Great-West Lifeco to buy Guggenheim’s real estate PE platform

Photo courtesy of Nikada/iStock/Getty Images

GWL Realty Advisors US Inc (GWLRA US), an affiliate of Winnipeg-based financial services holding company Great-West Lifeco, has agreed to acquire the real estate private equity platform of Guggenheim Investments.

Terms weren’t released for the deal, which is expected to close in Q4 2018.

Power Corp of Canada‘s Great-West said the acquisition of Guggenheim Real Estate LLC (GRE) will enhance its investment platform in the United States.

GRE will be combined with Denver, Colorado-based EverWest Real Estate Investors, which was acquired by GWLRA US earlier this year.

PRESS RELEASE

Great-West Lifeco subsidiary GWL Realty Advisors U.S. announces agreement to acquire Guggenheim Real Estate private equity platform and related funds

WINNIPEG, Oct. 17, 2018 /CNW/ – Great-West Lifeco Inc. announced today that its subsidiary, GWL Realty Advisors U.S. Inc. (GWLRA U.S.), has entered into an agreement to acquire Guggenheim Real Estate LLC (GRE), the real estate private equity platform of Guggenheim Investments. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“This strategic acquisition of GRE complements our global real estate growth strategy and further enhances our platform within the U.S. marketplace,” said Paul Mahon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Great-West Lifeco.

Founded in 2001, and with offices in Boston and Charlotte, GRE will combine with EverWest Real Estate Investors (EverWest), a real estate investment management and operating company acquired by GWLRA U.S. in February 2018.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018 and is subject to customary regulatory approvals and certain closing conditions.

About Guggenheim Investments
Guggenheim Investments is the global asset management and investment advisory division of Guggenheim Partners, with more than US$208 billion¹ in total assets across fixed income, equity, and alternative strategies. We focus on the return and risk needs of insurance companies, corporate and public pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, endowments and foundations, consultants, wealth managers, and high-net-worth investors. Our 300+ investment professionals perform rigorous research to understand market trends and identify undervalued opportunities in areas that are often complex and underfollowed. This approach to investment management has enabled us to deliver innovative strategies providing diversification opportunities and attractive long-term results.

About EverWest Real Estate Investors
EverWest Real Estate Investors is a real estate investment and operating company based in Denver, Colorado, whose goal is to create significant value for investors through a combination of capital appreciation, strategic acquisition, development, capitalization, repositioning, and management of commercial real estate assets.

About GWL Realty Advisors Inc.
GWL Realty Advisors, the parent company of GWLRA U.S. Inc., is a leading real estate investment advisor providing comprehensive asset management, property management, development and specialized real estate advisory services to pension funds and institutional clients. In 2018, GWLRA received a Green Star ranking for the fourth consecutive year from the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark, the world’s leading benchmark for evaluating and ranking the sustainability practices of real estate companies. GWLRA is a subsidiary of The Great-West Life Assurance Company. To learn more, visit gwlra.com.

About Great-West Lifeco Inc.
Great-West Lifeco Inc. is an international financial services holding company with interests in life insurance, health insurance, retirement and investment services, asset management and reinsurance businesses. Great-West Lifeco has operations in Canada, the United States and Europe through Great-West Life, London Life, Canada Life, Irish Life, Great-West Financial and Putnam Investments. Great-West Lifeco and its companies have over C$1.4 trillion in consolidated assets under administration as at June 30, 2018 and are members of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies. Great-West Lifeco trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the ticker symbol GWO. To learn more, visit greatwestlifeco.com.

1 Assets under management are as of 6.30.2018 and includes leverage of US$11.7bn. Guggenheim Investments represents the following affiliated investment management businesses of Guggenheim Partners, LLC: Guggenheim Partners Investment Management, LLC, Security Investors, LLC, Guggenheim Funds Investment Advisors, LLC, Guggenheim Funds Distributors, LLC, Guggenheim Real Estate, LLC, GS GAMMA Advisors, LLC, Guggenheim Partners Europe Limited and Guggenheim Partners India Management.

