2023 was a confusing year in real estate. Uncertainty overshadowed everything, resulting in a commercial real estate market that was driven by those who had compelling reasons to transact. For many, sitting on the sidelines was just a normal reaction, but for me, it found me thinking about Boulder and Boulder County- and why we continue to be like the little engine that could.

While demand across the board dwindled, deals still got done. Our office completed almost 160 transactions! For the most part, the deals that got done were at below market rates, but getting space absorbed was the goal for many Landlords. Big sales that grabbed headlines also continued with Crescent purchasing a 16 building portfolio in East Boulder. So there were some positives to celebrate, but not sure real estate operating the same as it did in the past will work going forward. How long can sellers and buyers be stuck in a stand off? We will always see the long-term value here, but patient money is a requirement for sustainability, and conversations revolving around adaptive re-use will become a more regular. Conversations in our local coffee shops will also include cyber security, AI, space defense, affordable housing and shocker, the homeless issues.

Dean Callan & Company celebrated our 60th anniversary. What a milestone and I am certain my Dad would be proud. We celebrated with friends and clients and appropriately toasted the past with the future as noted in the picture in our report. So many other notable companies also celebrated big birthdays including The Sink who turned 100, McGuckin Hardware turned 68, Boulder Cork and Celestial Seasonings turned 54, and can’t forget Village Coffee Shop turning 50. Perhaps one of my favorites, the beloved Boulder Star on Flagstaff Mountain, has been lighting our city for almost 76 years. These small pieces contribute and are key ingredients to keeping Boulder’s engine going.

I was touched to see little Boulder start up Crocs, a founder who many of us went to high school with, reached an astonishing $3.95 billion in worldwide sales, and at the same time, curious why long time Logan’s coffee shop in North Boulder could not renew his lease. That symbolizes the big and little Boulder offers and the ability to grow a company right here along with the challenges for the little guys to stay afloat. It takes a village, and for Dean Callan & Company to be part of both big and small deals is important to us.

With that in mind, thank you to all who we have had the pleasure of crossing paths with these last sixty years. Looking forward to 2024 and the fun ahead. Cheers to 60 more!

-Becky Callan Gamble, CEO

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