Development Advisors, LLC ("Advisors") is a Denver-based real estate firm providing customized services for specific client groups. Our services are organized into the following functional specialties.
The Principals of Development Advisors ("Advisors") have extensive experience in the acquisition of existing Retail, Office, Industrial, Multi-Family and Specialty properties as well as Land to develop these property types ground-up. Our Acquisition Services are provided to:
- Business Users seeking to purchase or to lease;
- Investors seeking to purchase income producing property; or
- Developers seeking to purchase land or buildings for either build-to-suit or for speculative future lease-up.
- Performance of these Acquisition Services also draws upon Advisors' skill sets in its Land and Development specialties.
Existing Building Acquisition
Advisors assist office, industrial and retail business users seeking to Lease, Buy, or Build their new business facilities. Advisors provides the leadership to evaluate alternative locations and approaches and to then execute the Client's selected plan. Since the early 1980's, Advisors has completed assignments assisting local, regional and national companies with their facility needs. Our mission is to recommend and execute the strategic plan that will best achieve each client's specific objectives for a new facility.
Land Acquisition for Ground-up Development
Advisors also develops new buildings for its clients (or manages a competitive developer selection process). Since development is more complex than acquiring an existing building, the decision to develop a new building must be carefully considered. Before deciding to build ground-up, every existing building alternative should be considered. Existing buildings can often have a better location, be less expensive to renovate and provide a new or replacement facility in a much shorter time frame than new development.
A partial list of Acquisition Services clients served by Advisors includes:
- Mission Hills Church (20-acre land site in SouthPark)
- Del Taco (multiple fast-food drive-thru land sites)
- FirsTier Bank (multiple existing building sites for lease and for purchase)
- Oakwood Homes (land acquisitions totaling more than 1,600 acres)
- ServiceStar Development (retail center parcels nationally)
- E-470 Public Highway Authority (build-to-suit headquarters)
- Norwest Applied Hydrology (tenant representation assignment for full floor of 950 S. Cherry Street in Glendale, Colorado)
- Heartland Bank (Cherry Creek building acquisition and renovation)
- Emerson Electric (remain or relocate decision for 40,000 SF local subsidiary)
You may learn more about Advisors' experience with Acquisition Services by viewing our Projects.
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Land Development Services
Development Advisors' principals ("Advisors") have a wide range of experience acquiring, planning entitling, financing, marketing and developing land for Users, Investors, Developers and Lenders. We often start by providing high-value pre-closing services that include site due diligence, market analysis, feasibility analysis and a comprehensive risk analysis including an assessment of the remaining entitlement risks. Land issues are quite complex and Advisors understands the obstacles that must be overcome before any site can be developed or sold. Advisors' experience covers a wide range of land parcel sizes and types including:
- High-traffic retail corners;
- Complex, urban mixed-use sites;
- Large suburban business parks;
- Bulk acreage for residential master-planned communities;
- Packages of finished residential lots;
- Strategic investment planning for land investment funds and joint ventures;
- National experience including projects in Metropolitan Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado, California, Washington DC, Texas (Dallas and Houston), Florida, Virginia and Illinois;
- Unique land types including vineyards, marinas, ski resorts and toll road service plazas.
Our land development experience includes an extensive track record successfully obtaining governmental entitlements from zoning concept plans through final plats and building permits. Entitlement success drives the value and marketability of land and ultimately determines the profitability or functionality of land.
In Colorado, the ability to economically obtain utility services is often the second most important factor that has to be addressed to successfully develop land. Advisors has ample experience with these utility challenges as well.
Our land projects have provided the opportunity to work with many different land planners, civil engineers, landscape architects, traffic consultants and engineers, environmental and geotech firms, contractors and other key project team members including attorneys, marketing and PR firms, graphic designers, project accountants and lender contacts. This experience gives a firm foundation from which to make recommendations regarding the selection and management of project teams tailored for to the requirements of each property and each Client.
