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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DePaul buys prime small-bay industrial bldgs. for $5.15M

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal – November 2, 2016

Stapleton Square occupies a “bulls-eye” location in Denver, said CBRE’s Jeremy Ballenger.

A small-bay industrial asset in a prime location sold for the full asking price in a deal that drew multiple offers.

Stapleton Square, a two-building project that Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners had owned for many years, traded to DePaul Real Estate Advisors for $5.15 million, or $78.47 per square foot. The Class A buildings, comprising 65,628 sf, are located at Interstate 70 and Havana Street in Denver.

“Havana and I-70 has always been kind of a bulls-eye location in the northeast submarket, but with the development of Enterprise Business Center over the last several years, this is adjacent to some of the best product in the market,” said Jeremy Ballenger, CBRE vice president.

Stapleton Square, located at 10515 and 10525 E. 40th Ave., was 100 percent leased to 16 tenants.

“The draw to investors was twofold. There were in-place leases about 15 percent below market, and the building had average occupancy of over 96 percent over the past three years,” said Ballenger. Also, “Small-bay product like this is so expensive to build right now that existing assets in this size are especially attractive to private buyers,” he said.

The opportunity to buy that product type well below replacement cost – in a location with “great access” on and off I-70 – was very appealing, concurred DePaul President Paul DeCrescentis.

“We think there’s upside in the market rents over existing rents,” he said. Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners took “very good” care of the property, so there won’t be any dramatic changes, DeCrescentis added

DeCrescentis said the deal exemplifies why his company recently changed its name, which better reflects the services it provides, including capital markets structuring of debt, joint ventures and investment sales. In the case of Stapleton Square, it identified the property, arranged the debt and equity, and closed on that; it paid cash to meet the seller’s timetable, but will be putting a loan on the property. “Our loan wasn’t ready, but we wanted to live up to what we said we’d do,” DeCrescentis said.

“Etkin Johnson was terrific to work with, he said, adding the CBRE team of Ballenger, Vice President Tyler Carner and Kyle McClure “did a terrific job representing their seller.”

“It was a very smooth transaction from our perspective,” DeCrescentis said.

 

Hyatt Place Denver/Westminster Hotel Begins Construction

As Seen In Hotel News Resource – October, 28 2016

Hyatt Place Denver/Westminster Hotel Begins Construction

White Lodging and Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners announced they have begun construction on a 137-room Hyatt Place hotel in Westminster, Colorado, slated to open in spring 2018. The hotel will be managed by White Lodging Services Corporation.

“We are pleased to partner with Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners on the Hyatt Place Denver/Westminster, another premium branded hotel development in Westminster,”said Deno Yiankes, president and CEO of White Lodging’s investment and development division. “This development is in line with our strategic development plan to continue investing in premium brands located in high growth markets.”

“We are excited to continue our partnership with White Lodging and the City of Westminster,” said Derek Conn, Director of Finance for Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners. “We have experienced a great deal of success building the adjacent 164-room SpringHill Suites and the 212-room full service Marriott. With the top-notch team at White Lodging, we are looking forward to the same trend with the Hyatt Place brand.”

The six-story hotel, located at 6865 W. 103rd Ave., will include more than 2,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel’s lobby will include the Hyatt Place brand’s signature food and beverage options, including The Gallery, a full bar serving wine, beer, spirits and coffee open 24 hours and a complimentary hot breakfast, known as the a.m. Kitchen Skillet, which will feature hot breakfast items, fresh fruit, oatmeal, yogurt, cereal, fresh-baked pastries and more. The hotel will also feature an indoor pool, state of the art fitness center and outdoor patio with a recreation area.

At opening, Hyatt Place Denver/Westminster will be the third White Lodging-managed hotel in Westminster and the 18th throughout the Denver/Boulder metro area.