For further information: Media Relations: Liz Kulyk, Great-West Lifeco, 204-926-5012, media.relations@gwl.ca; Investor Relations: Deirdre Neary, Great-West Lifeco, 416-552-3208, deirdre.neary@gwl.ca

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‘More Shanty Towns, Ghettos’: The Cost Of Too Little Affordable Housing

DENVER (CBS4) – “I have my two year old son and then I have a 6 year old and then I take care of, I just got custody on my birthday of my 11-year-old brother,” a 26 year old who calls herself Mona Lisa told us.

She was shy of the camera, so we agreed not to show her image. She was packing things in a van as she moved to new HUD supported housing.

CBS4’s Alan Gionet interviews “Mona Lisa.” (credit: CBS)

“My dad just passed away in February and my goal is to keep my family together. So I also have my three nephews with me too.”

That’s six children.

She works overnights stocking at Walmart, but wants to go into cosmetology.

There’s not much time to pursue it.

“I’m not sitting up here, I’m not doing drugs, getting drunk,” she says. “Housing is the best thing that could happen to me.”

(credit: CBS)

The most recent numbers from the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness shows 10,940 people experiencing homelessness on a typical night in 2017, the most recent year for available data. The number dropped in the 2000s as home prices slid, then rose.

“The economics in the growing economy like this, you know it’s good for some, (but) by for those on the margins those at the lowest incomes, they’re the ones who lose out,” said John Parvensky, President and CEO of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. “A community has to decide are they going to invest in housing the same way that they invest in transportation, they invest in other systems. Or they’re going to have less quality of life for the whole community.”

Gionet interviews John Parvensky. (credit: CBS)

Willie Allen lives on the streets. Sometimes he can stay at his girlfriend’s place but her transitional housing requires additional payment to stay.

“I might last a couple hours until police come and say, hey you gotta move. Or security comes and says hey you can’t sleep here,” says Allen.

Like some, there are other issues. Finding work is one thing after a previous drug conviction. But he’s clear-eyed and says he’s changing his life.

“It seems like a long hard road. Because they want so much in deposit, they want so much in background check.”

Without enough affordable housing Parvensky says there are going to be growing symptoms of a shortage.

“You’re going to have more and more shanty towns, you’re going to have more and more ghettos, you’re going to have more substandard housing and tent cities and we’re seeing that in cities across the west coast. We’re starting to see that in pockets of the metro Denver area.”

A drive along some of the urban corridors shows people camping at night in places where there were no people before.

“We have to invest in housing in affordable housing just like we have to invest in other infrastructure like roads and bridges and sanitary sewer systems or we don’t have the quality of life that we would like to see, that any great city would have,” said Parvensky.

Alan Gionet is anchor of CBS4 This Morning and reports on a wide variety of issues and “Good Question” stories. He started at CBS4 in 1994. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanGTV or on Facebook.

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Housing Market Slows, as Rising Prices Outpace Wages

DENVER — By nearly any measure, this city is booming. The unemployment rate is below 3 percent. There is so much construction that a local newspaper started a “crane watch” feature. Seemingly every week brings headlines about companies bringing high-paying jobs to the area.

Yet, Denver’s once-soaring housing market has run into turbulence. Sales and construction activity have slowed in recent months. Houses that would once have drawn a frenzy of offers are sitting on the market for days or weeks. Selling prices are rising more slowly, and asking prices are being slashed to attract buyers.

Similar slowdowns have hit New York, Seattle and even San Francisco, cities that until recently ranked among the nation’s hottest housing markets. The specifics vary, but economists, real estate agents and home builders say the core issue is the same: Home buyers are reaching a breaking point after years of breakneck price increases that far exceeded income gains.

“The local economy is still fantastic, all the fundamentals are there, but obviously wages are not keeping pace,” said Steve Danyliw, a Denver realtor. “As the market continues to move up, buyers are being pushed out.”

Rachel Sandoval is one of them. An elementary schoolteacher in the Denver Public Schools, Ms. Sandoval earns about $50,000 a year, enough to afford a condominium or a modest house in most markets. But not in Denver, where the median sales price for all homes was $410,000 in August, and where even condos routinely top $300,000 — a price Ms. Sandoval calls “not even close to feasible.” She said she was scoping out jobs in Texas, where houses are cheaper and pay is higher, and considering leaving teaching in search of a higher salary.

