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It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. That’s essentially how Cassidy Turley Fuller’s CEO Greg Morris describes the Denver office market.
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“I guess I can describe it as the Tale of Two Cities,” Greg says. (So, long and a little confusing?) The downtown/suburb divide has caught his eye, though he admits "worst" isn't the word he'd use. The CBD has been a strong performer since pulling out of the recession, with occupancy tightening and rents on the increase faster than in the suburbs ($40/SF-plus for prime Class-A space). And CTF has been responsible for some huge deals this year, including MarkWest Energy Partners’ 215k SF lease for the entire Tower I at Park Central (broker: CT's Doug Wulf). But Greg questions whether companies will pick up activity in the fall, given the amount of uncertainty across the US. “With the election being in November, I think a lot of tenants are in a wait-and-see mode,” he says.
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Here’s the new home for MarkWest. On the industrial side, Greg sees steadiness. It helps that CT helped ink the largest industrial deal in Denver this year: the 554k SF build-to-suit for United Natural Foods at Gateway Park (broker: CT’s Alex Rhodes). Will possible industrial redevelopment be in play? He says keep on an eye on "the obsolescence of certain properties in key locations," estimating that as much as 8% of Denver’s 275M SF in the sector probably doesn’t work for a modern warehouse user anymore. “When is it time to tear these down?” (Where's Reagan/Gorbachev when you need 'em?)