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Niwot's Cotton Burden elected to Boulder County Business HOF


August 18, 2021

Courtesy photo

"It's hard to think of yourself as someone who deserves to be in a Hall of Fame when there are so many around you who have accomplished so much," said Cotton Burden, who will soon be inducted into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame. "It is an incredible honor."

From the time Cotton Burden was in the sixth grade, he knew he would be a lawyer. After a stint in the Navy as an aircrewman and a Bachelor of Science degree from the Leeds Business School at the University of Colorado, Burden accomplished that goal and graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1981. It was during that time that he also obtained a real estate broker's license, setting him up for his current role as president and in-house counsel of Burden Incorporated, which focuses on real estate investment and development.

The family-owned business, which is located at 263 2nd Avenue in Niwot, currently has commercial real estate listings in Niwot, Boulder, Longmont and Westminster. Some of their featured listings include: Niwot Square, Niwot Emporium, the Roosevelt Park Apartments, the Village at Burlington and Plaza at Park Centre.

Burden also established RLET Properties Niwot,  LLC,  to manage real estate holdings.

More than 25 years after establishing Burden Incorporated, Burden, a Niwot resident, will be inducted into the Boulder County Business Hall of Fame. On Sept. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Hall of Fame will host a luncheon to honor the inductees at the Embassy Suites by Hilton on Canyon Boulevard in Boulder.

"It was a complete surprise," said Burden, whose son Keith Burden was approached by the selection committee. "It was a tremendous honor to have my son be my champion in the selection process."

Induction is notable because, as according to Dennis Paul, the chair of the hall of fame, "Inductees exemplify what it means to be outstanding business leaders as well as pillars that have significantly enriched our community."

Burden is a member of the Niwot Future League, a Niwot Business Association committee that gives direction to Niwot's Economic Development Director. He has also served in a number of committees and associations, including a term as co-chair for the Business and Banking Section of the Boulder County Bar Association, and has participated in committees related to economic vitality and real estate in and around Boulder County.

Before establishing Burden Incorporated in 1994, he practiced law for 13 years with an office in Gunbarrel. The decision to transition was due to the fact that Burden enjoyed being directly involved in real estate deals rather than being behind the scenes, preparing contracts.

"It's easy to have a smile on your face when you help a commercial tenant get into a property that is just right for their business and they are then successful, in part, because of where they chose to locate their business," Burden said.

While the negotiation process can sometimes be challenging, Burden expressed thanks for his team, who make his job "fun and easy." He works alongside his son and son-in-law Joseph Perrotto at Burden Incorporated, both of whom have become more involved with time, but Burden said that he's always excited to be part of the next acquisition or development.

In fact, one of the most memorable developments was that of the Roosevelt Park Apartments in Longmont. A completely novel project, it took nine years to acquire the land and required funding assistance at the local, state and federal level. Now, the mixed-use development has 115 luxury apartments, a structured parking garage and 10,000 square feet of commercial space. "We couldn't be more proud of the finished product," Burden said.

 For those interested in investing and developing, Burden offers up this advice: find a mentor. "There are a myriad of ways to get to the same target," he said. "[Find] someone who has been successful at what you would like to do and then pick their brain as much as you can."

To stay up to date with Burden Incorporated, please visit: http://www.burdeninc.com/


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