Centrally located between Denver and Boulder, the hotel will be located northwest of downtown Denver off Highway 36/Boulder Turnpike. The hotel will be situated within a five-minute drive of a multitude of restaurant, retail and corporate demand generators including Ball Corporation, Interlocken Business Park, Oracle, Level 3, IBM, SunCorp and Protogenic. Regional attractions such as the Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, Coors Brewery and the Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, as well as the corporate headquarters for DigitalGlobe and Datalogic are all within a short drive. Other nearby businesses includes St. Anthony’s North Hospital, KaiserPermente Health Care, Axion Health, Cerapedics, Flagship Boisciences and Arca Biopharma.

 

 

Etkin Johnson assembles deals to reposition Southpark

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal – June 1-14, 2016

Etkin Johnson has completed its repositioning of Southpark Business Center in Littleton.

Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners got creative in leasing up a large office/flex property in Littleton.

Southpark Business Center, which was vacant when Etkin Johnson purchased it in 2013, now is fully occupied – by a credit tenant, a self-storage facility and an auto consulting group.

Located at 8000 Southpark Way, the property consists of two single-story buildings of 112,279 and 33,238 square feet, and a large, fenced lot. Etkin Johnson bought the business center from Lockheed Martin Corp. for $31.50 per sf.

It transformed the larger building into a state-of-the-art self-storage facility managed by Extra Space Storage. The property consists of 772 climate-controlled units that provide customers with first-floor access. There also is a loading dock for easy loading and unloading.

“The self-storage conversion at Southpark Business Center is a great use for the property,” said Etkin Johnson President David Johnson. “The location is convenient not only for Littleton residents and businesses but also for the broader Denver area, with quick access from U.S. 85 and highway 470. We look forward to meeting the storage needs of the surrounding community with this state-of-the-art facility.”

Lockheed Martin, which used to occupy Southpark Business Center, signed a lease for the smaller building. Major tenant improvements are underway, and the company is scheduled to move in in July.

“We are thrilled to have Lockheed Martin back at Southpark Business Center,” said Ryan Good, Etkin Johnson executive vice president and partner. “The company’s familiarity with the property gave all parties the assurance that the building, in terms of size, location and infrastructure, would certainly be a great fit for them.”

Lockheed Martin’s Autonomous Systems division will use the building for research and development.

Good negotiated the lease with Duncan Heitman of JLL, who represented Lockheed Martin.

The final piece of the puzzle was leasing a portion of Southpark Business Center’s large upper parking lot to JFR & Associates Inc., which helps people buy new and used cars. The company will have 350 parking spaces in the fenced lot.

“We were excited to put the deal together with JFR & Associates,” said Good. “It was the last piece of the puzzle that has turned Southpark Business Center into an income-producing asset.”

Good said all three users will capitalize on what attracted Etkin Johnson to the asset in the first place: convenient access to major thoroughfares, flexible floor plates suitable for a variety of uses and ample parking.

“Those features proved to create a tremendous amount of value and ultimately led to a successful repositioning of the asset,” said Good.

Essex arranges loan for Etkin Johnson

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal – May 18-31, 2016

Shown is Lafayette Corporate Campus.

In the fall of 2000, about 300 Denver area commercial real estate brokers gathered in a field before boarding a five-seat helicopter, to provide them with an aerial view of what today is the 293,394-square-foot Lafayette Corporate Campus.

“Once you’re up in the air, it’s a no-brainer,” Bruce Etkin, principal of Etkin Johnson, the developer of the 77-acre center, said at the time of the appeal of the industrial and flex-space campus.

The next year, the first building in the center off U.S. 287, just east of U.S. 36 opened.

Etkin Johnson recently refinanced the campus.

Jeff Riggs, a principal at Essex Financial Group, missed that helicopter ride.

However, his relationship with Etkin Johnson predates that helicopter tour. By a lot.

“We have done business with Etkin Johnson for over 30 years,” Riggs said.

