Or perhaps this blog title should be “Screeching Halt.” Can you image being a real estate developer these days and you don’t have your project financing secured? Good luck. I’m just happy a bunch of our big downtown tower projects managed to get their loans and get under construction before the floor dropped out on our financial markets.
I’ve heard recently that a number of infill projects around the downtown area have been shelved: Mestizo 31, the Spanos project in Jefferson Park, 1780 Downing, Old Market Lofts… I’m sure there are many more. The failure of any real estate project to get underway is not unusual. Regardless of how strong the economy is, some projects just don’t make it off the drawing board. Of course, these days we’re clearly dealing with a situation that’s not your run-of-the-mill real estate cycle. Yet a few new projects continue to be proposed, like Bryant 25, which hit my inbox just a few weeks ago.
As I mentioned in a recent blog, the one comfort we can take in all of this mess is that any slowdown in the pace of infilling Downtown is not an indication of the desirability of Downtown as a place to live, work, or invest. In fact, it is certainly possible that when the current financial crisis is resolved and banks return to some kind of “normal” lending environment, we may have a mini-boom of projects getting launched, considering the pent up demand. Very worthy projects that in any other circumstance would already be underway (like Two Tabor, for example) will finally get their financing and begin construction. Let’s hope that happens anyway.
The lack of blogs from me lately has also been influenced by the fact that I’m a HUGE political junkie. With our national elections just around the corner, I find myself glued to websites like FiveThirtyEight.com and similar resources, particularly if there are lots of colored electoral maps, charts, and graphs (that’s my inner geek coming out). Nevertheless, I’ll be happy once the campaigning is over. Hopefully, by the time we get into 2009, we’ll see something resembling normalcy on the horizon and we can refocus on getting rid of those nasty surface parking lots Downtown and improving the condition of Denver’s urban core.