For now, Ms. Sandoval, 41, is sharing a one-bathroom rental house with two roommates, a nurse and an adjunct professor. The three stick to a strict schedule to make sure they can all get to work on time.

“We are professionals, we have degrees,” Ms. Sandoval said. “This was not the plan.”

Nationwide, sales of previously owned homes fell 1.5 percent in August from a year earlier, according to the National Association of Realtors. Residential building permits were down 5.5 percent over the past year, according to the Department of Commerce. Many economists say the housing market may have turned into a drag on the gross domestic product.

The recent slowdown, however, is unlikely to give would-be buyers like Ms. Sandoval much relief. Prices in Denver are still up 8 percent over the past year, according to the S&P Case-Shiller index. That’s cool compared to the double-digit gains of a couple years ago, but well ahead of the 6 percent increase in average hourly earnings over the same period. Rising interest rates have also made buying homes more expensive.

Few analysts expect an outright decline in home prices anytime soon. That’s because, unlike the speculative bubble of the mid-2000s, the recent run-up in prices has been driven primarily by economic fundamentals: People are moving to Denver faster than developers can build places to live. The Denver region has added more than 300,000 residents since 2010, making it one of the country’s fastest-growing areas.

Introductory economics textbooks suggest that high prices should attract more supply or suppress demand — or both. Inventories of unsold homes have risen in Denver and other markets in recent months, and the real estate site Zillow found that price cuts have become more common.

Over all, however, the housing market is not behaving as the textbooks say it should. Inventories remain low despite the recent increases, and new construction is slowing, not picking up.

Part of the problem, local real estate agents say, is that the furious pace of price growth has essentially gummed up the market, making homeowners reluctant to sell for fear of being unable to find a new home.

Rising interest rates are compounding the problem because would-be sellers do not want to give up their low interest rates, a phenomenon economists call the lock-in effect.

Brant and Annie Wiedel spent more than a year trying to get a foothold in Denver’s housing market — and they are reluctant to give it up. The couple estimate that they looked at 160 houses before finally closing on a three-bedroom ranch house in Lakewood, a suburb, three years ago.

With two children and a third due in January, the Wiedels would like to trade up. With the rise in home prices some renovations, the house they bought for $350,000 could be worth more than $500,000.

But the family borrowed at about 3.5 percent three years ago. Today, they would pay closer to 5 percent. “Even if we just saw houses at the same price, we’d have to pay more” every month, he said.

Ultimately, the key to breaking the logjam is to build more homes. Downtown Denver is crawling with cranes, many of them erecting amenity-filled apartment complexes aimed at young professionals. A drive in almost any direction from downtown reveals freshly built subdivisions with names like Tallgrass, The Enclave and Green Gables Reserve.

Most of those new homes, however, will list for more than $400,000. And hardly any builders are selling properties for under $300,000 without government subsidies. Even many home builders worry they are pricing themselves out of the market.

“I see the biggest threat to our business as the affordability challenge, that we are building houses that people can’t afford,” said Gene Myers, chief executive of Thrive Home Builders.

The problem, Mr. Myers and other local builders say, is cost. The price of land, building permits and other fees can run close to $150,000 for a single-family lot — before construction.

Some of the challenges are specific to Colorado. Quirks in state law, for example, make it easy for condominium buyers to collectively sue builders over construction defects, making developers reluctant to build condos.

But other issues are common to many cities. Building materials have become more expensive, in part because of tariffs on lumber and other products that President Trump imposed this year. Labor costs are rising, too, especially for skilled trade workers. Restrictive zoning makes it hard to build denser developments that make cheaper homes profitable for builders.

“They’re producing what they can produce,” said Sam Khater, chief economist for Freddie Mac, the government housing-finance company. “The problem is, it’s uneconomic for them to produce affordable.”

This big-city conundrum is spreading. People priced out of San Francisco moved to Seattle and Portland, driving up prices and displacing people who moved to Denver and Austin. Next on the list: Boise, Nashville and other cities offering some of the same attractions at lower prices.

Sure enough, the online real estate site Redfin this spring found that Denver had joined Seattle and San Francisco as cities with a “net outflow” of users — that is, there were more people on the site looking to leave Denver than to move there.

“City after city is going to face this,” said Glenn Kelman, Redfin’s chief executive. “At some point, the buyers step back and say, ‘Enough is enough.’”

