Fifteen Group Announces Opening of Denver Office

MIAMI--()--Miami-based Fifteen Group has announced the opening of its Denver office, which will serve as the company’s platform for opportunistic real estate investment in the Mountain West region.

Since its founding in 1992, Fifteen Group has excelled among its peers as an exceptionally keen value investor and developer across multiple product types and geographies. While Fifteen Group has invested in properties in 11 states, the Denver location represents its first ever investment office outside of Miami and Los Angeles.

“Denver is the ideal location to launch our operations in the Mountain West region,” said Fifteen Group Founder and Principal Ian Sanders, who will now be based primarily in the Denver office. “We love the demographics and investment potential and are eager to bring our brand of opportunistic real estate investment to the Mountain States.”

In addition, two seasoned real estate executives – Rick Firmine and Christopher Auxier – have joined Fifteen Group and are also based in Denver. “Rick and Chris are both top-tier talents,” added Sanders. “We are delighted to have them on the team.”

Firmine is a Principal and will be overseeing Fifteen Group’s acquisition and development efforts in the Mountain West region. Prior to joining Fifteen Group, Firmine spent over a decade as the owner of a successful Las Vegas based development and advisory firm. He was the principal developer of over $150 million in ground-up developments and advisor and manager on over $1 billion in acquisitions and repositions. Firmine is a Denver native.

“I’m Denver born and raised, and the opportunity to come home and work with an extraordinarily successful and entrepreneurial organization was extremely compelling,” said Firmine. “Fifteen Group is a best-in-breed company with a near 25 year history of excellence in opportunistic real estate investment.”

Auxier is a Senior Vice President, also focusing on acquisitions and development for the Mountain West region. Most recently, Auxier was Director of Development for the Adams County (Colorado) Housing Authority, where he managed all activities relating to multifamily development, finance, and transactions, including rehabilitation of new acquisitions and new construction projects using Low Income Housing Tax Credits and tax exempt bonds in partnership with local governments. Auxier has resided in Denver since 2007 and has deep personal and professional roots there.

Fifteen Group has been extremely active in recent years in its key markets of south Florida and southern California. Fifteen Group made several prominent land investments in Miami and Los Angeles through the last downturn, and also continued its long history of acquiring existing undervalued multifamily properties. In addition, in 2013 Fifteen Group made its largest commercial investment to date, acquiring the nearly 650,000 square feet suburban office complex Sawgrass Technology Park in Sunrise, FL, and in 2014 completed Fifteen Group's first logistics investment, acquiring the FedEx distribution facility in downtown Miami.

Fifteen Group also acquired an approximate two-acre site along NE 29th Street in Midtown Miami, representing Fifteen Group's first ground-up, high-rise multifamily rental development. Other current developments include two separate for-sale housing projects in the highly desirable Echo Park and Silver Lake neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Also in Los Angeles, Fifteen Group continues to actively pursue its re-entitlement of the Wyvernood Garden apartments, an 1,187 unit apartment community in Boyle Heights acquired in 1998. The community-minded development is planned to include up to 4,150 residential units, 325,000 square feet of commercial space, and 12 acres of parks and open space. The project represents a $2 billion investment, creates more than 10,000 construction-related jobs, 2,800 permanent jobs, and would generate $25 million in annual tax revenue to support vital public resources.

“Fifteen Group has evolved from a primarily multifamily investment firm into a dynamic, multi-disciplined real estate investment and development firm successfully investing across all asset classes,” said Fifteen Group Senior Principal and Chief Investment Officer Justin Toal. “Bringing this diverse breadth of focus to the Mountain West region will allow us to capitalize on opportunities in these high-growth markets with attractive demographics, talented labor pools, and increasingly robust economies.”

Fifteen Group has also announced the addition of two new team members in its Miami office. Michael Sommers has joined as Senior Vice President, where he focuses on multifamily asset management, due diligence oversight, and acquisition underwriting support. Prior to joining Fifteen Group, Sommers was an Investment Associate for Equity Residential (EQR), where he worked from 2009 - 2014 acquiring apartment buildings and development sites. Additionally, Sommers participated in overseeing the asset management of more than 20,000 apartments in EQR's Southeastern United States portfolio.

In addition, Sishi Sun has joined Fifteen Group as a Financial Analyst. Sun is responsible for analyzing and evaluating new acquisition opportunities, as well as supporting the management of owned assets. Sun previously worked for a Florida-based diversified private equity firm specializing in distressed residential, multi-family, and hotel assets and prior to that with a local top tier developer in China, participating comprehensively in the development process of complex projects.

About Fifteen Group

Founded by brothers Mark Sanders and Ian Sanders in 1992, Fifteen Group is a diversified real estate investment firm based in Miami, Florida. Fifteen Group's investment activities are opportunity-driven, value-added acquisition and development projects. Historically, Fifteen Group concentrated primarily on the multifamily sector, but has evolved to include expertise in the office, retail, mixed-use, industrial, and land development sectors. Currently the firm invests in all major real estate asset classes, in real estate secured debt, and in corporate private equity transactions. Fifteen Group ( has offices in Miami, Denver and Los Angeles.


Fifteen Group
Emily Heidt, 310-974-6682


Fifteen Group
Emily Heidt, 310-974-6682