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.