Colin Ryan


Senior associate

Colliers International Minneapolis-St. Paul


To say that Colin Ryan’s family has deep roots in commercial real estate would be an understatement. His father, Pat Ryan, is CEO of Minneapolis-based Ryan Cos. U.S. Inc., a fourth-generation commercial construction, development and real estate management company. His brother and two cousins also work for the company. His uncle, Joe Ryan, is owner of Minnetonka-based Oppidan Investment Co., and his brother-in-law, Blake Hastings, is the new managing director of CBRE’s Minneapolis office.

Now the 30-year-old Ryan, who joined Colliers International as a broker in 2008, is making a name for himself. He received the “Rising Star” award from the Minnesota Commercial Association of Real Estate for 2012. The award is given annually to a broker with less than five years of industry experience.

Ryan started as a union laborer with Ryan Cos. in 1998, working summers during college. After college, he landed at CB Richard Ellis in Chicago as a researcher supporting top-producing brokers. He returned to the Twin Cities to launch his brokerage career and specializes in tenant representation and office sales in the west metro.


Q: Tell me about your early days working at Ryan in the field.

A: Basically, I was a grunt for everybody and anybody there. I was very good with a broom. It was fun to see from the ground up how things were actually built. ... It was a great experience, and I stayed out of trouble from having to be up so early and work so hard.


Q: You took a break between college graduation and working at CB Richard Ellis to be a fly-fishing instructor. How was that?

A: It was the best job in the world. I was not ready to jump into a full-time job, so I moved to Colorado and lived in Vail for a year and worked as a fly-fishing guide.


Q: How did you launch your brokerage career?

A: It was 2008 when nothing was going well in the real estate world. I called Bill Wardwell, managing director at Welsh Cos. [now Colliers International], where I had interned during college. Bill said, ‘Absolutely. The door’s open for you here.’ A couple weeks later, I moved back and started working here.


Q: What deals have you been working on lately?

A: We recently sold a 25,000-square-foot building in St. Louis Park to Knutson Construction Services for their new corporate headquarters and relocated a 20,000-square-foot logistics company from Eden Prairie to Chanhassen.


Liz Wolf is an Eagan freelance writer. She can be reached at