We have successfully arranged financing for a wide range of land acquisitions and developments including substantial experience with joint venture transactions. We have been involved in forming and managing a number of special improvement districts and have successfully negotiated tax increment financing and other tax-sharing arrangements with city and county jurisdictions. Finally, we have had extensive experience resolving many project-threatening issues including environmental, wetlands, endangered species, access, covenant amendments and zoning variances.
Advisors has worked for and in partnership with local, national and international investors, developers, users and financial institutions including:
- E-470 Public Highway Authority (service plaza retail developments);
- Oakwood Homes (1,400-acre Rolling Hills Ranch master-planned community in Colorado Springs;165-acre mixed-use project in Colorado Springs; $150 million land fund);
- Hines Interests (potential acquisition of The Commons and Union Station properties (68 acres) in lower downtown Denver);
- Wells Fargo Bank (evaluation of various troubled land loans);
- ServiceStar Development Company and Shell Oil (neighborhood retail centers nationally);
- Mission Hills Church (20 acre site in Littleton, Colorado);
- Del Taco (multiple site acquisitions including development management throughout Metropolitan Denver);
- FirsTier Bank (multiple site acquisitions);
- MorningStar Senior Living (5.8 acre site in Lakewood, Colorado);
- JP Morgan Investment Management (search for land development opportunities and partners in the Western US);
- LaSalle Partners Development (various land developments in Colorado);
- Prudential Real Estate Group (more than $100 million in major land development acquisitions in the Denver area and evaluation of unique land transactions nationally).
You may learn more about Advisors' experience with Land Development by viewing our Projects.
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Commercial Development (including Project Management)
Development Advisors' principals ("Advisors") have decades of experience managing a wide variety of development projects for others, including land development, start-to-finish building development, building renovations, property redevelopments and tenant finish projects. Advisors' role typically begins as advisory or consultative and moves toward project management or execution.
Advisors starts every project by clarifying and prioritizing the Client's real estate related goals and objectives - in general and for the specific project(s) under consideration. This exercise, together with inputs from the other project team members, creates a framework of prioritized objectives to guide the Client's evaluation of alternative solutions. Our coordination and communication skills equip our Clients to make the best real estate decisions possible.
Serving as the Client's development manager or project manager, Advisors coordinates the selection and management of multi-discipline project teams, including architects, general contractors, engineers, environmental firms, specialized consultants, legal counsel and marketing personnel. Advisors' role as a development manager or project manager draws upon the skills and resources in the Company's other specialty areas including Land, Acquisition Services, Strategic Dispositions and its Church Real Estate practice.
Development Advisors' areas of development and project management expertise include:
- Land development, from planning and entitlements through infrastructure construction and marketing;
- Start-to-finish vertical development of office, retail, residential, industrial and resort properties;
- Land and vertical development specific to church real estate;
- Build-to-suit projects for users and speculative projects for investors and developers;
- Formulation and documentation of strategic plans for the redevelopment or repositioning of existing commercial assets; and
- Execution of the strategic plan finalized with the input of the Client (ranges from performance of specific tasks to overall project management depending on the Client's needs).
- In addition to overall start-to-finish project management capabilities, Advisors is available to also assist with the execution of specific project-related tasks that are often out-sourced to others. Advisors can perform feasibility analysis, market studies, due diligence, construction management, project accounting and provide direction on project financing and marketing. These tasks can be included within a comprehensive project management scope of services or on a stand-alone basis as needed for a project management Client or for a Client looking for specific expertise in conjunction with a project that it or others may be managing.
