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Denver Bouldering Club in Thornton, CO with Caleb Krumsieg

Ross Dress for Less at Court at Deptford
Episode #: 027
Denver Bouldering Club in Thornton, CO with Caleb Krumsieg

Guest: Caleb Krumsieg
Topics: Denver Bouldering Club,


Chris Ressa 0:02
This is retail retold the story of how that store ended up in your neighborhood. I’m your host, Chris Ressa. And I invite you to join my conversation with some of the retail industry’s biggest influencers. This podcast is brought to you by DLC management.

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the rock is your crystal ball and the key to making well informed decisions with confidence in today’s evolving retail climate. Everyone welcome to retail retold Chris ReSSA. Here, on today’s episode, we have Caleb, Crump sick. And it’s interesting how Caleb ended up on the podcast, I had posted on LinkedIn a request for people to bring in stories about unique deals, and he reached out wanting to get on the podcast. And he’s got an interesting story about a deal he did in Colorado. And it’s a cool use. And then I think something interesting about that is what that tenant is now doing to help Caleb lease the rest of the center, I found fascinating and something that I think coming out of the COVID 19 pandemic will be helpful to leasing people in all asset classes. And it’s something you don’t hear a lot about in commercial real estate. And it’s so simple. And I think everyone will enjoy that whether you’re an owner or an entrepreneur or leasing person. So take a listen, he gives a really good tip on extending your

leasing team. One of the things I wanted to

talk about today, I keep hearing a lot through the echo chambers of commercial real estate on social media


what’s the world going to look like and what are people going to do 612 18 months from now. And I think it’s really challenging to pinpoint that right now. And I it’s a lot of energy based on something that’s really a guest at this point

in time. What I think is more practical for everyone out there, whether you’re an entrepreneur, or someone in commercial real estate, is that have a framework, or an operating system of how you work through uncertain times.

This is the framework, this is how I operate during uncertain times and make sure you have that framework built. Do you have that framework built, then the actual thing that you execute on is, you know, a lot easier, and it’s less relevant at that point in time, because you know how to operate whatever it ends up being whatever the world looks like, you have a framework to do that. No, I read a McKinsey article that, you know, their strategy on how to operate during uncertain times was need to be agile, adaptable and capable. If you can live within that framework, no matter where the world takes you, you can execute. And I thought that was interesting. And they give a little piece of what those three words mean to them in the business climate. So what I would encourage everyone to do is think about, you know, personally and for your business.

What is your framework?

In operating in uncertain times? Do you have a framework? If not, now’s as good a time as any to adapt a framework to operate in uncertain times. Anyway, I hope everyone enjoys this podcast. Pretty cool one and have a great weekend everyone.

Welcome to retail retold everyone. Today we have Caleb Crump SIG Caleb is the director of leasing for Dunton commercial in Denver, Colorado. Welcome to the show.

Caleb Krumsieg 4:28
Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me.

Ressa 4:29
Yeah, no problem, man. So, Caleb, why don’t you tell me a little bit about you what you do your story and we’ll go from there.

Krumsieg 4:37
Absolutely. Currently director of leasing at Dunson commercial. That’s a pretty new role in my career in commercial real estate so far. So I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, went to school in Chicago, then hung out in Chicago for a couple of years doing medical office leasing with a boutique, property management and leasing firm there, and then just got married and moved out to Colorado and started this new role in this past year.

Ressa 5:03
What brought you to Colorado? You know,

Krumsieg 5:06
my wife and I are both from the Midwest and we love it and might end up back there someday but we just wanted a change of scenery, love the mountains like everybody in Colorado and just a good place to go kind of start our new life together.

Ressa 5:19
Very cool. What’s your wife’s do?

Krumsieg 5:20
She’s a nurse. So

actually kind of crazy through all this Coronavirus stuff, but wow. So she’s actually had an outpatient clinic. So they’re kind of keeping that separate from Coronavirus. But as you know, like the whole healthcare industry is kind of just jamp. So I’ve

Ressa 5:35
heard they’ve been like trying to pull some nurses to help out because of the shortage of labor is as she’d been asked to, like help the hospital or something. They’ll probably start

Krumsieg 5:45
everybody in on rotations through to the hospital soon here. But so far, they’ve been pretty well staffed. It’s it’s a pretty big Downtown Hospital for Denver.

Ressa 5:56
And are you hunkered down right now?