Most recently, Riggs and Sam Makings, an analyst at Essex, arranged a $24 million loan on behalf of Etkin Johnson for the Lafayette Corporate Campus.

The nonrecourse loan was made by a Midwestern life insurance company.

The 15-year loan, amortized over 30 years, includes two years of interest only.

“This financing achieves our goal of utilizing conservative leverage at favorable terms for an asset we plan to hold long-term,” said Derek Conn, director of finance for Etkin Johnson. “We think this debt will look very good for many years to come.”

There were a number of lenders willing to make the loan, given the location of the Lafayette Corporate Campus, the strength and history of Etkin Johnson, and the quality of the tenants at the campus, which include GE Health Care and Epsilon, according to Riggs.

“All were interested, but Etkin wanted a 15-year loan term and that eliminated most banks and CMBS sources,” Riggs said.

The lender, like Riggs, has a relationship with Etkin Johnson.

“The winning lender was able to forgo any structure provisions related to tenant rollover occurring over the first three years of the loan,” Riggs said.

“They had done loans for Etkin Johnson in the past and relied upon their experience and integrity,” Riggs said.

During the past three decades, Essex has financed several projects for Etkin Johnson.

The latest was not its biggest by a longshot.

In the past, Essex had financed a 20-building, 2 million-sf portfolio of industrial properties for Etkin Johnson.

“That was a $85 million credit facility with a major life company, TIAA,” Riggs said.

 

Qualcomm sells vacant Gunbarrel property after downsizing

As Seen In The Boulder Daily Camera – May 9, 2016

The former Qualcomm facility at 6150 Lookout Rd in Gunbarrel, pictured here, has been sold back to previous owner Etkin Johnson, along with three surrounding land parcels, for $5.4 million.

Chip maker Qualcomm has sold its Gunbarrel facility to Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners after downsizing.

The Denver based development, investment, ownership and management company, announced the acquisition of property at 6150 Lookout Road on Monday. Etkin previously owned and managed the space for 16 years before selling to Qualcomm in 2014.

Etkin plans to completely renovate and reposition the asset, which includes a 51,082-square-foot office/flex building, an adjacent parking lot at 5150 Lookout, a vacant 3.7 acre parcel at 6100 Spine Road and a vacant 2.3 acre parcel at 6201 Spine Road.

Etkin paid $5.4 million in the transaction.

“This is the rare instance in which a prime, value add property comes available in or around the Boulder core,” said Derek Conn, director of acquisitions at Etkin, in a statement. “The property was acquired at a significant discount to replacement costs in an environment with rising construction prices. We see this as a great opportunity to institute an extensive renovation and repositioning plan for the well-located asset.

Etkin sold the 3.7 acre parcel to Boulder firm W.W. Reynolds Cos. for an undisclosed amount. There are no immediate plans for the remaining land in Etkin’s portfolio, but the firm “sees the 6201 parcel as a strategic opportunity for additional tenant amenities,” according to a statement.

Demolition work is currently underway at the 6150 Lookout Road building, also known as Lookout Business Center. Etkin’s plans for the property include the removal of offices to provide an open, flexible floor plan, new interior and exterior paint, installation of glass overhead doors, and more.

“With its superior access to the Diagonal Highway and proximity to Greater Boulder, Lookout Business Center is an ideal location for a wide range of users,” said Conn. “Boulder continually proves itself to be one of the most desired markets in the area and our team has the opportunity to realize significant value creation in a market it knows intimately.”

San Diego-based Qualcomm announced in July that it would cut 15 percent of its global workforce. Around 158 workers in Gunbarrel were terminated in November as part of the cuts.

Accurence to return to CTC with 17,940-sf build-to-suit

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal – May 4-17, 2016

Accurence will occupy a build-to-suit at the Colorado Tech Center that’s scheduled to be completed in February 2017.

A software company founded in the Colorado Technology Center in Louisville will move to its own facility there next year.

Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners will develop a 17,940-square-foot build-to-suit for Accurence, which develops inspection software for homeowner insurance claims. The building will be located on 2.38 acres at 305 S. Arthur Ave.

“We are very pleased to be developing a build-to-suit facility for this growing company,” said Ryan Good, Etkin Johnson executive vice president and partner. “We’re excited for the opportunity to deliver Accurence a modern building that meets their specific needs and seamlessly reflects their culture and brand.”

Accurence, which currently occupies space at CirclePoint Corporate Center in Westminster, will relocate when the building is completed in mid-February 2017.

“This project is a significant step for Accurence and comes at a time when the company is seeing its fastest growth,” said Accurence President Jake Labrie.

Accurence develops and maintains mobile and desktop roofing software applications for insurance carriers and roofing contractors nationwide. The new facility will serve as its sole operations center, housing 59 employees with room for growth the company anticipates in coming years.

“The new facility will have a great impact on the team and company. There is already excitement internally, and being able to define the space and incorporate company cultural elements is a great opportunity. We think this will help us attract great talent – a priority for any software company in today’s market,” Labrie said.

The building will contain an open office area, modern presentation conference room, private huddle rooms and approximately 1,500 sf of warehouse space. There will be a spacious kitchen with two glass roll-up doors that will open to one of the office’s two outdoor patios, capitalizing on views of the Flatirons.

“Accurence was founded in the Colorado Technology Center. Moving back after six years to build a facility in the business park just seems right,” said Labrie. “The early team really enjoyed the Coal Creek Trail, Old Town Louisville, Lafayette and the mountain views. The growth in the park and surrounding areas have only made the location better.”

Dean Callan & Co. Senior Associate Hunter Barto represented Accurence in the transaction.

“The high-quality, single-story flex product that Etkin Johnson had been delivering to the CTC was very appealing to Accurence,” said Barto. “This particular site was a perfect fit in terms of what it could accommodate. This will really be a signature building and a great way to mark Accurence’s return to the CTC.”

Elizabeth Cox, Etkin Johnson construction manager, is overseeing construction of the building. Ware Malcomb is the architect.

 

Downsized Qualcomm sells portion of Gunbarrel real estate

As Seen In BizWest – April 27, 2016

BOULDER – Denver-based Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners has bought back a Gunbarrel building it sold to Qualcomm just two years ago, as well as two additional parcels of land that the semiconductor company had owned since the late 1990s.

Etkin Johnson has already sold one of the newly acquired vacant parcels to Boulder development and property management firm W.W. Reynolds Cos.

Etkin Johnson paid Qualcomm $5.4 million for four parcels: a 51,082-square-foot building at 6150 Lookout Road and its adjacent parking lot at 5150 Lookout, a vacant 3.7-acre parcel at 6100 Spine Road and a vacant parcel at 6201 Spine Road.

Qualcomm still owns and occupies a pair of large office buildings across Spine Road to the south of the 6201 property.

San Diego-based Qualcomm had bought the 6150 Lookout building and its parking lot from Etkin Johnson in 2014 for $5.04 million. Qualcomm was a tenant in a portion of the building at the time and was eyeing adjacent suites for expansion, Etkin Johnson director of finance Derek Conn said Tuesday.

But a major companywide restructuring for Qualcomm last year led to 158 layoffs in Boulder.

“Due to some corporate restructuring on their end, they moved the unit that was working in that building to their property across the street, and we had the opportunity to buy it back,” Conn said.

Conn said the 35-year-old single-story building is vacant and that Etkin Johnson intends to essentially gut it and create a more modern, open office environment. He said lease rates for similar office/industrial flex properties are running between $12 and $15 per square foot on a triple-net basis.

“We believe that Gunbarrel is a natural destination for a lot of tenants that need additional space, have been driven out of (central) Boulder or are looking for an alternative,” Conn said.

