It's Still Cool to Dote on Downtown Denver
Union Station is a game-changer, and our Downtown has many new buildings on the way. But will be able to brag next year... and five years from now (without being full of hot air)? Find out at Bisnow’s Future of Downtown event on Oct. 15 at the Sheraton Downtown Denver, starting at 7:30 AM.
Hines managing director Jay Despard, who will speak at the event, tells us he absolutely sees office leasing Downtown remaining very strong for the next 12 months: “There’s a lot of leasing activity over all classes, a substantial amount of new product delivering inside of 10 months, and vacancies are very low.” Beyond 12 months, he’s optimistic but cautious. The Denver CBD has a fair amount of in-migration in comparison to other major cities—meaning that we’re pulling tenants into Downtown rather than shifting occupancy between buildings or losing tenants to the suburbs, Jay says.
Denver’s burgeoning mass-transit program is the major catalyst for Downtown activity, Jay says, and that'll only grow as the system continues toward completion. Hines is certainly a believer in Downtown Denver. Underway is its 300k SF office building at 1601 Wewatta, and the company plans to break ground on a 650k SF office building in May 2015 at 15th and Lawrence.
Unico Properties VP, regional director in Denver Austin Kane tells us research departments at large advisors see Denver as a legitimate top-tier investment market. “There’s also a snowballing effect in which investors are increasingly drawn to new top-tier markets by seeing more of their peers present,” he says. (We feel this may also be the reason so many people watch Big Bang Theory.) Recently the US Department of Energy recognized Unico as a Green Lease Leader, one of 14 companies nationwide, for promoting energy efficiency.