More people are moving to Denver than leaving it, but migration has tapered off in recent years. J. J. Ament, chief executive of Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, said he had seen no sign that rising home prices were making the region less attractive. Last month, VF Corporation, an apparel maker that owns brands like The North Face and Vans, announced it would move its headquarters to Denver from North Carolina, partly because of the area’s reputation for outdoor activities. The state also offered $27 million in incentives.

“I wouldn’t use the word ‘crisis,’” Mr. Ament said. “The work force is still willing to move here.”

Plenty of people in Denver do use the word “crisis,” however. A January report from Shift Research Lab, a local research group, concluded that years of under-building have left the region with a shortfall of tens of thousands of housing units.

That shortfall could threaten Denver’s growth, said Phyllis Resnick, a Colorado State University economist and one of the report’s authors. The skilled workers moving to the area, who have been so important to attracting companies and jobs, want to be able to eat out at restaurants, drop off their dry cleaning and send their children to school, all of which require lower and middle income workers. If they cannot afford to live in the area, Ms. Resnick said, Denver will not retain its allure — and the economy will not keep growing.

“My concern is, at some point it sort of breaks because we can’t house the folks that we need to fill out all the economic activity in the region,” she said. “I’m not convinced that in the near term it will correct itself just through market forces, unless that’s through people moving out.”

Local governments and charities are trying to address the problem. The Denver City Council last month voted to double, to $30 million per year, the city’s affordable housing fund, which is used to build and preserve homes for low-income residents. Late last year, nonprofit groups announced they had raised $24 million to start the Elevation Community Land Trust, which will buy land to create permanently affordable housing. Another new program aims to help public schoolteachers come up with down payments.

To have a big impact, economists say Denver and other cities have to build more homes affordable to middle-class families. That will require persuading communities accustomed to single-family homes to accept condos and townhomes.

“The only way to solve the riddle is through density,” said Dave Lemnah, co-owner of Lokal Homes, a Denver builder.

That’s why he is building projects like the Villas at Wheatlands, a 94-unit development in Aurora, east of Denver. Each lot has three attached units arranged like a jigsaw puzzle. Lokal sells the homes for less than $400,000; some go for close to $300,000.

One buyer, Angela Kirkland-Vandecar, an aesthetician and a single mother, has spent two years searching for a home she could afford on her roughly $50,000 income.

When Ms. Kirkland-Vandecar began her search, she did not want to move to Aurora or to a condo.

“I’ve now done everything that in the beginning I said I was not going to do,” she said.

But Ms. Kirkland-Vandecar feels good about her decision. Her monthly mortgage payment will be less than her $1,900 monthly rent, and she is happy not to have a lawn to mow. Her daughters, 11 and 13, will have their own rooms, and she will no longer have to store food in the laundry room, as she did in the cramped apartment she had been renting.

Walking through her nearly ready house recently, looking for defects, Ms. Kirkland-Vandecar opened a door in the kitchen and paused. A Lokal Homes worker asked if she had found a problem. She shook her head.

“I’m just enjoying my pantry,” she said.

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University of Denver plans massive construction project to convert campus core into college town in the city

The University of Denver Wednesday unveiled plans to transform the core of its campus into a bustling area for shopping and restaurants, starting with a $143 million construction project that will include a new freshman dorm and community commons area.

The initiative — called the Denver Advantage Campus Framework Plan — is a 10-year bid to turn the 125-acre DU campus into a vibrant college town in the heart of the city, Chancellor Rebecca Chopp said. It calls for bringing in more retail, affordable housing and restaurants to the campus and even a hotel on its north side.

DU wants to blur its campus boundaries while being more visitor friendly to surrounding neighborhoods, Chopp said. The school also will partner with the City of Denver on a variety of sustainable transportation options, she said.

“The needs of our campus and neighboring communities continue to evolve,” Chopp said. “We thought long and hard about what it means to plan for the future while keeping our core university values at the forefront. Education, the student experience and financial access remain our top priorities. To fulfill that promise, we’re creating spaces where people can establish a sense of belonging and build community.”

The first step in DU’s revamping is the construction of three new buildings, which are set to open in fall 2020.

They are:

• The $72.5 million Community Commons, which will include classrooms and study spaces, as well as places for programming, collaboration, activities and dining.