Etkin Johnson’s only other property in Gunbarrel is the Celestial Seasonings distribution building at the northeast corner of 63rd Street and Spine Road.

As for the two vacant parcels purchased from Qualcomm, they are both zoned general industrial. Conn said Etkin Johnson has no immediate development plans for the 6201 Spine property it is keeping.

“We think it can create a strategic opportunity going forward for tenant amenities if there are additional parking requirements or the like (for the 6150 Lookout building),” Conn said.

W.W. Reynolds officials couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday. But Conn said he believed the company is planning to hold the land at 6100 Spine for future opportunities. W.W. Reynolds already owns the building next door at 6060 Spine Road that is occupied by GE.

 

 

Etkin Johnson to build facility for software company in Louisville

As Seen In The Denver Business Journal – April 26, 2016

Etkin Johnson will build a new facility for software company Accurence at the Colorado Technology Center.

Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners will build a 17,940-square-foot flex industrial building for Accurence, a software company that specializes in homeowner insurance claims inspection.

The facility will be built on 2.4 acres at 305 S. Arthur Ave. in the Colorado Technology Center in Louisville.

“We are very pleased to be developing a build-to-suit facility for this growing company,” said Ryan Good, executive vice president and partner at Etkin Johnson. “We’re excited for the opportunity to deliver Accurence a modern building that meets their specific needs and seamlessly reflects their culture and brand.”

Accurence is currently based in Westminster and develops desktop roofing software applications for insurance carriers and roofing contractors across the country. The new facility will house 59 employees and includes room for future growth.

“This project is a significant step for Accurence and comes at a time when the company is seeing its fastest growth,” said Jake Labrie, president of Accurence. “The new facility will have a great impact on the team and the company. We think this will help us attract great talent – a priority for any software company in today’s market.”

The new facility will contain office space and about 1,500 square feet of warehouse space. Accurence will relocate its operations from Westminster following the completion of the new building in February 2017.

Colorado Technology Center is a master-planned business park encompassing 580 acres. Etkin Johnson owns and manages a 900,000-square-foot portfolio there, with another 120,581 under construction at 2000 Taylor Ave.

Ware Malcomb is serving as project architect.

 

The Cities on the Sunny Side of the American Economy

As Seen In The New York Times – March 31, 2016

DENVER – When the aerospace company Sierra Nevada Corporation moved into the Colorado Technology Center about eight years ago, employees on their lunch break could stroll by the alpaca farm next door.

Now the animals are gone, and the land is cleared and ready for the new development surging along the Denver-to-Boulder corridor.

At campaign rallies throughout the South and Midwest, economic frustration and sluggish wage growth are dominant themes. States like Alaska and Oklahoma, faced with low oil prices, are grappling with bankruptcies and layoffs. And overall growth in the United States economy remains disappointing.

But this thriving industrial park is just one sign of the many metropolises and smaller cities across the nation that have not only regained their footing since the recession, but are on the upswing. Here in the Mountain West – but also in places as varied as Seattle and Portland, Ore., in the Northwest, and Atlanta and Orlando, Fla., in the Southeast – employers are hiring at a steady clip, housing prices are up and consumers are spending more freely.

“It’s pretty clear that some metropolitan areas are doing really well,” said Andrew McAfee, an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “The ingredients to that formula seem to be some combination of great research universities and knowledge-intensive industries, whether it’s high tech on the West Coast, biotechnology here in the East or clusters of technology and robotics in places like Pittsburgh.”

The Denver metropolitan area has become a showcase of the sunnier side of the American economy. While the region has some inherent advantages, like a spectacular landscape that beguiles outdoor enthusiasts, Colorado had long been held back by a dependence on natural resources as its economic base.

Its transformation into one of the most dynamic economies in the country was led by local business leaders and government officials, who took advantage of existing assets while also raising taxes at times to invest in critical transportation links, development-friendly policies and a network of colleges and universities.

