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Northern Colorado developer found dead after being reported missing

Pat Ferrier and Miles Blumhardt
Fort Collins Coloradoan
Published 6:03 PM EDT Jul 13, 2020
Missing person Allen Ginsborg
Courtesy Larimer County Sheriff’s Office

Northern Colorado developer Allen Ginsborg was found dead Friday, four days after his family reported him missing. 

His body was found about 10 a.m. Friday a mile east of Lon Hagler Reservoir southwest of Loveland by an off-duty Larimer County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was riding his bike along Larimer County Road 16, according to LCSO.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Jared Kramer said no foul play is suspected and there is no threat to the public in this incident.  

The Larimer County coroner’s office had not issued a ruling on cause and manner of death as of 4 p.m. Monday.

Ginsborg, 59, was chairman and co-founder of NewMark Merrill, a California and Colorado-based development company Ginsborg founded with his longtime friend, Sandy Sigal.

He was an avid fly fisherman, hiker and cyclist with a love of adventure who had a deep faith in God and family, said his friends and associates.

He wrote several pieces for the Coloradoan’s former Xplore section on his adventures fly fishing in Peru, exploring the Lewis and Clark trail with his family and climbing Mount Kangchendzonga in the Himalayas. He also climbed Mount Kilamanjaro.

“I would say adventure ran in his blood,” said Sigal in an interview from his California office. “I hate hiking. I hate camping. I like four-star hotels, but Allen got me to climb Kilamanjaro with him. His enthusiasm was infectious. Taking care of people was in his blood. Mentoring was in his blood.”

Sigal said Ginsborg hiked the Himalayas with a Sherpa, whom he later “adopted,” and he found an orphanage in India that he spent time and energy supporting. “Talk about servant leaders,” Sigal said. “He led to serve.” 

In December, Ginsborg took a six-month sabbatical from NewMark Merrill to travel to India. The COVID-19 pandemic forced his early return in March. 

He returned to work for about a month before continuing his sabbatical about six weeks ago, said Sigal, who last talked to Ginsborg the Friday before he went missing. They were making plans for September, Sigal said.

Following the sabbatical, Ginsborg was expected to change roles becoming chairman and co-founder of NewMark Merrill Mountain States after serving as managing director and principal for 13 years. 

Ginsborg’s fingerprints were all over some of Northern Colorado’s biggest developments, including Woodward Inc.’s campus off East Lincoln Avenue, Home Depot, parts of Centerra in Loveland and Fort Collins Marketplace on College Avenue. 

He also brought the first Chick-fil-A to Northern Colorado in 2012 as part of the Fort Collins Marketplace at Horsetooth and College Avenue, which NewMark Merrill owned. 

Ginsborg helped keep Woodward’s global headquarters in Fort Collins by offering the former Link-N-Greens golf course as an expansion site. He had an option on the property and worked behind the scenes to win public support for the project before unveiling plans.

He said Woodward’s headquarters was the best use for the property that would generate the least amount of traffic while maximizing open space along the river.

Fort Collins City Manager Darin Atteberry said he held Ginsborg in high regard. “He was a phenomenal man to work with, and his integrity was impeccable. His word was good.” 

Ginsborg added value to Fort Collins not only in the projects he helped develop, Atteberry said, “but more importantly, he was curious and we learned from him. He believed in Fort Collins.” 

Chad McWhinney, co-founder of McWhinney Inc., which developed Centerra, said “Allen was a true champion of Northern Colorado.”

The pair worked on developing and leasing the 500,000-square-foot Target-anchored shopping center at Centerra. “He was an exceptional business and family man, cared very much for this community and those who live here, and always thought of others before himself,” McWhinney said in a statement. “He will be missed, and it was an honor to work with him.”

Ginsborg moved NewMark Merrill Mountain States from Fort Collins to Longmont after he began redeveloping the former Twin Peaks Mall into a hybrid indoor-outdoor shopping center now known as Village at the Peaks.

Ginsborg, an expert in retail trends, was a willing source for reporters seeking insight into the retail landscape and a mentor to students at CSU’s Everitt Real Estate Center, where he served on the board of directors.  

Ginsborg was a frequent lecturer at EREC, said Eric Holsapple, who chaired the center for several years. He received the Real Estate Entrepreneur of the Year award from the center in 2012.

“He was one of those professionals I would look to and say, ‘If you are going to emulate someone in the business — there would be no one better than Allen Ginsborg,'” Holsapple said.

“He had a great balance of family, faith, business and community,” he said. “He was a great friend and will be greatly missed.”

He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, and their four children. 

“Allen physically may have passed on,” Sigal said. “His legacy and mentorship, culture and idea of caring for those who need your support will live on forever. I’m quite sure that he’s spawned enough of himself into others that the world will be a lot better place for a lot longer time because of Allen Ginsborg.”

Pat Ferrier is a senior reporter covering business, health care and growth issues in Northern Colorado. Contact her at Please support her work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a subscription today.

Reporter Miles Blumhardt looks for stories that impact your life. Be it news, outdoors, sports — you name it, he wants to report it. Have a story idea? Contact him at or on Twitter @MilesBlumhardt. Support his work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today. 

This content was originally published here.