Advisors has worked for a wide-variety of development management and project management Clients including:
- ServiceStar Development Company (neighborhood retail centers nationally);
- Del Taco (multiple projects in Metropolitan Denver);
- Meadows Crossing (35,000 SF speculative office building in Castle Rock, Colorado);
- Cherry Creek Country Club (luxury residential country club community in Denver, Colorado);
- Oakwood Homes (1,400-acre master-planned community in Colorado Springs, Colorado);
- Hines Interests (acquisition analysis for potential acquisition of 68-acre development parcel in Downtown Denver);
- Voyager Express (13-acre acre truck terminal in Adams County, Colorado);
- Sonlight Curriculum (49,000 SF office-warehouse headquarters in Littleton, Colorado);
- Navidek (105,000 SF Class A office tenant finish in Greenwood Village, Colorado);
- Concordia on the Lake (195 unit Senior Housing community in Littleton, Colorado);
- Wells Fargo Bank (completion of 300,000 SF office building in Washington, DC);
- Entertainment Development Group (equity financing for Houston Pavilions mixed-use project);
- Alameda Triangle, LLC (predevelopment phase of luxury condominium project);
- Hewlett-Packard (300,000 SF build-to-suit office building in Denver).
You may learn more about Advisors' experience with Commercial Management by viewing our Projects.
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Under the direction of Alfred E. Medina, MAI, the Valuation Services group at Development Advisors, LLC (“Advisors”) offers a wide variety of commercial real estate valuation solutions for its clients – whether they be lenders, borrowers (owners and developers) or investors.
By first identifying the scope of the appraisal, we can design a customized format to effectively communicate appropriate answers to your specific value questions. Through a personal consulting process, reports are tailored to meet your current requirements, as well as all of the rapidly changing accounting standards and government regulations.
In such a chaotic, disorderly and noisy environment, a clear and focused understanding of the macro and micro conditions is required. Being able to see trees through the forest requires special attention to the unique qualities of your property location and conditions. The Advisors team is committed to providing supportable values with timely, accurate and reliable results. Here are some of the Valuation Services Advisors can provide:
• Appraisal Reports
• Appraisal Reviews
• Cost and Value Consulting
• Court Testimony (Expert Witness)
• Due Diligence
• Feasibility Studies
• Highest & Best Use Analysis
• Investment Analyses
• Litigation Support
• Market Studies
• Partial Interest Valuations
• Portfolio Valuations
• Property Evaluation Reports
• Subdivision Analysis
• Tax Assessment Appeals
• Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Support
The Advisors professionals have experience with a wide diversity of property types. Not only can we handle the typical office, retail, industrial, and apartment uses – our team also has an exceptional understanding of subdivisions, mixed-use projects, and special use properties such as restaurants, resorts, spas, golf courses, sports and recreational facilities.
In conjunction with utilizing Advisors’ Valuation Services, our clients may also elect to use other company specialty areas, including Financial Services, to help address issues or execute potential solutions identified in an appraisal or other Valuation Services work product.
Dependable value conclusions require persistent attention to detail and can enhance the overall worth of your portfolio. Properties appraised by the principal appraiser of Advisors include:
Office - Low-rise, mid-rise and high rise towers including the Hudson Bay office tower, Office condominium units within the historic Equitable Building and the historic D&F Tower in Downtown Denver, Colorado; the Greater Los Angeles World Trade Center (a 6-phase 1,736,400 square foot mixed-use commercial project with hotel and restaurants on 12.42 acres in Long Beach, CA); Colorado Place (a 15-acre project with over one million square feet of rentable area in Santa Monica, CA); McDonnell Douglas Tower (a 17-story office tower near John Wayne Airport).
Retail – Strip, neighborhood, community and regional shopping centers throughout the Southwest United States including the Citadel Crossing and Erindale Centers in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Chapman Market (a historical landmark in Los Angeles), The Mart of Montebello (211,650 square feet), Mountain Square Shopping Center (Upland, CA), The Brickwalk (Rolling Hills Estates, CA).
Industrial & Business Parks – manufacturing, warehouse, public warehouse, R&D and laboratory buildings including the Flatirons West Business Park in Boulder, Colorado; Cummins Truck Service Centers throughout Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming and the Midwest; the Koll Business Center (Phoenix, AZ); The Pines Laboratories (Torrey Pines, CA); Cooper Bio-Medical Building (Garden Grove, CA).
