Lee & Associates Makes Denver Debut

Lee & Associates is making its debut in Denver through a merger with Bitzer Real Estate Partners. The new office is the 51st for Lee & Associates.

The largest broker-owned commercial real estate services firm in the country just got larger. Roughly two months after announcing its entrée into Ohio with the opening of an office in Cleveland, Lee & Associates is making its debut in Denver through a merger with Bitzer Real Estate Partners. The new office is the 51st for Lee & Associates.

After the opening of its Cleveland digs, Jeffrey Rinkov, CEO of Lee & Associates, told Commercial Property Executive that the firm’s plans included growth in the Mountain Region. It appears Lee & Associates has made an astute choice, as Denver is faring relatively well on several fronts.

Lee & Associates CEO Jeff Rinkov

Lee & Associates CEO Jeff Rinkov

As of August, Denver’s employment growth had increased 2.8 percent, and the city’s consumer confidence index had risen 18.8 percent by the end of September, according to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. The agency points to metropolitan Denver’s combination of competitive environment, solid transportation infrastructure and low operatingl costs as a magnet for successful companies.“As a long-time admirer of the business model Lee has established, I felt the timing was right for us to join the Lee & Associates group of companies,” John R. Bitzer, founder of BREP, noted in a statement. The 30-year industry veteran will take on the role of managing broker in the Denver office, and BREP’s JR Bitzer and Ron Webert will serve as principals. BREP wanted to increase its already large, strong footprint in the Denver area and Lee wanted to establish one, and subsequently, a marriage was born.

BREP brings to the table a history of providing a range of services to a varied list of clientele that includes tenants, owner/users, institutions and investors. The firm’s offerings encompass leasing, investment sales and acquisitions, corporate services, advisory services and distressed asset services.

Expansion is one of the first priorities for Lee & Associates’ Denver office and the firm is confident about its ability to bring aboard the industry’s best. “Since being on the road these last two weeks attending major national conferences, I can tell you that based on the recent consolidations recently like Cassidy Turley and TPG, we have had a tremendous amount of interest by brokers nationwide inquiring about Lee & Associates’ platform, its ability to service clients, its expansion and how they can join Lee,” Rinkov told CPE.

There’s more on tap for Lee & Associates as 2014 heads into the home stretch. For one, the firm is in the process of opening another office in Texas. “We are extremely happy with our office expansion this year but we’re not satisfied to stop there,” Rinkov added. “We hope to continue our office expansion in 2015 and look to open key offices in multiple regions across the nation.”