Who We Are

Founded in 1985 as RC&A, Inc., the original company specialized in land brokerage and pre-development consulting for homebuilders and planned-community developers, and was a prime brokerage contractor and consultant on land issues to the Resolution Trust Corporation, FSLIC and FDIC during the recessionary years of the late '80's and early '90's. RC&A was re-branded to Empire Commercial Real Estate in 1995, and with the new name came an expanded scope of expertise that includes commercial investment property, governmental and institutional project programming, retail, medical office and multifamily site selection, and disposition of lender-owned real estate and "special assets". Empire's focus is exclusive to Arizona and, in particular, the high-growth counties that comprise the Greater Phoenix metropolitan area.

Each of Empire's brokers is an owner of the company. Each has developed core expertise in one or more market segments, giving the company a surprising depth of coverage of the various land-use sub-markets that have driven Arizona's unprecedented growth.

Whether you are a developer, an owner-user, or a long-term investor in a particular area of interest, you will benefit from the team's years of transactional and advisory expertise in retail, multifamily, hospitality, healthcare, institutional, and residential land uses.

At its core, real estate, and particularly development and investment land, is an inherently local business. A well-developed knowledge base of market conditions or jurisdictional issues in New Jersey or Florida has little application in Arizona, and vice-versa. That's where we stand head-and-shoulders above the national houses. Whether you are a retail chain needing to develop a roll-out penetration strategy, an investor interested in "land-banking" residential lots for the homebuilding industry, or a banker looking to maximize the value of real estate-secured notes or OREO assets, Empire Commercial will provide the depth of knowledge, market insight, and relationship-driven responsiveness to help you achieve your investment or disposition objectives.

Why Choose Empire?

Commercial land and investment real estate is a high-stakes business. If you are considering investing in Arizona's dynamic, high-growth future, you need the best possible local market knowledge and advice.

The Empire team is uniquely qualified to provide advice on current and projected market conditions, infrastructure and entitlement issues, jurisdictional variables, submarket dynamics and property valuations.

As our client, you will be provided the high level of personalized one-on-one service that only a smaller specialty firm can offer, and that a generation of developers, investors and owner-users before you have come to expect: insight, and relationship-driven responsiveness to help you achieve your investment or disposition objectives.

The Empire Team

(480) 947-4900, Ext. 3

Rick Courtin

Founding Partner, Designated Broker. Retail, Multifamily, Hospitality and Institutional Land.

A 43-year resident of Arizona, and graduate of Arizona State University's College of Business. Rick has been active in the development industry since 1979, and has been an active Real Estate broker since 1985.

Although there is a strong background in homebuilding, Rick's focus over the last several years has expanded to include retail, apartment and hospitality development, as well as institutional and governmental real estate. His practice includes expert witness testimony and consulting on entitlement issues. He has long championed responsible, sustainable development for Arizona, developing an expertise in urban-infill, land assembly, and adaptive re-use projects. Tougher projects to put together, to be sure, but ultimately rewarding personally and for the community.

Rick has been actively involved in community revitalization issues and community service projects, and is proud to be or have been associated with the following organizations:

  • Board Member, Phoenix Community Alliance, a businessmen's organization dedicated to the revitalization of the central city;
  • Member, National Association of Homebuilders and the Homebuilders Association of Central Arizona.
  • Chairman, Phoenix Arts District Community Development Corporation;
  • Advisory Board Member, Herberger Center for Design Excellence, the community outreach arm of ASU's College of Architecture and Design;

Founding Member, Reinventing Neighborhoods task force, a community revitalization program run in conjunction with ASU's Joint Urban Design Program. The work of this group's five community charrettes can be reviewed at

(480) 947-4900, Ext. 2

Steve Parsons

Partner. Retail Land and Site Selection.

A Phoenix native, Steve earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and Finance, from Arizona State University, and joined Empire Commercial 1998.

With experience and knowledge of all aspects of the retail real estate market including land sales, zoning, development and leasing, Steve has become a respected specialist in user-driven retail site-selection and development. He has a proven track record in achieving his clients' goals and objectives with strategic planning, market knowledge and well tested negotiating skills. Representing QuikTrip Corporation, which has become one the most well respected retailers in the market today, for 20 years, has given Steve strategic insight into successfully penetrating and expanding retail chains in the Arizona marketplace.

Steve's client list includes: Barclay Group, Continental Properties, Diversified Partners, QuikTrip, Walgreen's, CVS, Yum Brands, Burger King, Jack in the Box, and numerous others.

Glenn Bunker

Sales and Leasing.

Hailing from world-famous Wasilli, Alaska, Glenn studied business at Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University. Prior to joining Empire recently, Glenn was licensed with Avail Partners, a Scottsdale-based business brokerage. Glenn has several years of experience in sales within the construction and computer technology industries.