Residential - over 300 Colorado multi-family apartment properties within the last 4 years; subdivisions including Page Ranch (a 1,178-acre master-planned community in Riverside County, CA); single-family, custom homes; hotels, motels and manufactured home developments.
Special Use Properties – Mixed-use projects such as the Fillmore Place and the Fashion Plaza in Cherry Creek, Colorado; the 910 Arts Building (studios and condominiums in the Santa Fe Art District of Denver, Colorado); Resort hotels including The Phoenician (a 605-room luxury resort and country club in Scottsdale, AZ); vacant land, motion picture studios and production facilities; golf-courses (including Green Valley Ranch, CO); sports arenas; theaters; campgrounds (Hermits Gulch on Santa Catalina Island, CA); banks and S&L branch buildings; medical office; church and school buildings; ranch property; restaurants and nightclubs; automotive centers (including The Autoport, a 147,209 square foot multi-tenant service center with gas stations, car wash and other auto retail uses in San Diego, CA).
A partial list of appraisal clients served include: Alex Brown Realty, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Glendale Federal Bank, Maguire Thomas, Massachusetts Mutual Life, Public Storage, The RTC, and Wells Fargo Bank.
Ultimately, bringing peace of mind to your course of action is our goal. We believe that this can only be achieved through a thorough investigation and verification of the data combined with skilled and practiced analysis. You can have faith in the steadfastness and experience of Advisors to provide timely, accurate and reliable appraisal solutions.
You may learn more about Advisors' experience with Valuation Services by viewing our Projects.
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Development Advisors ("Advisors") has a broad range of experience providing financial services to the real estate industry. Advisors has managed financial strategy, created business plans and cash flow projection models, maintained financial records for operating entities, secured individual bank lines of credit, implemented and managed bank syndicated credit facilities, initiated and managed metropolitan improvement districts and supervised the issuance of more than $100 million in metro district general obligation bonds. Advisors has also been directly involved with acquiring more than 5,800 acres of Front Range residential land and 500 acres of commercial land, acquiring more than 6,500 platted and/or finished lots, financing the development of more than 7,800 lots and financing the construction of more than 9,000 new homes. Advisors also has the experience to act as receivers and advisors for non-performing loans and REO assets and real estate operating companies.
We have provided financial services for the following types of situations:
• Stand-alone commercial projects (office, retail, mixed-use, multi-family, hospitality, industrial);
• Residential subdivisions;
• Portfolios and multiple project operations;
• Real estate operating companies (commercial and residential);
• Residential master-planned communities;
• Land investment and land development operations;
• Metropolitan Improvement Districts;
• Homebuilding operations.
