Colorado Blog

Real Estate Developer Michael Rasser


Veteran real estate developer: Metro Denver is not facing a commercial real estate bubble


Michael Rasser with Cornerstone Equity expects property values to remain high but demand to level off, following the region’s post-recession boom


DENVER (April 29, 2016) -- What’s next for Denver’s red-hot commercial real estate market?


The Denver Post recently quoted a report by CBRE, a commercial real estate agency, which noted the city’s industrial market went through “record levels of development” during the first quarter of 2016; with about 80% of that activity being speculative.


The CBRE report also says Denver’s retail vacancy rate is at its lowest level in 18 years, currently standing at 5.8%.


But there are concerns that commercial real estate, both in Denver and elsewhere, may be developing into a potential asset bubble.  That possible overheating of the market has also come under scrutiny from government officials. In early April Esther George, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, said that commercial real estate markets “bear watching.”


“When these types of imbalances tip,” she told an economic forum in Nebraska, “the entire economy can face the consequences of their fallout, with some sectors and populations more impacted than others.”


Michael Rasser, a real estate developer and principal at Denver-based Cornerstone Equity, believes the city’s commercial real estate market won’t boil over; but will in fact level off to a more normal demand scenario from the heightened demand seen over the past several years.


“We came out of the recession with a vengeance,” says Rasser, who has decades of experience with metro area real estate and construction projects. “There was pent-up demand; there were businesses moving here and there were tons and tons of people moving here once the economy improved.”


And once banks began lending again in the post-recession era, he adds, industrial property values became pumped-up as available inventories dropped.


What Rasser expects now “is to see those existing industrial spaces to become more valuable. So while I do see that demand leveling off I don’t think property values will level off for a while.”


And if you look at commercial real estate in metro Denver now, Rasser says, you’ll see developers scrambling to locate potential new opportunities – especially along those undeveloped areas where the city’s newly-completed train service to Denver International Airport currently runs.


“People are having to tear down existing buildings to build new buildings,” he adds, ‘so there is very little in-fill left. In essence, this boom time is over.”


About Cornerstone Equity, LLC


Since its founding in 2000, Cornerstone Equity and its affiliated companies have established a proud reputation as one of the leading specialists in developing small to medium-sized commercial properties in Colorado.


Our principals, Doug Adams and Michael Rasser, have over 35 years of combined experience in real estate and construction – and a proven ability to locate property that is subject to redevelopment at good price points, while creating additional value through redevelopment.


Our strategy dictates that we only get involved in properties that can be purchased and re-developed while maintaining a 50% loan-to-value ratio. All portfolio properties must also have at least modest positive cash flow.

Cornerstone Equity also has a proven track record of assisting in the revival of industrial spaces in some economically-distressed communities; as part of an overall effort to help strengthen the economies and neighborhoods of towns and cities all across metro Denver.

For more information, visit: or call 303-756-5626


Contact Michael Rasser

Michael E. Rasser
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Cornerstone Equity, LLC
1440 Iola St #B
Aurora, Co. 80010
Phone 303-756-5626
Fax 303-691-5637