DENVER-The Denver Metro Commercial Association of Realtors, or Dmcar, recently named the area’s top commercial producers at its annual Heavy Hitters Award ceremony. About 300 brokers attended the luncheon, where top producers were named for industrial, investments, multifamily, land, office, retail and small office categories.

The top brokers handled a record $1.1 billion in transactions last year. For comparison, that is more than the total sales of all commercial properties sold by all brokers in the Denver-area a decade ago. It wasn’t until 1997 that all sales in the metro area topped $1 billion. The Heavy Hitters numbers would have been even higher for 2005, but CB Richard Ellis is no longer a member of Dmcar, and didn’t participate in the competition.

Rich Calhoun, who heads the Denver office of CB Richard Ellis, says Dmcar provides more benefits for smaller companies than large ones. “We no longer belong to Dmcar for a number of reasons,” Calhoun tells GlobeSt.com. “It does not make a whole lot of financial sense for us. They offer education programs, but we have our own professional education in-house and our own education budget.”

Marc Lippitt, principal of Denver-based Unique Properties, and the current president of the Dmcar board, tells GlobeStcom he thinks all commercial real estate brokerage firms should belong to Dmcar. “They get a lot of benefits,” Lippitt says. “I’m told we’re the biggest commercial real estate chapter in the country. We have about 2,000 members. I didn’t know that until I was named president. I would have thought it would be a city bigger than Denver.”

Still, even without CB Richard Ellis in the mix, the winner’s numbers were impressive. The top performers were Mike Winn and Tim Richey, of Cushman & Wakefield, who in 19 transactions sold $454.6 million in properties. That tops their sales in 2004 by $50 million. In second place was the multifamily team of Doug Andrews and Jeff Hawks, principals of Apartment Realty Advisors. They sold a record $402 million in transactions for their 10th consecutive victory in the competition. In fact, they’ve won every year that the category was offered. Last year’s sale included the $176 million sale of Palomino Park in Highlands Ranch, which was close to $100 million more than the previous record for the sale of an apartment community.

In order of size, the other winners included: Nick Pavlakovich, Cushman & Wakefield, who closed 80 commercial office deals valued at $102 million to win the office category; Richard Egitto, of Crimson Services, who the small office category by selling $75.3 million in deals with five transactions; Paul Zakovich, of Biltmore Cos. Ltd., who won the land category with 14 transactions valued at more than $43 million; David Lee, of the Frederick Ross Co., who won the industrial award for closing 46 deals worth $31.5 million; and Jon Weisiger of Trammell Crow won the retail award for closing 74 deals worth $21.2 million.

Sherman Miller, a 28-year veteran of commercial real estate and the head of the Denver office for Cushman & Wakefield, was named 2005 Realtor of the Year. Miller says he is not only proud of his brokers, but the entire support team in the office. He also praised brokers for not only completing a lot of deals, but giving back to the community by donating many hours to various charities and non-profit groups.

Grubb & Ellis won the best batting average category, which was determined by dividing the number of deals completed by the number of brokers. Last year, the 30 brokers in the office completed 1,123 deals. Keith Burden of Fuller and Co. won the “Top Young Broker of Denver” category, by completing six deals valued at $15.9 million in 2005. However, he was not available to accept the award. He was in the mountains, where he was defending his title as the best skier in the Fuller office.

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