Advisors complete list of financial services includes the following:
• Business Plan development;
• Project Proforma development;
• Feasibility analysis;
• Cash flow modeling and analysis;
• Strategic capital planning;
• Creation of equity investment packages and loan packages;
• Equity and Debt sourcing and structuring;
• Construction loan sourcing and structuring;
• Public sector bond finance sourcing and structuring;
• Equity and Debt restructuring ;
• Interim management/oversight of on-going company operations (people, projects, day-to-day activities)
• Advisory services to owners, investors, Boards of Directors, CEO's & top management
• Deal structure negotiations;
• Investment fund research and organization;
• Financial due diligence;
• Development accounting services and systems;
• Property Management accounting services and systems;
• Financial Reporting;
• Financial internal controls;
• Operating systems analysis;
• Risk Management;
• Market analysis;
Specific projects that Advisors has performed these services for include the following:
- Hines Interests – Denver, CO (land, metro district and vertical development proformas for 68-acre land assemblage in Lower Downtown);
- Wells Fargo Bank - Nationally (proforma analysis pertaining to REO developments and dispositions in California, Washington DC and Texas);
- JP Morgan Investment Management (identification and evaluation of potential projects and partners in the Western US);
- Entertainment Development Group – Houston, TX (sourcing of bridge equity and joint venture structuring for $150 million mixed-use project);
- ServiceStar Development Company – Nationally (project proformas and project debt/equity financing for upscale retail projects in Chicago, Florida, Dallas, Washington DC);
- E-470 Public Highway Authority – Denver, CO (financial projections and master developer negotiations for potential development of 5 retail service plazas);
- Green Valley Ranch master planned community - Denver, CO (4,000+ acres purchased, 5,600+ lots finished, 5,000+ new homes built);
- Highlands Ranch master planned community - Highlands Ranch, CO (2,300+ finished lots purchased and new homes built);
- Thompson River Ranch master planned community - Johnstown, CO (1,600 platted lots purchased on rolling option, 400+ lots finished and 50 new homes built);
- Meadows master planned community - Castle Rock, CO (1,000+ platted lots purchased on rolling option, 800+ lots finished and 400+ new homes built);
- Broadlands master planned community - Broomfield, CO (464 platted lots purchased, finished and new homes built);
- Buffalo Run master planned community - Commerce City, CO (91 platted lots purchased, finished and new homes built);
- Fronterra Village master planned community - Commerce City, CO (128 platted lots purchased, finished and new homes built);
- The Farm at Arapahoe County master planned community - Arapahoe County, CO (105 platted lots purchased, finished and new homes built);
- Cumberland Green - Fountain, CO (461 finished lots purchased on rolling option and 143 new homes built);
- Falcon Highlands - Colorado Springs, CO (106 finished lots purchased on rolling option and 16 new homes built);
- Eastern Hills master planned community - Aurora, CO (350 acres purchased);
- South Academy Station - Colorado Springs, CO (162 acres purchased);
- Rolling Hills Ranch - Colorado Springs, CO (1,328 acres purchased).
You may learn more about Advisors' experience with Financial Services by viewing our Projects.
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Development Advisors, LLC ("Advisors") believes that we can achieve a substantially higher selling price for most commercial properties or land and a higher probability of timely closing if such assets are first investigated by Advisors as a potential development, redevelopment or renovation project. Our objective is to create value by defining the potential development or redevelopment scenarios available to potential buyers of our Client's property. In other words, we create the upside "story" or investment opportunity for our Client's property.
As opposed to a typical commoditized listing approach, Advisors' Strategic Disposition approach keeps our Client in better control of their own property and puts them in the position of ultimately being able to select a buyer from among a prequalified audience of buyers who have been educated about the development or redevelopment potential of the subject property.
Advisors approach usually results in a substantially higher purchase price, shortens the buyer's due diligence and entitlement periods and positions our Client with one or more solid backup buyers in the event that the selected buyer does not perform or seeks to renegotiate aspects of its contract to purchase. Importantly, Advisors' Strategic Disposition approach also ensures that our Client is not stuck with a tainted or de-valued property if a selected buyer fails to adequately perform its due diligence and entitlement responsibilities.
In the case of selling land, Advisors often advocates that our Clients go so far as to have us obtain at least some level of governmental approvals (entitlements) prior to selecting a buyer. Although this involves some time and expense, it avoids the typical listing approach where a seller puts all of its "eggs in one basket" by allowing one buyer to tie up a property for a long time while it seeks to obtain governmental approvals for its specific project. This typical listing approach generally transfers the negotiating leverage to a buyer and leaves the seller with significantly less negotiating leverage over time. In these situations, it is not unusual to see a seller held hostage by the delay of starting over again with a new buyer as the contract purchaser extracts eleventh-hour price reductions or protracted closing extensions.
The traditional listing approach, as executed by brokerage firms, can only offer a "quick close" alternative in which the seller does not accept buyer entitlement contingencies but in turn provides a substantial price discount. In contrast, the Strategic Disposition approach leaves our Clients in control and usually results in higher prices rather than discounted prices. For a significant building or land parcel, this difference can amount to millions of dollars for our Clients.