• A $55.5 million first-year, 500-bed dorm.

• A $15 million Career Achievement and Global Alumni Center that will help first-year students network for career advice and mentors.

The new dorm will be paid for by room and board charges, while the Community Commons and Career Achievement Center will be paid for, in part, by philanthropy and partnerships. Once the buildings are open in summer 2020, all undergraduate and graduate students will pay a new fee of $6.50 per credit hour to support the Commons, the university said.

As far as transportation around the campus, DU has already launched a pilot bike-share program and in July, the school will start a program with Chariot Shuttles. Chariot will provide a shuttle service for the campus with stops at the light rail and other designated route stops, DU said.

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Office Evolution leases Central Perimeter space for 2nd Atlanta location (Photos) – Atlanta Business Chronicle

A Denver co-working company that has targeted metro Atlanta for 10 locations has leased space in the Central Perimeter for its second location.

Office Evolution has leased 6,900 square feet on the first floor of the 94,575-square-foot, six-story Perimeter Center East building in Dunwoody. The location is expected to open in fall 2018. Andy Bean and Scott Thompson are the lessors through their franchise Atlanta Office Ventures LLC.

The company’s first Atlanta area location, located in Alpharetta near the Avalon mixed-use development, had a soft opening April 27. A grand opening is set for June 6.

The Perimeter location lease is for about seven years, at an annual rate between $20-$25 a square foot, said Andy Bean, area director for Atlanta, Office Evolution, and part of a franchisee group that also includes Scott Thompson and Joe Casey. The franchise group expects to open the second location in August or September.

Like the Alpharetta location at 11720 Amber Park Drive, Building 2 in Parkway 400, the Perimeter location is on the ground floor to the left of the building entrance. What Bean likes about Perimeter Center East is that there are signalized intersections to the left or the right of the building, making access to Interstate 285 easier.

Trey Dove of Cushman & Wakefield represented Office Evolution in the transaction. Perimeter Center East was represented by Michael Howell, senior vice president – office at Lincoln Property Co.

In Central Perimeter, office space overall is leasing at $27.67 a foot full service, according to Scott Amoson, vice president and director of research for Colliers International Atlanta. Class A space is leasing at $29.99 per square foot full service. Central Perimeter had the highest quarterly increase in its average rental rate in the fist quarter, up 6 percent, Amoson said in an email. "This is mostly due to the delivery of 4004 Perimeter Summit, but also due to an increase in recent demand for space in the submarket."

The local Office Evolution franchise group owns the rights to open locations in metro Atlanta from the northern suburbs down to nearly the airport, Bean said. They are on the lookout for the third and subsequent locations, while at the same time keeping an eye on the local co-working market as more companies come in.

"I am always looking" for good locations, Bean said. But "It needs to be the right thing before we do it."

The Alpharetta location is "ahead of projections" as far as memberships, but Bean declined to give specific numbers. "We have a lot of traction now that we are open and people can see the space," he said, although the interior decor is not completedly finished. The company is adding art and furnishings prior to the grand opening, he said.

Office Evolution, which works with Cushman & Wakefield Inc. to locate real estate, had 35 locations open around the country as of January 2018 and planned to open another 30 through 2018, expecting to end the year with around 65 locations, founder and CEO Mark Hemmeter said.

Startup locations are usually 7,000–10,000 square feet, while conversions (Office Evolution buys an independent operator and converts it to the Office Evolution brand) can be up to 25,000 square feet.

The franchisee is the owner of the business, while Office Evolution supports the franchise with design, construction and site location real estate services; website; sales training; a national call center based in Denver; and office technology support. For that support, the franchisee pays the franchisor a royalty fee of 7.5 percent of revenue, Hemmeter said. Because it’s a suburban operation, Office Evolution "has to be more efficient," with centralized technology, billing and call center.

Office Evolution charges about $150 per month for open co-working space on a drop-in basis; $299 a month for the professional plan, which gives 24/7 access to the local office as well as all other Office Evolution locations across the country plus a virtual receptionist; and $1,100 a month (billed annually) for private office space, which comes with all of the professional plan amenities, said Andy Bean, area director for Atlanta, Office Evolution, and part of a franchisee group that also includes Scott Thompson and Joe Casey. A tiered payment structure ranges from month-to-month up to an annual contract, with better terms for longer commitments.

