Denver’s mojo isn't just hype, Hines managing director Jay Despard tells us. That's why we're excited to have Jay and a panel of local experts, along with Mayor Michael Hancock, on hand at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver for Bisnow's second annual Denver State of the Market on Wednesday, April 30, to tell us more. (Sign up here.)
Denver is one of six cities in the country to have gained back all of the jobs lost in the recession, and it’s ranked No. 1 in the country for inbound population among the 25- to 32-year-old demographic, Jay points out. (This isn't a competition... but we're winning.) Those are just two of the macroeconomic trends waxing positive for local office market fundamentals. “Denver has as strong an office market as anywhere in the country,” Jay says. He's snapped at our first State of the Market last year.
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck shareholder Bruce James will be one of our moderators. Besides repping lenders, developers, private equity funds, and institutional investors in large-scale urban redevelopment projects, Bruce has the distinction of being lead counsel for the redevelopment of Union Station, which has already vastly added to downtown’s energy, and promises to inspire even more activity, both residential and commercial.
Mayor Hancock will keynote. (And he might tell us about his gig as Broncos mascot Huddles in 1986, which would look good on anyone’s resume.) Other panelists will include East West Partners’ Chris Frampton, Mortenson Construction’s Gene Hodge, McWhinney’s Chad McWhinney, and Sage Hospitality’s Walter Isenberg, Brookfield Office Properties’ David Sternberg, and GRS Group's Jeff Coyne, who's another moderator.
ARA’s Andy Hellman tells us that larger investors aren’t just looking for apartment properties here and there in metro Denver, but like the market enough to want to establish a large presence if they can—1,000 units in the next year is the dream of some of the big players, the better to take advantage of economies of scale. (As the wise prophet Sir Mick Jagger once said: "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.") As a result, he says, he’s never seen a busier investment market for apartments here. And investors are paying top dollar.
Rapid apartment development also means tighter competition for tenants among newest properties, and so developers are upping the ante in terms of amenities. The goal is to design an amenity-rich place to come home to, but also with access to the things people want when they’re not home—shopping, dining, entertainment, and jobs, KTGY’s Heather Ritter tells us. Currently she’s project manager for Elevation at County Line Station, a TOD slated for completion next year in Englewood.
TODs like Elevation are going to have an edge, since they offer this kind of convenience while also appealing to eco-minded tenants who want to drive less (and it’s a fact that Millennials drive less than their elders). Her project facilitates rail usage not only by being near a line, but also because it will feature a commuter lounge near the station. “It’s a place to grab a quick cup of coffee and check transit schedules in the morning, and a social gathering place in the evening,” she says. (We know we're not very social in the morning.) One more reminder: sign up for our State of the Market.