“It’s the outcome of really about 30 years of diversifying our economy” away from fossil-fuel industries and military contractors, said Tom Clark, chief executive of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. “In the 1980s, we were Coors, carbon and the Cold War.”

With a history of boom-and-bust commodity cycles, Colorado hit bottom in the mid-’80s, when energy prices collapsed. Nearly a third of the office space in downtown Denver, the state’s oil-and-gas headquarters, sat empty. Many of the city’s cultural institutions teetered, and a cloud of brown smog smeared the horizon.

Now the brilliant blue skyline is punctuated with red cranes, and Denver’s soundtrack includes the steady thrum of power drills operated by hard-hatted construction workers who are putting up office buildings and housing at a feverish pace.

Technology start-ups, including Ibotta, Craftsy, Home Advisor and Gnip (bought by Twitter in 2014), found a footing in Colorado. Financial services firms like Charles Schwab, TIAA and Fidelity Investments expanded their operations.

A raft of smaller aerospace and commercial satellite companies like Sierra Nevada, which just won a NASA contract to build the mini-space shuttle Dream Chaser, have elbowed in beside giants like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Colorado led the country last year in new health care jobs.

Several measures helped things along. A new rail line that will connect the airport to the downtown and serve outlying industrial parks and a push to support cultural institutions “required people to vote to raise their taxes,” Mr. Clark of Metro Denver said. “This wasn’t something done by the elites.”

What Denver and its surrounding cities share with other boomtowns is an appealing environment for a skilled work force, which has increasingly meant the difference between prosperity and stagnation.

Such places have become business incubators and magnets for educated millennials. The lifestyles that 20- and 30-somethings often seek depend on a medley of urban living, public transit and lots of entertainment options (which in Colorado includes marijuana, legalized for recreational use since 2014).

“Opportunity is being driven by the digital economy,” said Zo Baird, president of the Markle foundation, which recently began a pilot program called Skillful in Colorado to match employers and workers based on skills, rather than simply degrees. “That is where the job growth and economic growth is coming from.”

According to the latest figures available, the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood region had an unemployment rate of 2.7 percent, the lowest of any metropolitan area with a population above one million. (The national average was 4.9 percent in February.)

A recent report by the Leeds School of Business, at the main Boulder campus of the University of Colorado, predicted that the state would gain more than 65,000 jobs in 2016, or about 2.5 percent above last year’s level.

“People used to come to Colorado just for the state. They liked the lifestyle and hoped they could scrape a living together,” said Fiona Arnold, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. “Now employers are chasing them.”

Take Charles Schwab, which has its headquarters in San Francisco and is expanding in a handful of cities, including Phoenix, Orlando, Indianapolis and Austin, Tex. At its new campus in Lone Tree, outside Denver, hiring is enough of a main activity that a dedicated “talent acquisition suite” was installed off a lobby, a stylish space with gray suede couches, a kitchen and cozy private rooms where prospective employees can be comfortably courted.

This year, Schwab plans to add 1,360 people to its staff in Colorado.

Other businesses have taken advantage of opportunities for collaboration with universities and government laboratories.

Sierra Nevada’s plant, for example, features a thermal vacuum chamber that simulates the cold void of space and a pint-size mission control to track its commercial satellite launches.

But when it needed to recreate the intense vibration of a space launch, it trucked the Dream Chaser prototype to the earthquake simulator at the University of Colorado campus 20 minutes away.

Erik Mitisek, the state’s chief innovation officer, said the region’s economic diversity was building on itself. Many people don’t want to relocate for a single job opportunity, he said. They want to know they have other options.

“That was probably a hurdle before,” said Mr. Mitisek, a co-founder of Denver Startup Week, a sort of entrepreneurial Lollapalooza, in 2012. “But now there is a lot of depth in the market.”