The Alpharetta location was slated to have 33 offices for permanent members, with the smallest office at 200 square feet, and drop-in space for up to 25.

Atlanta is the fifth largest co-working market in the United States behind Manhattan, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, according to a Nov. 28, 2017, Cushman & Wakefield blog.

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Element Properties Opens Denver-Area Affordable Housing Community

Element Properties has opened the doors of SPARKwest, a 45-unit affordable housing community in Boulder, Colo. Developed in partnership with Boulder Housing Partners and Thistle, a management and leasing services provider, SPARKwest is part of the larger SPARK development—an 11-acre mixed-use project that will eventually feature 273 mixed-income units. In fall last year, Element Properties invested in another property in the same city. In a joint venture with Signature Partners, the company closed $11 million in financing for a 60-unit community in Boulder.

Located at 3215 Bluff St., SPARKwest is just north of the Steel Yards neighborhood. The property features 19 three- and 26 two-bedroom units, all equipped with washers and dryers. Amenities include complimentary RTD bus EcoPasses for all residents and bike path access. Additionally, the community has a 116-kilowatt solar system. Sopher-Sparn Architects designed the property to meet LEED standards.

A public-private effort

The City of Boulder contributed $3.8 million for the project, while the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA) provided the Federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits. SPARKwest was also funded by the proceeds from the sale of tax-exempt private activity bonds issued by the CHFA.

SPARKwest is currently fully occupied, following almost two months of intense leasing activity. Nine apartments are restricted to residents earning 60 percent of the area’s median income, while the remaining 36 residences are set aside for residents making no more than 50 percent of the area’s median income.

“The overwhelming demand we saw for the 45 homes at SPARKwest is a sign of how much work remains to develop an array of meaningful solutions for our community’s housing challenges,” said Element Properties Principal of Community Development Kevin Knapp, in prepared remarks.

Images courtesy of Element Properties

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Colorado oil and gas services firm, Canary LLC, talks to CNBC about global oil market – Denver Business Journal

Denver CEO Dan Eberhart, of Canary LLC oilfield services firm, discusses rising oil prices and the costs of oil exploration on CNBC on Monday, April 30.

Canary is one of the largest private oilfield service companies in the United States and has operations in every major shale basin across the country.

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DURA assistance keeps family in longtime Denver home

Copyright 2018 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

DENVER— The Denver Urban Renewal Authority’s (DURA) Housing Rehabilitation program helped 50 homeowners across the city and county of Denver with home repairs in 2017.

Myron Tanenbaum, a Colorado homeowner, told Denver7 he doesn’t know where his family would be without the program’s help.

Some background: The Housing Rehabilitation programs match low-income and moderate-income residents with grants and low-interest loans for emergency repairs. According to DURA officials, this includes hot water heater replacement, installing a new roof or replacing sewer lines.

Tanenbaum said he received notice from the City of Denver, alerting him about a crack in an underground pipe that was running through his property.

He said the notice required he take care of the issue in a timely manner.

Tanenbaum told Denver7 about the financial hardship his family has faced, since his daughter was diagnosed with cancer. He said paying for treatment has made it close to impossible for his family to afford any repair work.

He said he explained this difficulty to the city worker who did the inspection on the pipe. Tanenbaum said that’s when he was directed to DURA.

“We have resources ready to spend,” Tracy Huggins told Denver7.

Huggins is DURA’s executive director.

She referred to resources that ultimately provided contractors and construction to Tanenbaum.

Huggins added these are resources that are available to those who “income qualify.”

“To be able to come in and have someone manage the entire construction project with you, and be able to look up and have your home be really safe and much more enjoyable,” Huggins said as she explained the impact of the program. “[It’s] a program that doesn’t require you to make a payment – if you income qualify at that level – until you sell the house.”

Huggins explained what the programs provide and who they help. She said particularly those who are elderly or who have fixed incomes.

She said this assistance is “not just a loan program,” but that DURA provides wrap-around services for those earning at-or-below 80 percent of the area median income.

Loan staff determine eligibility, then a rehabilitation team inspects the property and puts together a list of what work needs to be addressed.

