DENVER-Evan Makovsky, the low-profile co-founder of Shames Makovsky Realty Co., was recently one of the keynote speakers at the 2005 Rocky Mountain Commercial Real Estate EXPO Fall Forecast. The Denver Metro Commercial Association of Realtors and the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management at the University of Denver sponsored the forecast, which attracted thousands of brokers, developers, lenders and others in the commercial real estate field.

Makovsky noted that when he started in the Denver market in the late 1960s, he would handle industrial deals in what is now known as LoDo–one of the trendiest residential spot in Denver. But in those days, the old warehouses were actually used for storage, not for lofts that in some cases have sold for more than $500 per sf. He notes that the first deal he did, he leased space for 69 cents per sf. A portion of the block near Coors Field recently sold for $1 million, he notes.

Makovsky’s company specializes in the sale and leasing of commercial and industrial investment properties. Makovksy is the managing partner /member and part owner of 25 different ownership groups which owns 37 different real estate holdings, most of which are debt free. Although his specialty is industrial properties ranging between 10,000 sf to 200,000 sf, his holdings also include a number of hotels, including a Holiday Inn Express, Days Inn and Ramada Limited near Denver International Airport and the Marriott Residence Inn in downtown Denver, through a partnership with Sage Hospitality. In the 1980s, his company formed Shames-Makovsky Mortgage Co., which specializes in non-conventional real estate financing. The mortgage company led the company into the equity markets and developments, he says.

Makovsky said it is reasonable to expect, on average, a better than a 10% return on commercial real estate investments. He advised young people entering into the field to have a specific plan for approaching the market. And, in some cases, like LoDo proved, the long-term rewards can be great, but virtually impossible to predict.

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