Krumsieg 5:58
Yeah, yeah, just been chillin. And working from home. The whole team has kind of been we did one test day, a couple of weeks back when we weren’t sure what was going to happen, like whether everything was actually going to get locked down or not. And then I think it was two days later. We’re like, Alright, we’re going to 100% work from home. So that’s been very interesting. So my role is kind of a new role at Dunton, the guys that bought Dunton two years ago, a guy named Taylor Finn primarily, but 100 year old property management company here in Denver, and they’ve kind of intimidating the strategy. One just locked down our management strategies, our systems, all those core things to who Dunton is, and then from there, branch out, start buying mostly value add investments, and then bringing me on to start a leasing division for the company and for the buildings that we do third party management for as well. So it’s kind of interesting timing, with the whole Coronavirus to be building the division while you’re at home, not actually going out and meeting with owners and all that stuff. So it’s been a really unique time.

Ressa 7:21
What’s the day to day looking like right now? What

are you focused on

Coronavirus environment that knowing that this wouldn’t be what you’re focused on if we weren’t in a COVID-19

world? Yeah, exactly.

Krumsieg 7:34
Now, it’s really interesting. If you’re going on LinkedIn right now, you see so many opposing posts that are like, do sales, we need salespeople now more than ever, and then you see the other side of things. And people are like, Everybody calm down, don’t be annoying, don’t like everybody has enough to think about on their own. And so it’s kind of taking both of those strategies and just not running away and hiding while you’re trying to do business development. But what I’ve been talking about with the partners is, hey, this time is all about positioning, there’s going to be a lot of buildings that are going into receivership. So a lot of just uncertainty for a lot of landlords, and we can provide a service, whether that’s management or leasing, or

Ressa 8:19
potentially even buying

those more

Krumsieg 8:24
distressed properties, potentially, we have a value to offer there. And so it’s just getting out there talking to those lawyers on LinkedIn, talking to receivers, telling people, Hey, we’re not trying to push on you right now. But we are available. And we’re more than willing to help. When you have these issues come up, or when you’re talking to your owners, and they have these questions, we’re happy to answer them. So it’s more about positioning right now than selling. You know,

Ressa 8:54
there’s definitely a balance, I would say that.

I’ve talked to a number

of national companies as well as local entrepreneurs who, you know, might be looking for an opportunity, they’re seeing the forest for the trees. And then one day we should too shall pass. Yep. And so they want to make sure that they’re positioned well once this passes. And, you know, because if you’re not working on deals, now, it’s hard to get open the end of the year for Christmas. And if you expect some pent up demand for holiday, you would want to be able to capture that demand and you need to get open or you know, for you know, to have locations to starting out the new year. You need to kind of start working on stuff now if you haven’t already. And so there’s definitely groups that are looking for opportunities and no one should be

tone deaf to the scenario

that’s going on out there. But I think you should be you know, shouldn’t be scared to be real. There’s really an opportunity to have a kind conversation with somebody. And if they don’t want to have that conversation, then that’s, that’s okay. But I believe that, you know, there’s definitely opportunities for smart businesses, you know? Absolutely. We signed leases this week, as a company in the properties we own when we signed leases last week. And so I think there’s still people who are seeing the forest for the trees.

Krumsieg 10:21
Absolutely. There’s definitely deals still being done. I don’t want to downplay that at all. It’s more, keeping all of those things that have been ongoing, just keep those things going well, like a well oiled machine. And then, as far as a lot of other, I’d say, just business development, trying to bring on new listings. That’s where we’re working on positioning as opposed to hard selling, but completely agree that there are definitely deals going on. And it’s, it’s not an excuse to sit back and

Ressa 10:51
kick your feet up. Cool. So

I want I want to break in you have a story about a store, and what’s the store.

Krumsieg 11:02
It’s called the Denver bouldering club. It’s their third location, and then it’s in the year on Plaza building that we bought a year ago.

Ressa 11:09
And what is the Denver Boulder and club?

Krumsieg 11:13
Yeah, it’s like a rock climbing gym. Bouldering is more like, you’re not climbing up like 80 foot towers. So it’s, I think the ceilings in our building are 22 feet tall. So it’s not like this

Ressa 11:26
massive rock climbing

Krumsieg 11:30
gym where you have like 80 foot ceilings, and you’re doing all those massive walls, the Denver bouldering club had two locations. Closer to Denver, this one’s probably 1520 minutes north of Denver.

Ressa 11:47
And so they took 15,000 square feet in this shopping center that we have up in Thornton. And

Krumsieg 11:57
they have like kind of a rock climbing gym for people. They have a yoga studio, they kind of have like a cool work play area where people can come in park at their bar with their computers, they kind of have like a workstation bar there.