The work is then coordinated with the homeowner.

Denver7 followed Tanenbaum around his property as he pointed out areas where work was done on the pipe.

As he walked through his yard, he sighed and said, “It’s hard keeping up with this place.”

A place Tanenbaum has called home for the last 31 years.

“Without DURA I wouldn’t have been able to do it,” he said.

Copyright 2018 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Polsinelli grows in Denver, adds 20 lawyers since November and new practice area – Denver Business Journal

The Polsinelli law firm has been expanding its Denver office, adding 20 lawyers over the winter and recently adding a high-profile intellectual property attorney who helped bring the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to the city.

John Posthumus, formerly of Denver-based Sheridan Ross, joined Polsinelli as a partner in its growing intellectual property practice two weeks ago.

Kansas City-based Polsinelli PC, which moved its Denver office into a new 22-story tower at 1401 Lawrence St. a year ago, now has 91 lawyers in Denver, with a couple more joining in coming days, said Jennifer Evans, managing partner in Denver for Polsinelli.

Gallery: Polsinelli law firm shows off new office in new downtown Denver building

Kansas City-based Polsinelli Denver office moved into its new office at 1401 Lawrence St. in December. The firm has the naming rights on the newly erected building and hosted a party March 2 to celebrate.

VIEW SLIDESHOW 14 photos

“We are filling up faster than I anticipated,” said Evans, adding that it’s making the entire four-floor office a busy place.

Polsinelli’s growth in Denver is part of an ongoing national expansion that has included adding offices in Houston and Palo Alto, California, she said.

The 900-attorney firm manages the business by practice areas; it’s growth isn’t primarily led by geography, but by where client demand is for specific legal areas and where it can attract the relevant attorneys, Evans said.

Denver’s booming economy has helped spur the law firm’s local growth.

“We have so many clients in Denver, or in this part of the country, who either have their whole business here or their clients are in this part of the country.” Evans said. “Like everyone, we’ve benefited from that infusion of capital, people and energy.”

The fastest growing parts of the Denver office include Polsinelli’s global franchise business supply chain legal practice, its corporate M&A law practice and its intellectual property practice.

The company’s adding a Denver- and Dallas-based practice in franchise supply chain law, based on the hiring of attorneys Joyce Mazero and Len MacPhee who will be co-chairs of the practice.

In addition to having clients here, lawyers in the M&A practice benefit by being located centrally with easy access to coastal business centers and other parts of the country, Evans said.

The way Polsinelli’s been shaping its practice to attract and retain clients as it has grown helped convince Posthumus to join its IP practice, he said.

“I’ve been watching them for a while and noticing what they were doing, which was quite a bit different from other firms in town,” said Posthumus, who had spent eight years at Sheridan Ross, a boutique that specializes in intellectual property work, but previously had worked at other national law firms with a presence in Denver.

Enlarge

John Posthumus, an Denver intellectual property lawyer, recently joined Polsinelli PC’s expanding IP law practice.

Polsinelli has big law firm resources and legal capability, Posthumus said, but it makes itself accessible to clients of all sizes with a mid-market rate structure and a flexibility to pull resources from different practice areas across the organization as needed, he said.

“It’s nice sweet spot, I think,” he said.

Posthumus was one of the main lawyers that led a several-year effort to convince the federal government to open U.S. Patent and Trademark Office satellite locations outside Washington D.C., and to put one of them in Denver.

The Denver USPTO office opened in 2014 — one of four regional offices created nationwide — and made the city the patent hub for a nine-state region.

It has between 125-150 federal patent examiners now, and there’s a growing awareness in the regional business community of the services the USPTO offers, Posthumus said.

He said he hopes to start work on convincing the newly-appointed USPTO chief in Washington, D.C. to expand the staffing at all the regional USPTO offices — maybe having as many as 2,000 examiners in Denver by 2024 — in the hope of alleviating the longstanding backlog of patent applications filed by companies, entrepreneurs and inventors.

2018 Largest Denver-Area Law Firms

Ranked by No. of attorneys in Denver-area as of Oct. 1, 2018

Rank Business name No. of attorneys in Denver-area as of Oct. 1, 2018 1 Holland & Hart LLP 218 2 Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP 151 3 Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP 141 View This List

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