Bryan Leach, a former lawyer who founded Ibotta (pronounced “I bought a”), a mobile shopping app, has seen that evolution firsthand. After starting his career in the District of Columbia, he tested several western states in the early 2000s. Arizona had too many rattlesnakes, he said half jokingly. Wyoming was too small. California was too expensive.

Then he and his wife visited Denver. They could manage to buy a new five-bedroom house and have the occasional dinner out without borrowing from their in-laws, he said. But at first he couldn’t find the right job.

No more. In Mr. Leach’s view, Denver has reached a “critical mass” of new business ventures. People who love Colorado’s lifestyle no longer “feel like they have to sacrifice the quality of career opportunities,” he said.

Mr. Leach’s own company has undergone extraordinary growth. In 2012 he ditched his lawyerly dark suits and now wears a tech entrepreneur’s uniform of orange sneakers and a purple shirt. He started Ibotta in the windowless basement of a fire station, paying $8 a square foot to house himself and one other employee.

In March, the company moved more than 200 full- and part-time employees into a new 40,000-square-foot office in Denver’s tallest tower.

The relative lack of racial and cultural diversity (the state is 87 percent white) can deter some people from relocating, Mr. Leach conceded, but he thinks that is changing with an increasingly cosmopolitan mix of people, arts, restaurants and shops. His own weekend ritual includes dim sum and rock climbing.

The dynamism reminds him of his youth in Atlanta in the 1980s and ’90s, when the Southern hub was growing at a phenomenal pace.

“Now I get to be part of the generation that is building the new economy,” he said.

Etkin Johnson to develop The Gateway at InterQuest

As Seen In The Colorado Real Estate Journal – March 2- March 15, 2016

An aerial view of The Gateway at InterQuest in northern Colorado Springs.

Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners is finalizing its conceptual plans for 76.8 acres of land it recently acquired at InterQuest, a high-tech business park fronting Interstate 25 in northern Colorado Springs.

The commercial real estate developer, manager and investor paid $4.35 million for the land, situated at the southeast corner of I-25 and Interquest Parkway, where it is planning The Gateway at InterQuest.

The Gateway at InterQuest will include a mix of apartments, office, neighborhood retail and hotels. “In our opinion, it is the best remaining bulk site in the market,” said Derek Conn, director of finance at Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners, noting that with all of the growth in northern Colorado Springs, it was an opportunity to acquire “a great piece of real estate.” “This is a particularly exciting opportunity to acquire bulk land with freeway frontage in a local market we’re already active in and familiar with,” said Conn. “Etkin Johnson is an ideal developer for this land, both in terms of their local efforts and the momentum it will bring to the northern submarket,” added Michael Payne Palmer of Quantum Commercial Group Inc., who represented Etkin Johnson in the acquisition and is marketing The Gateway at InterQuest. Etkin Johnson looks to kick off The Gateway at InterQuest with the development of multifamily product, work that should commence in the next 12 to 18 months. While project specifics are still being finalized, the company does plan to offer smaller pad sites for sale or build to suit.

The Gateway at InterQuest site also is adjacent to office buildings, hotels, entertainment and retail at InterQuest Marketplace, where Great Wolf Resorts is transforming the center’s unfinished Renaissance Hotel into a family style resort with a water park that will open this fall.

“They (Etkin Johnson) have an existing presence in Colorado Springs and a proven track record of successfully developing mixed-use environments that attract residents, high-tech companies and quality tenants,” added Palmer. In addition to the land, Etkin Johnson also owns and manages three office/flex properties in Colorado Springs, all of which are 100 percent occupied. “This acquisition provides us the opportunity to utilize all of our core competencies as a longtime, local investor in a market where substantial value can be created,” said Conn. “Our development plans will draw on the strengths of our more-than-25-year history in Colorado and will focus on creating a vibrant community in this fast-growing area.”

“There is so much positive activity in this area, we’re excited to be a part of it,” he added. Corporate Office Properties Trust sold the land. It was represented in the sale by Jim Capecelatro of Cushman & Wakefield.