Ressa 12:14
And so is this a? How many

elite mountain climber and I want to go and train? Or is this a you want to get? You know, it’s a different unique workout, they want to get some exposure with new people. What type of environment do

we have here? My understanding is open to anybody. And it’s kind of

Krumsieg 12:39
my hope I don’t get in trouble for saying this. But it seems like that CrossFit community type culture where it’s, it’s very much like you get to know the people that you’re around climbing with. It’s very communal.

Ressa 12:50
There are other like, gym aspects to the whole

Krumsieg 12:57
club where you can go get in a good workout, do some yoga, whatever, and then come back and keep climbing.

Ressa 13:04
And there’s Yeah, it just seems like more of

Krumsieg 13:07
a hangout space to incorporated with it. So I would say it has that whole communal field, but I think it’s for

Ressa 13:13
climbers of every

skill level skill level. Yeah. And so what is

your on Plaza? Give me some context of here on Plaza.

Krumsieg 13:25
Yeah, 112,000 square foot shopping center, currently anchored by a crop and save and Family Dollar and now Denver bouldering club

Ressa 13:35
is historically

been. I mean, we bought

Krumsieg 13:40
it a year ago when it was 63% leased a true value add deal, which is hard to come by in Denver. And it’s been around for a long time at different points. It’s been a true community center for the greater north and community. And then more recently, it was

Ressa 14:00
just kind of

Krumsieg 14:03
a lot of vacancy, a lot of just kind of, I don’t know, a little bit more shady activities going on. We bought it has kind of helped the community to bring in tenants that they want to see have helped. The tenants that are already existing there get a little bit more exposure, and are just kind of

Ressa 14:25
filling this whole property up. And so

what was the space before it was the Denver Boulder and club so

we cut off

Krumsieg 14:36
I think there’s another 9000 square feet there. That’s still currently vacant part of it as a pool actually. So we’re looking for twin school to go in there as well and be kind of a complimentary use, but the whole section was like 21 or 24,000 square feet as a big community center rec center a long time ago. Probably like two The three tenants ago that just had a huge gym and whose racquetball courts. That’s why the ceilings are a little bit higher than typical retail.

Ressa 15:10
And yeah, pool kind of like, kind of like a neighborhood. Why, basically?

And so did you have to end up getting waivers from shop and save and consents because of like, and some of the retailers for non retail use or anything like that? Or was it not


Krumsieg 15:29
I don’t believe is prohibited.

Ressa 15:31
That’s good. Yeah. And so

how did you find these guys, Denver, Boulder and club? Did you reach out to them? How did this talk to me about the evolution of this deal?

Krumsieg 15:41
Yeah, it just came up, came up as a cold call to these guys. And

Ressa 15:48
from there, they

Krumsieg 15:49
were willing to come out and see the space. And they, again, they had a couple locations further south in Denver. And it just seemed to be the right time. And they’ve been great. They’ve actually been meeting with other potential tenants that we’ve been bringing to the building. I’ve been cold calling from schools all across Denver, and some other like martial arts studios, those types of things. So they the owner of Denver, Boulder and club has been so on board for kind of making this a synergistic kind of community that he’s been willing to meet with these other potential tenants tell them why they decided to come to the plaza.

Ressa 16:27
And kind of those different complementary uses that can be there. So a

couple of takeaways there for the people, you know, leasing space out there.

So one,

standard cold call you cold, call them, you got them to, you know, come see the space. I think the piece that you’re that’s really interesting that I don’t know that landlords or brokers uses enough is, you know, my friend Beth Azar talks about the extension of your leasing team. And what a great way to extend your leasing team to by partnering with your tenant and to have a voice as a tenant, right, and sometimes the landlord tenant relationship, whether it’s residential, office retail, it’s a tenuous buyer seller relationship, what a time. So hopefully, you know, everyone does their best to not make it that way. But what a what a great way to secure new tenants is having the owner of one of the locations, really be your cheerleader and supporter that is really, really helpful. And I think that’ll pay dividends for sure.

Krumsieg 17:38
Yeah, props to one of the partners here at Dutton that has kind of spearheaded that he’s, he’s really had that primary relationship with the president of Denver bowling club. And in my past experience doing medical office leasing to that is a huge driver as those tenants like inter tenant referrals, because doctors know doctors, doctors want to refer to their friends, all of those things. So if you have a 10, tenant, 60,000, square foot medical office building, that’s where that is totally key just to get those people all referring you to their friends, basically, to fill that up. And it’s all regional, obviously, for MediCal. So that’s definitely true in office and in retail.

