 to 19,415 sf, the largest of which are ZS Pharma, Red Hawk Fire & Security LLC and Dish Network Service LLC. Occupancy was 95 percent at the time of sale.

Situated at the confluence of Interstate 25, U.S. Highway 36 and I-76, the park provides good visibility and access. The single-story buildings are fully sprinklered and have 10-foot windows, individual HVAC units, 10-by-10-foot drive-in doors and 14- to 16-foot ceiling clearance.

Etkin Johnson sold the Clear Creek Business Center for $18.1 million.

“Thanks to our best-in-class leasing and property management teams, we were able to achieve dramatic rent growth over the last several years while maintaining near full occupancy,” said Conn. “This made for an exceptional investment opportunity for a qualified buyer.”

Brad Calbert and T.J. Smith of Colliers International handled the transaction.

Etkin Johnson owns nearly 5 million sf of industrial, commercial, hospitality and multifamily properties in Colorado, including approximately 1.2 million sf in the Colorado Technology Center in Louisville.

Watumull Properties’ holdings include more than 2 million sf of flex/industrial properties in the Denver market.

Etkin Johnson sells Denver office complex for $18.1 million

As Seen In The Denver Business Journal – June 1, 2017

Denver-based Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners has sold a 187,865-square-foot office complex for $18.1 million.

Honolulu-based Watumull Properties purchased the Clear Creek Business Center, at 6800-6880 N. Broadway in Denver, which Etkin Johnson had previously owned for more than a decade.

Etkin Johnson sold the Clear Creek Business Center for $18.1 million.

“Clear Creek Business Center has been part of the Etkin Johnson portfolio for 12 years, and we are working closely with Watumull Properties to create a smooth transition for all of our tenants there,” said Derek Conn, executive vice president and partner at Etkin Johnson. “This sale will allow us to better focus on existing properties in the area as well as new developments and potential acquisitions.”

Clear Creek Business Center, an eight-building business park, was built in the 1980s and is occupied by 47 tenants ranging in size from 526 square feet to 19,415 square feet. The facility was 95 percent occupied at the time of sale.

Etkin Johnson owns nearly 5 million square feet of real estate in Colorado and is developing new industrial space in Louisville and a hotel in Westminster.

Sports Authority headquarters in Englewood sells for $15.77 million

As Seen In The Denver Post – April 8, 2017

Denver’s Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners on Friday said it has sold the former Sports Authority headquarters in Englewood.

The sale to the freshly formed West Hampden Investors LLC gives hope for a revival of the sprawling campus at the corner of West Hampden Avenue and South Santa Fe Drive, which was home to almost 800 employees before big-box retailer Sports Authority sank into bankruptcy last year.

The $15.77 million deal involves two buildings: the 92,040 square-foot 1050 W. Hampden Ave. and the 118,167 square-foot 1090 W. Hampden Ave. Etkin Johnson acquired the buildings in 1998 and leased the space to Gart Bros. from 2001 to 2003 and Sports Authority — which merged with Gart in 2003 — until 2016.

The new owners, West Hampden Investors, based in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood, filed articles of organization with the Colorado Secretary of State in January.

Etkin Johnson partner Ryan Good said in a statement that the deal allows the company to concentrate on other properties along the Front Range, including new developments in Louisville’s Colorado Technology Center and in Colorado Springs.

The company, which owns almost 5 million square feet of property in Colorado, recently acquired a 33-acre parcel adjacent to the Colorado Technology Center, where it owns 1.2 million square feet of space in the office park. The company also is developing the 77-acre Gateway at InterQuest in north Colorado Springs, where it plans a 288-unit community set to break ground later this year.

Etkin Johnson Acquires 33 Acres Adjacent to Colorado Tech Center

As Seen In Mile High CRE – March 22, 2017

Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners, a full-service, privately owned commercial real estate investment and development company based in Colorado, has acquired a 33.12-acre parcel adjacent to the Colorado Technology Center (CTC) in Louisville, Colorado.

“We’ve been active in CTC for more than 20 years, and have grown our portfolio there to nearly 1.2 million square feet,” said Derek Conn, executive vice president and partner at Etkin Johnson. “This parcel provides another strategic site that offers maximum visibility, flexibility and convenience for tenants looking to attract top talent from all the markets along the Northwest Corridor.”

Coloardo Tech Center Aquisition Etkin Johnson Real EstateThe 33.12-acre parcel, purchased from the estate of Richard Hoyle, will be annexed into CTC, adding to Etkin Johnson’s portfolio in the business park. The company currently owns nearly 5 million square feet total in Colorado.

