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by Jill Jamieson-Nichols

Unico Properties LLC is

making a serious investment

in Harlequin Plaza.

Unico just bought the two-

building office complex in

Greenwood Village for $26.55

million, according to public

records. It will spend millions

more on building improve-


“We are very pleased to

continue to build our port-

folio within the Denver mar-

ket. With it comprising over

50 percent of Colorado’s total

population, 62 percent of all

jobs, and a burgeoning num-

ber of companies headquar-

tering here, this continues to

be an appealing market for

us from an investment strat-

egy,” Jonas Sylvester, senior

vice president of investment

and development, said in a

statement regarding the acqui-


Harlequin Plaza, with 59

percent of its space leased, rep-

resented a value-add opportu-

nity. The property at 7600 E.

Orchard Road, in the Green-

wood Plaza submarket, con-

sists of nearly identical three-

and four-story steel and glass

buildings that total 327,907

square feet. Situated on an

18-acre campus, the buildings

are connected by a landscaped

46,000-sf plaza.

Building amenities include a

deli, fitness center, and show-

ers and locker rooms.

The property is well suited

to large users, with average

suites of nearly 17,000 sf and

the capability to accommodate

a user of 48,000 sf, Unico said.

Cherry Creek Mortgage and

Bellco Credit Union are the

largest tenants, collectively

occupying 33 percent of the


Unico Properties said it was

able to purchase the asset at a

substantial discount to its 2006

sale price, illustrating its abil-

ity to source strong investment

opportunities in the Denver

market. Unico purchased Bel-

leview Tower, also at a steep

discount, last year.

“Like at BelleviewTower, we

intend to reposition Harlequin

Plaza through the execution of

a substantial capital improve-

ment program that will help

raise this quality asset to the

next level,” said Dan Preisler,

general manager of Unico’s

Denver portfolio. “Specifically,

we are planning over $6 mil-

lion of building improvements

alone, as well as bringing our

proven and best-in-class cus-

tomer service and sustainabil-

ity practices to the asset.”

All vacant spaces will be

upgraded, and the buildings

Unico invests big in Greenwood Plaza asset

A pair of steel and glass buildings connected by a 46,000-square-foot outdoor plaza comprise Harlequin


by John Rebchook

Interest rates are at all-time

lows and banks have a record

amount of cash on hand to

lend – $1.7 trillion, according

to the Federal Reserve.

Yet, banks are often on

the sidelines when it comes

to making commercial real

estate and business loans.

Banks’ inability or reluc-

tance to lend, even to cli-

ents with great track records

with lots of equity in their

income-producing proper-

ties, is providing an unprec-

edented lending opportunity

for niche lenders that make

private equity loans, fre-

quently called hard-money

loans, according to experts in

the field.

“I’m trying to make com-

mon-sense loans,” said Bob

Amter, an owner of Denver-

based Montegra Capital

Resources Ltd.

These loans, which appar-

ently are not tracked by any

regulatory agency and are

sometimes called part of the

“ s h a d o w

b ank i ng ”

s y s t e m ,

are short-

term loans

that carry

h i g h e r -


ket interest


But these

lenders are

not loan sharks.

When the loans are made

– typically carrying interest

rates in the range of 9 percent

to 14 percent in today’s mar-

ket – they provide a needed

service to the borrower who

can’t get a bank loan or one

from an insurance compa-

ny that would carry a much

lower rate.

The borrower typically

plans to either refinance the

loan in a relatively short time

into a much lower rate or sell

the property and pay off the

high-interest loan.

Investors, meanwhile, can

get a high rate of return in a

low-rate environment.

At Montegra, for example,

the 100 limited-partner inves-

tors in a $16 million fund it

manages have received a net

return of 9 percent annually

since it was created in 2009.

Along with Amter, Bill Stan-

fill is a general partner for

what is called the Montegra

Capital Income Fund LP.

Montegra is opening up the

fund to “accredited inves-

tors.” These also are known

as “sophisticated investors”

who typically either have

annual incomes of at least

$200,000 and or at least $1

million in assets outside of

their primary homes.

Investors need to pony up

a minimum of $150,000 to

Niche lenders needed now more than ever

Susan Underhill was able to buy the historic Emerson mansion thanks

to a loan from Montegra Capital.

Bob Amter

Please see Montegra, Page 19 Please see Unico, Page 43


Greater Denver 4 Boulder County 11 Larimer & Weld Counties 12 Colorado Springs 14 Who’s News 16 Finance 17 Law &Accounting 20 Property Management 22 Green Building 28 CDE 29 Office 43 Industrial 44 Multifamily 45 Retail 47



WinWholesale will build a

242,000-square-foot distribution

facility at Prologis Park 70


The Nichols Partnership recycles a

City Park West structure into a

bicycle-themed apartment building

Big on Boulder

Goff Capital Partners grows

its Boulder County portfolio

to approximately 2 million square

feet with its $58.3 million purchase

of The Campus at Longmont

End of an era

Archstone sells the last of its

Denver-area apartment

communities for $68.25 million

4 4 11 46 See Section B