Ressa 18:23

what is he saying? Like what’s, what are some of the, the triggers that he’s telling other tenants on why they should

be here? I think it’s becoming

Krumsieg 18:37
a bit of like, more of like a destination place. It’s not like obviously, people aren’t driving 20 minutes to go to stop and save or save a lot, or Family Dollar Dollar General, those types of tenants. And so, but people would be willing to drive 1520 minutes to come to this bouldering club. So if you can get a martial arts studio where parents will come drop off their six year old to do is karate lessons, or Taekwondo or whatever

Ressa 19:08
type. If you can kind of get that

Krumsieg 19:11
destination combo with a swim school martial arts and their parents go rock climbing at the same time. Those are huge complimentary uses of why you would drive through the center in Thornton, the area itself is doing really well. There’s a lot of growth and development happening in Fortran right now. And

Ressa 19:35
so it’s just there’s a lot of different reasons as to why retailer would benefit from being there. And anything else we

didn’t you know, I really liked the tenant partnership piece anything else unique about this location, this deal this story that the listeners should

now we definitely

Krumsieg 20:00
had to pipe in a good amount for tenant improvements just to get the space laid clean for them to put up their walls. So there’s definitely a big portion of Boehner investment that needs to go into it.

Ressa 20:16
But other than that,

Krumsieg 20:17
I’d say yeah, kind of the theme of this is creating a synergistic community of tenants that will benefit the greater community around it. We’re not trying to

Ressa 20:28
just I don’t know, we’re

trying to be a face on space, you’re really being thoughtful about the merchandising next.

Exactly. Very cool. Um,

yeah, I think that always helps when you’re able to be very thoughtful about the merchandising mix. It’s, it helps, you know, make a thriving center, no doubt. Absolutely. All right, man. Well, listen, I appreciate that good story. I want to move to the next portion of the show.

Retail wisdom.

And so I’ve got

three questions for you, Caleb.

Tell me when you’re ready. Go for it. All right.

First question, best piece of commercial real estate advice out there. For all the listeners,

I would just say,

Krumsieg 21:17
align yourself with people who are smarter than you and have more experience than you and you will learn and just be

Ressa 21:23
presented with opportunities for growth and true value add that you wouldn’t if you were just trying to, like

Krumsieg 21:32
prove that you know everything and you’re trying to do everything just go. Be in the presence of people who are smarter and listen a lot

Ressa 21:40
ask a lot of questions. Awesome. sage advice, man. All right, question two.

Extinct retailer, you wish would come back from the dead? I would have to say

Sports Authority.

Krumsieg 21:54
I just have a lot of good memories of Denver based company. Yeah, exactly. Lots of good memories and go and get a new book, like football gloves or cleats or whatever. Before the season. I don’t know. Just a lot of good memories of sports

Ressa 22:06
already. Understood. I liked it there as well. All right.

Last question. I’m going to give you a retail product. Do you need me the retail price?

Krumsieg 22:20
Quick? No. Before you do, though. I was I was listening to the Barry wolf episode. And I was just like out for a walk in my neighborhood in Denver. And you got to the product. He said, I have an Izod vest. If you’re going to Kohl’s or wherever What are you going to buy it for? And I like out loud to myself. I said 6499. And then you were like, the list price is $65. So I don’t say the sale price or list price because those were different in that episode.

Ressa 22:53
Alright, so I’m gonna get there. So there. You know, right now there’s a lot of things on sale, both for Easter and people trying to move inventory given COVID-19.

So there is a

list price and a sale price. So you can give me either, but I’m on party City’s website. What is the price of the adult Easter bunny costume? Oh, gosh.

Krumsieg 23:22
So this is like a full body costume full body?

Ressa 23:29
Yes, you’re going to be the Easter Bunny for your kids.

All right, I’ll say sale price is $84 You’re pretty good

at this. If you got the very well foreign to sale price is 7999. It was 9999 You’re pretty close. Thank you for playing.

I’ll take it. Alright,

well listen, man. Thanks for coming on. I really enjoyed it. It was cool. Having had a story about a rock climbing gym. And so that’s awesome. And I’m glad you’re settled in Denver. Stay safe.

Stay healthy.

Stay inside. You know,

Nike has this

address advertisement that I think is fantastic. Which is like if you’ve ever dreamed of playing for you know in front of millions of people. Now’s your chance play inside play for the world. Thought it was awesome at the end. So play inside but stay safe. Stay healthy. And thanks for coming on man.

Krumsieg 24:33
Thanks, Chris. Appreciate it.

Ressa 24:39
Thank you for listening to retail told. If you want to share a story about a retail real estate deal that you were a part of on our show. Please reach out to us at retail recall at DLC This show highlights the stories behind the deals from all perspectives. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a retailer or Volker entrepreneur architect or an attorney Also don’t forget to subscribe to retail retold so you don’t miss out on next Thursday’s episode

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