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Northwest Corridor Lifestyle Key To Attracting Businesses

Companies like Babolat, Sierra Nevada Corp. and CenturyLink are drawn to metro Denver’s northwest corridor because the location allows them to offer their employees an experience and because they have access to a large talent pool between Denver and Boulder.

Sierra Nevada Corp. Vice President Anne Bruce, St. Anthony's North Health Campus CEO Kevin Jenkins, Babolat USA General Manager Susan DiBiase, CenturyLink General Manager for Colorado Monica Walton, Koelbel & Co. Vice President Carl Koelbel and Holland & Hart partner Marc Painter

When technology companies make real estate decisions, the main thing they consider is the talent pool, The John Buck Co. Senior Vice President Justin Parr said. 

“It’s not just the building itself, it’s where the building is located and what’s around it,” Parr said. 

Babolat, a French tennis, badminton and squash equipment company that located its U.S. headquarters in Louisville more than 20 years ago, recently conducted a study on the benefits of being in the northwest corridor versus other areas in the Denver metropolitan region or another part of the country. The company found that it is important for employees to be in a place where they can do the things they enjoy. The northwest corridor has access to plenty of running and bike trails — and in Babolat’s case, there are tennis courts available.  

Mile High Development President George Thorn, Downtown Westminster Real Estate and Development Manager Sarah Nurmela, Element Properties Director of Development Catherine Bean, The John Buck Co. Senior Vice President Justin Parr, Ranch Capital Vice President of Real Estate Bill Jencks and Swinerton Division Manager Tim Kretzschmar

“This is a pretty damn good place to be so we’re going to stay,” DiBiase said during Bisnow’s Future of the Northwest Corridor event at Interpark Broomfield.

Electronic systems provider Sierra Nevada Corp. entered the Colorado market after acquiring a small company. It decided to stay because its Louisville location was close to universities that could supply talent, Sierra Nevada Vice President Anne Bruce said. The location offers amenities like shopping and restaurants nearby. Louisville also landed on Money’s Best Places to Live ranking because of its economic opportunity and small-town charm.

“Our employees want an experience,” Bruce said. “It’s a generational expectation. Any developer who’s creating community space — if you recognize that, it will help us as employers. It’s the experience and the lifestyle.”

Broomfield Director of Economic Development Bo Martinez, Broomfield Mayor Randy Ahrens and Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison

A growing population presents opportunities for healthcare providers. Over the last three years, Centura Health has invested $200M and hired 1,000 employees at its St. Anthony North Health Campus, which opened in Westminster in 2015, St. Anthony North Health Campus CEO Kevin Jenkins said. 

“Location is absolutely critical for our success,” Jenkins said. “We have to make sure we’re in the right location to serve a community. We also look very closely at retail. We try to go where there’s movement and activity.”

During the first panel discussion, Broomfield Mayor Randy Ahrens, Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison and Broomfield Director of Economic Development Bo Martinez discussed how their communities cooperate with each other. Other topics raised by all three panels included housing affordability and workforce housing. 

“We need some of you to step up and work with the cities,” Atchison said. “Come talk to us about owner-occupied multifamily. We know there’s a risk, but we’re willing to talk to you about how to defer some of those risks.”