Les Gruen is president of Urban Strategies,
Inc., founded in 1999 to provide development and advisory
services to owners of real estate. Gruen’s proven
expertise in acquisitions, development, dispositions, entitlements,
strategic planning and property tax protest work translates
into value enhancement opportunities for clients.
Mr. Gruen served as Hearing Officer for
the City of Colorado Springs, responsible for ruling on
minor land use matters, between September 1999 and when
the position was eliminated in January 2003. Gruen was also
managing partner of Belvedere Enterprises, LLC, developer
of a 108-unit downtown Colorado Springs apartment/condominium
conversion that was sold in March 2002.
Prior to forming Urban Strategies,
Gruen provided wide-ranging real estate expertise to Griffis/Blessing
Inc. for over three years as Vice President of Planning
and Development. He was involved with Griffis/Blessing development
projects, corporate identity issues, economic and demographic
analysis, strategic planning, tax protests, business development
and asset management activities. Mr. Gruen also served as
Vice President of Campus Housing Solutions, a Griffis/Blessing
company that develops and manages student housing.
Before joining Griffis/Blessing,
Mr. Gruen was Vice President, Director of Research and Director
of Marketing for Palmer McAllister, a full-service commercial
real estate brokerage firm. During his five years at Palmer
McAllister, he played a central role in business development
activities, supervised a team of research and marketing
professionals, authored and produced the company’s
annual Colorado Springs Economic Review and Outlook
and INSIGHT, a quarterly real estate review. Mr.
Gruen was also responsible for developing and implementing
the company’s marketing and public relations strategies.
Mr. Gruen moved to Colorado Springs in 1984 to
assume the position of Marketing Manager of the Banning Lewis
Ranch for Mobil Land Development Corporation and later, became
Manager of Mobil Land’s Colorado Springs office. During
his tenure with Mobil Land, he was instrumental in the acquisition
of the Banning Lewis Ranch in 1981, and in developing business
plans and disposition strategies pertaining to the Ranch as
well as other significant properties across the country. He
has directed numerous feasibility studies and economic analyses
and is a respected expert in this field. During his nearly
ten-year tenure with Mobil Land, Mr. Gruen held several other
key positions, including Project Coordinator of the 1,600
acre Stonegate development in Douglas County, Colorado and
Assistant to the Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Gruen received his B.A. from
the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington in Political
Science and Geology. He was a Rhodes Scholar nominee in 1974.
Mr. Gruen also attended the University of British Columbia’s
graduate program in Urban Land Economics.