David Fried, retail broker for nearly four decades, dies at 59

David Fried

David Fried with his daughter Dani Sturges at her wedding last August. (Photos courtesy of Dani Sturges)

David Fried, a commercial real estate broker specializing in retail deals who had worked in the Denver area since the 1980s, died on Monday at age 59.

Fried, of Greenwood Village, had been battling gallbladder cancer since early September, when he was given six months to a year to live, according to his daughter Dani Sturges.

Fried (pronounced “Freed”) began working as a broker in 1984, according to his LinkedIn profile. At the time of his death, he was working for Cushman & Wakefield, although Sturges said he was also doing some deals on his own.

Sturges said her father got his first job in real estate by writing letters to the head of the firm that eventually hired him, offering to work two weeks for free and saying he was willing to do anything that was asked even if that meant picking up someone’s dry cleaning.

When Sturges and her brother Tyler Fried were entering the working world, he encouraged them to take the same approach.

“He was huge in terms of really making a point of getting your foot in the door, whatever it takes,” she said.

Over the years, Fried was quoted in local media outlets on the real estate ramifications of Sports Authority’s liquidation and Dish Network’s bankruptcy auction purchase of Blockbuster, as well as the competitive nature of the grocery industry in Colorado.

“It always amazed me that everyone in Colorado’s commercial real estate community knew David Fried,” Greenberg Traurig attorney Neil Oberfeld, a friend of Fried who also represented him, said in a statement. “David was known for how fiercely he represented his clients, so many of whom became David’s close friends after seeing how much David cared for them and the efforts he would go to help ensure their success.”

Fried was NAIOP Colorado’s 2007 retail broker of the year, according to Cushman. Among his notable deals were initial lease-up of the Belleview Promenade shopping center in Greenwood Village, the acquisition of a building in Centennial for Colorado Casual Furniture and the sale of a former Sports Authority in Greenwood Village to REI, the firm said.

“If there is one word to describe David, it would be ‘passionate,’” Kristine Reinhardt, managing broker of Cushman’s Denver office, said in a statement.

Robert Hudgins, who worked as Fried’s partner at Cushman, said he was initially hired as a junior broker on his team in 2007.

“I remember talking with him before I started and he let me know that ‘in real estate we only work half days. I don’t care which half of the 24-hour day you work, I expect you to work half of it,’” Hudgins said in a statement. “I had the pleasure, or some would say the bruises, from the David Fried School of Real Estate and the education I received is something you could never buy.”

David Fried Wedding2 1

From left, David Fried with his daughter Dani Sturges, son-in-law Nate Sturges, wife Mali and son Tyler.

Sturges — who appears on-air on “Colorado & Company,” an advertising program that airs on NBC affiliate KUSA — said her father’s cancer diagnosis came about two weeks after she got married.

In preparation for her father’s 60th birthday, which would have been Thursday, three days after his death, Sturges said she had been collecting video messages from family and friends.

She hadn’t had time to compile them by the time he passed, she said. So instead of playing them for her father, the clips will be played for those remembering him.

Her father loved music, Sturges said. At one point, she made a scrapbook for him of hundreds of tickets he’d kept. Some of them were from sporting events, she said, but most were concerts.

“He always had music playing in the house and outside,” Sturges said.

Fried also loved the water, Sturges said. He and his wife bought a condo in Florida. And growing up, he’d take his kids out on a tiny speedboat on Cherry Creek reservoir.

“He’d wake us up at 4 a.m.,” she said.

A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. July 22 at Temple Emanuel, the synagogue at 51 Grape St.

In addition to Sturges and her brother, Fried is survived by his wife Mali, to whom he was married for 32 years, as well as his mother and two sisters.

In lieu of flowers, Fried’s family has requested that donations be made to Rocky Mountain Cancer Center or Tall Tales Ranch, a planned facility in Centennial that will house individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Sturges said friends of the family are behind the ranch, and that one of her father’s nieces was born with cerebral palsy.

Denver broker David Fried dies

David Fried

David Fried with his daughter Dani Sturges at her wedding last August. (Photos courtesy of Dani Sturges)

He once told a junior broker they work half days. “I don’t care which half of the 24-hour day you work, I expect you to work half of it.”

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