The acquired land has historically been used as a tree farm, but was rezoned for commercial use prior to the sale. The site is one of the last remaining pieces of land in or around CTC that can accommodate 24-foot clear flex buildings, a staple feature of Etkin Johnson’s buildings. Etkin Johnson plans to break ground on the first building of a proposed three-building, 400,000-square-foot office/industrial/flex campus – dubbed the Louisville Corporate Campus at CTC – in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“A traffic signal will also be installed at the entrance to the park along Dillon Road,” added Conn. “It’s one more perk that should prove advantageous when leasing the to-be-built buildings.”
Like other Etkin Johnson properties in the area, the proposed Louisville Corporate Campus at CTC will include outdoor workspaces, highly integrated technology, roll-up glass garage doors that create open-air workspaces, and environmentally responsible amenities including:

  • Energy efficient HVAC system
  • Solar control Low-E glass
  • Strategically placed skylights
  • GenFlex cool roof system
  • Free electric vehicle charging stations
  • Exterior LED building and parking lot lighting

Etkin Johnson acquires 33 acres adjacent to CTC, plans 3-building project

As Seen In BizWest – March 21, 2017

Etkin Johnson Colorado Tech Center land acquisition

This site plans shows the layout for Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners’ proposed three-building, 400,000-square-foot office/industrial/flex campus – dubbed the Louisville Corporate Campus at CTC — in Louisville. Courtesy Etkin Johnson.

Denver-based Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners has acquired 33 acres of land adjacent to the Colorado Technology Center in Louisville. The privately owned commercial real estate investment and development company plans to break ground on the first building of a proposed three-building, 400,000-square-foot office/industrial/flex campus — dubbed the Louisville Corporate Campus at CTC — in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Etkin Johnson purchased the land north of Dillon Road near the CTC from the estate of Richard Hoyle. The purchase price was not disclosed, and the transaction has not yet been processed in public records.

The land, historically used as a tree farm, will be annexed into the tech center, where Etkin Johnson owns nearly 1.2 million square feet of space. The company owns nearly 5 million square feet total in Colorado.

The land was rezoned for commercial use prior to the sale.

The site is one of the last remaining pieces of land in or around CTC that can accommodate 24-foot clear flex buildings, a staple feature of Etkin Johnson’s buildings.

“We’ve been active in CTC for more than 20 years,” said Derek Conn, executive vice president and partner at Etkin Johnson. “This parcel provides another strategic site that offers maximum visibility, flexibility and convenience for tenants looking to attract top talent from all the markets along the Northwest Corridor.”

“A traffic signal will also be installed at the entrance to the park along Dillon Road,” Conn added. “It’s one more perk that should prove advantageous when leasing the to-be-built buildings.”

Like other Etkin Johnson properties in the area, the proposed Louisville Corporate Campus at CTC will include outdoor workspaces, integrated technology, roll-up glass garage doors that create open-air workspaces, and environmentally responsible amenities.

More apartments ramping up for northern Colorado Springs

As Seen In The Gazette – March 1, 2017

As Colorado Springs’ apartment market remains red-hot, a Denver company that plans to build 288 northside units says it might nearly triple that number, depending on how well its initial project does.

Gateway at Interquest Apartments Colorado SpringsEtkin Johnson Real Estate Partners aims to start construction in the third quarter on an apartment complex that will be part of The Gateway at InterQuest, a nearly 77-acre development southeast of Interstate 25 and InterQuest Parkway. The company bought the land a year ago, with plans to develop it into a mixed-use project.

A concept plan recently submitted to the city’s Land Use Review Division by Etkin Johnson representatives shows an initial project would include 16, three-story buildings, each with 18 units or a total of 288 apartments. The project would be built on the southeast portion of the property.

The concept plan also suggests the company might develop a total of 864 units as part of The Gateway at InterQuest. However, Derek Conn, an Etkin Johnson executive vice president and partner, said Tuesday that future phases with additional apartments would depend on demand.

“We need to see how the market absorbs the initial phase, as well as the other construction that’s going on in the submarket, before we decide to pull the trigger on phase two and three,” Conn said.

The 288-unit complex is planned as a Class A project, which means a higher-end development with a clubhouse, fitness center, pool and other amenities. He couldn’t say what rents will go far, although they’ll be comparable to similar projects, Conn said. Apartments built after 2010 averaged nearly $1,320 a month in the third quarter of 2016, according to a Colorado Division of Housing report.

Overall, a strong demand for apartments has driven Springs-area rents to record highs for six consecutive quarters, while the local vacancy rate in the third quarter was at a nearly 16-year low, the Housing Division report shows. And even as hundreds of new apartments are being built or on the drawing board, they’re not keeping pace with renter demand, multi-family experts have said.

Etkin Johnson remains optimistic about growth in the InterQuest area, where at least three other mixed-use projects are in various stages of development, Conn said. Those projects – InterQuest Marketplace, InterQuest Commons and Victory Ridge – will include stores, restaurants, hotels and entertainment uses.

“We are very bullish on northern Colorado Springs and feel like there’s still some room to run and some growth in the marketplace,” Conn said.