Top Women Lawyers: Carolyn Abrahams

Real estate firm managing shareholder and paper pusher

By Doug Chartier


Carolyn Abrahams gets a sense of pride and accomplishment when she drives past development projects she had a hand in, from the King Soopers shopping centers in Broomfield and Golden to the movie theater in Olde Town Arvada, and more recently the Alexan Cherry Creek apartment complex currently under construction.

“It’s nice to see that (work) come out of the ground, literally, and know that you accomplished something other than filling up files with paper,” Abrahams said. Not to discount the importance of that paper — that’s what makes complicated developments work. But the fact that it leads to tangible results is a pleasure for Abrahams, Sweetbaum Sands Anderson’s managing shareholder and a 33-year veteran of Denver-based real estate law.

One might have built a high rise out of the documents Abrahams managed in the aforementioned Cherry Creek development, which involved the former Key Bank building at 3300 E. 1st Ave. in Denver and closed May 2015. She represented the building’s recent purchaser, Ogilvie Properties, as it subdivided a parcel of the property and sold it to Denver real estate company Trammell Crow Residential. Trammell Crow would build a 164-unit apartment complex on top of the subdivided parcel, and both the buyer and seller would have an underground parking garage built below both properties. The project had an aggregate value estimated at $90,000,000.

The deal was an exercise in forward thinking, with a massive volume of documentation to anticipate all of Ogilvie’s potential needs. Included in the paper panoply for Abraham’s client’s interests were security instruments, collateral assignments and license agreements for the construction phase and operation, plus maintenance, cost sharing and other agreements in perpetuity thereafter.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the May 9, 2016 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.