The Strategic Disposition process advocated by Advisors includes the following key tasks:
Advisors start with a Highest and Best Use Study of the asset and a detailed market analysis of the trade area. We also analyze competitive properties in order to determine what uses and users might still be available in the market for a given property's location and potential uses (especially key for retail and residential land).
We meet with key stakeholders including elected municipal officials, municipal planning staff, neighborhood leaders and others we identify in order to be able to predict the extent that various redevelopment and rezoning scenarios can ultimately be approved.
Utilizing its working relationships with architects, land planner and civil engineers, Advisors then conceptualizes a future new ground-up project or building redevelopment or renovation project including the preparation of a proforma cost model.
We analyze comparable sales and rents to determine the likely market values for a new or redeveloped building or zoned land parcel.
As part of creating a concept plan for the property, we actively seek out the input of potential end-users and buyers (prospective tenants, real estate agents and vertical developers) to affirm that the evolving concept plan maximizes the value of the property. This step often allows us to initiate conversations with buyers and developers who are not currently in the Client's local market but who may be looking to expand there.
We "back into" the building or land acquisition value that the finished product can support and provide a market profit margin for the developer buyer. In other words, we estimate what a prospective buyer developer should be willing to pay for the existing property by determining the eventual selling price for the improvements.
Once a supportable value has been determined, Advisors initiates a tailored closed bid selling effort to a targeted group of qualified developer, investor and user candidates.
We create and release a detailed Investment Package to these selected purchaser candidates. Sometimes, the earlier steps in the process allow us to identify a small group of qualified buyers with whom we can enter into accelerated direct negotiations on behalf of a Client.
In many situations, a Client may elect to have Advisors obtain some or all of the necessary governmental approvals for a range of development or redevelopment scenarios, which further increases the value and marketability of any given asset. In today's market where cities and counties generally favor mixed-use and flexible zoning, it is in fact possible to create a development plan and obtain the associated zoning that will allow for a wide range of uses and development scenarios.
Even where zoning or project entitlements are not formally pursued, Advisors often creates substantial value by initiating related conversations with public officials and planning staff. The feedback from these conversations is critical for the Client to be well-informed and equipped to select the best strategy.
A key part of the entitlement process, even where entitlements are only informally discussed with the staff and elected officials, is Advisors' investigation of the potential public/private financing structures that may be available to boost the value of the property. These include urban renewal districts, tax-sharing agreements, special improvement districts, and various tax credits.
In some cases, these steps may also result in a Client's opportunity to participate in the joint venture development or redevelopment of its property, thereby further increasing its profit potential and deferring its tax obligations.
During this process, our Client communications are ongoing and collaborative. As an advisor to our Clients, we generally try to define for them the costs/benefits of different alternatives and each subsequent step in the process.
Management of the Strategic Disposition process typically draws on Advisors' skill sets in its other specialties, particularly the Land and Development areas.
A partial list of our Strategic Disposition clients includes:
- Oakwood Homes (162-acre South Academy Station where mixed-use entitlements that differed from the Client's original assumptions created a profit for the seller in excess of $50 million)
- Cherry Creek Community Church (high-end residential land sale maximized sale value: $4.9 million sale);
- E-470 Highway Authority (master developer competition based on partial design of 6 service plazas with up to 500,000 SF of commercial development);
- Matt Loufek (Senior Housing-MacKenzie House: $1.2 million land sale);
- Alameda Triangle, LLC (luxury condominiums self-developed by Client following the completion of the Highest and Best Use Study and subsequent discussions with top tier potential land buyers and joint venture partners); and
- Wells Fargo Bank (disposition of a 300,000 SF Washington DC office building and an 800,000 SF junior regional mall in California).
You may learn more about Advisors' experience with Strategic Disposition by viewing our Projects.
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