Earlier this month we took a look at the dozens of multi-family residential projects developed in Downtown Denver since 2010. Today, we are focusing on Downtown’s non-residential development projects—that is, office, hotel, civic, and institutional uses—during the same time period. We did something similar in September 2014, but that was for office projects only.
1144 Fifteenth Street (left) and 1401 Lawrence (right) office developments. Image courtesy of DenverInfill reader Elizabeth W.
As with our recent residential analysis, projects included are those within a 1.5-mile radius of the historic D&F Tower at 16th and Arapahoe, which works well as a geographic center for the Downtown area. Click on the image below to view in full size our June 2015 Downtown Denver Non-Residential Projects map and table. Use this link to view/download a high-resolution PDF version (6 MB) formatted for printing at 11″ x 17″.
Please note: The gross square footage figures listed are approximate. All projects are new construction with the exception of the Crawford Hotel at Denver Union Station and the Marriott Renaissance Hotel at the Colorado National Bank building. These two adaptive reuse projects were included to provide a more complete look at the Downtown hotel development market.
Office: Since 2010, approximately 3.2 million square feet of office space has been completed or is currently under construction in Downtown Denver. That represents roughly a 10% increase in the total Central Business District office inventory. The number of publicly announced Downtown office projects that have not yet broken ground is now down to just a handful. This is probably a good thing, as it makes sense to see how quickly the nearly 2 million square feet of space currently under development is absorbed. Fortunately, there are a lot of positive factors driving demand for office space in Downtown these days, such as the increasing number of firms who recognize their employees want great access to transit and an engaging, walkable work environment.
Hotel: 1,430 new hotel rooms have been added since 2010 with another 983 currently under construction. All of these, with the exception of the Fairfield Inn Lower Highland, are in the core Downtown area within easy walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center and/or RTD’s free MallRide or MetroRide. If and when the two hotels in the Proposed category are completed, they will put the number of hotel rooms in the Downtown core over 10,000 for the first time. Meanwhile, tourism numbers for Denver are setting records, business is booming at the Colorado Convention Center, and Downtown hotel occupancy rates are very strong.
Civic/Other: The public and institutional sectors have been busy investing in Downtown Denver, with over 3 million square feet of space added through numerous civic buildings, museums, and educational and health facilities.
The Proposed section for all three use categories is limited to those projects we’ve covered already on DenverInfill. Of course, there are more developments “in the pipeline” than these, but projects that haven’t been made public can be hard to quantify, so we’re not attempting to do so as part of this assessment.
In summary, Downtown Denver is firing on all cylinders. A strong office market fueled by companies moving Downtown for its desirable transit/walkable environment? Check. A strong hotel market driven by booming convention center business and Downtown urban tourism? Check. A steady stream of public and institutional projects reflecting our community’s desire to keep Downtown the civic heart of the city and region? Check. An off-the-charts Downtown multi-family residential market reflecting strong demand for an urban lifestyle? Check. Like all booms, this one will someday come to an end. Hopefully it will be a “soft landing” as they say. For now, however, the sheer magnitude of new infill development in Downtown Denver since 2010 (my rough estimate: $5 billion) is staggering; a sign that we must be doing something right.