Bruce A. James

Bruce A. James



Thirty years guiding notable real estate projects in Denver. Significant experience in hotel and resort developments across the nation. Exceptional community leader.

Bruce James’ clients value his expansive expertise in public/private partnerships, hotel and resort properties, urban redevelopment projects and complex joint ventures. He brings a roster of local and national successes—the redevelopment of Denver’s historic Union Station and Dairy Block, the newly opened Boston Hyatt Seaport Hotel and the Stanly Ranch Resort under development in Napa, to name a few—to his work.

Bruce inspires confidence among both his clients and colleagues through strong leadership. He served as managing partner at Brownstein from 2003 – 2013, guiding the firm’s growth from 80 lawyers to more than 250 lawyers and policy advisors. Bruce also served as general counsel for the firm and co-chair of the Real Estate Department.

Bruce has not only served in key leadership roles at Brownstein, but has had an ongoing leadership role across many fronts in Denver. Bruce served as co-chair of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s successful 2011, 2015 and 2019 mayoral campaigns. He has also served as chair of Visit Denver, Downtown Denver, Inc., the 16th Street Mall Steering Committee, and served on the Denver 2030 Winter Olympics Exploratory Committee and the 2026 Denver World Cup Bid Committee. His recent efforts also include co-chairing the Downtown Security Action Plan Task Force as the downtown business community, in collaboration with government officials, seeks to find solutions to ensure Denver remains a clean, safe and vibrant city.

Representative Matters

Hotels and Hospitality

  • We represented the owner of The Art Hotel, a nine-story, 165-room, art-themed luxury property at East 12th Avenue and Broadway in Denver. Our real estate team assisted with title/survey and financing as well the planned community structure plans.

  • We represented a joint venture among Grand American Inc., McWhinney and Sage Hospitality, in the redevelopment of Dairy Block in lower downtown Denver. The mixed-use development incorporates new construction with three historic buildings consisting of office space; the 172-room Maven Hotel; retail and restaurant space; and a 394-space underground parking garage. Our team negotiated the financing, the joint venture and the condominium documents for the project, as well as numerous management and property-related agreements. Completed in 2018, Dairy Block is a top downtown Denver destination.

  • We advised McWhinney on its acquisition of a site from Hyatt and negotiation of hotel and franchise agreements. The Hyatt Centric Hotel in Austin, Texas, will have 246 rooms and approximately 2,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Our team also negotiated a contract with Austin Theatre Alliance, which will move its offices into the hotel, thereby freeing up space so each theatre can be improved – allowing patrons to travel directly from the second floor to the hotel.

Urban Redevelopment

  • We are representing Invent Development Partners with respect to Train Denver, an 800,000 square-foot master-planned, mixed-use and transit-oriented development in Denver’s River North (RiNo) Art District. Our representation includes advising on the acquisition of 125,000 square feet of land previously known as the General Welding Supply and Mile Hi Express, where Train Denver’s office, residential, hotel and retail space will eventually be developed. We continue to represent Invent with the development, which will include 275,000 square feet of office space, a 200-room lifestyle boutique hotel, residential properties and a retail component with restaurants and shops called Studios in the Rockies.

  • We represented McWhinney in its acquisition and redevelopment of Foothills Mall in Fort Collins. The property was purchased out of foreclosure and will be substantially renovated as part of a national trend to “densify” Mall properties by converting former interior Mall space and large parking lots into a vibrant mixed used development.

  • We represented Clayton Early Learning in the sale of the 155-acre Park Hill Golf Course in Denver to Westside Investment Partners for $24 million. Our work with Clayton Early Learning involved evaluating potential litigation and condemnation as Clayton sought to navigate the complexities of potentially redeveloping the course.

Public/Private Partnerships

  • We represent the joint venture of Continuum Partners and CIM in their ongoing efforts to redevelop the former University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at 9th and Colorado in Denver into a 30 acre mixed-use development. Our efforts have included acquisition of the site, negotiation of tax increment financing with the Denver Urban Renewal Authority, various leases and construction contracts and ongoing disposition and financing work for the project.

  • We represented Union Station Alliance, the development and investment group responsible for the redevelopment of Union Station in Denver. Our representation included counsel on construction, hospitality, commercial real estate, public/private partnerships, historic tax credits and joint venture issues, among many others. Within two years the iconic Denver train station was transformed into both a multi-modal transit hub that caters to Amtrak and RTD light rail and bus passengers, and a destination for tourists and local residents.

Finance & Lending

  • We advised KKR, a leading global investment firm, as lender in connection with the recapitalization of a $1.7 billion portfolio of 95% leased, Class A office properties held by investment vehicles managed by Drawbridge Realty. Since closing in February KKR has continued to add to the loan pools.

Insights & Publications




  • J.D., 1985, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Order of St. Ives
  • B.B.A., 1982, University of Michigan

Previous Experience




  • Colorado

Community Involvement


Board of Directors, The Other Side Academy Denver

Board of Directors and Past Chair, Visit Denver - The Convention and Visitors Bureau

Board of Directors and Former Chair, Downtown Denver, Inc.

Co-Chair, Hancock for Denver Mayoral Campaign 2011, 2015 and 2019

Corporate Leadership Committee, 2026 Denver World Cup

Former Board Member

Denver Civic Center Conservancy

16th Street Mall Steering Committee, Downtown Denver Partnership

Denver Winter Olympics Exploratory Committee

Colorado Convention Center Expansion Project Leadership Team

Biennial of the Americas

City Year Denver

Family Tree Inc.

Junior Achievement

Littleton Hospital

The Denver Brass

Former Chair, South Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and South Denver Economic Development Group



"Bruce James is someone to bring in for the complex and hard situations. He is incredibly knowledgeable and has great gravitas." "Bruce is a great attorney who goes above and beyond. He understands the confluence of business, law and politics very well, and can provide counsel that very few other attorneys could match." "He has a balanced approach to tough legal issues, always has clients' best interest in mind and provides top-level legal services." - Chambers USA, 2024

"Bruce is the best attorney I have ever worked with. He is sophisticated, practical and provides a nice balance of business vs legal advice." "He is a go-to attorney who has strong business sense."  – Chambers USA, 2022

5280 Top Lawyers, 2017-2024

Who's Who Legal - Real Estate, 2016-2022

Best Lawyers in America, 2010-2024

Chambers USA, 2005-2024

Colorado Super Lawyers, 2006-2024

Honorary Partner, Downtown Denver Partnership, 2018

Lawdragon, "100 Managing Partners You Need To Know", 2008