2019 State of Downtown Denver

The 2019 State of Downtown Denver Report shows a city that continues to prosper.

The many accolades earned last year further establishes Downtown Denver as an attractive destination for visitors, residents, and companies alike. According to the data, our downtown is thriving; there is a growing demand for office space and residential units; major employers are choosing to open offices or relocate to Downtown Denver;  investment in mobility is moving people to and through our city faster and safer. Read more about downtown’s talent pool, retail and residential market, and more below.

#1
Best Large Airport in the U.S. - Wall Street Journal
5th
Best U.S. City for Working Women - MagnifyMoney
2nd
Best Place to Live in the USA - U.S. News & World Report

Download the 2019 State of Downtown Denver Report for the metrics, perspectives, and stories behind the our thriving downtown.

Download the 2019 State of Downtown Report

Employment

Job growth in Downtown Denver continues to set new records, with 138,970 jobs downtown. More than 5,490 new jobs were added last year, a robust 4.1% increase that outpaces the metro Denver region (2.6%), Colorado (2.4%), and the nation (1.6%). This growth was driven by gains in 10 of the 11 supersectors in Downtown Denver, with the Education & Health Services and Information sectors reporting the fastest rates of growth (13.6% and 11.5%, respectively) and Professional and Business Services reporting the largest absolute increase in employment (3,058).

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5,492
jobs added in Downtown Denver

Denver has the right mix of what we were looking for—access to strong engineering talent and a growing millennial workforce.

Matthew Glotzbach, CEO of Quizlet

Office Market

Downtown Denver was a primary driver of the region’s #3 ranking for net office absorption behind only New York City and San Francisco. Strong office-leasing activity resulted in a vacancy rate of 10.2%—nearly 12% lower than last year. A strong market with continued demand, steady rental rates (averaging nearly $34/sf), and declining vacancy rates helped to spur more than 1.4MM square feet of new office-space deliveries. When office projects currently under construction are completed, the downtown market will offer over 40MM square feet of office space.

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Denver’s demonstrated a longer-term perspective, looking out 10, 15 years. That’s not something you find in other cities.

James Quarles, CEO, Strava

Talent

As the economic hub of the region, connected by freeways and transit alike, Downtown Denver provides the optimal location to reach the 1.83 million metro Denver talent pool, which grew by 54,217 people last year. Since 2010, the region has added over 230,000 people to the workforce, over 100,000 of which were in the past two years alone.

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#10
tech talent market according to CBRE
54,000
people added to the metro region’s talent pool

The Denver region offers a unique hub, filled with talented network engineers, network security engineers, and software engineers.

Steve Politis, Denver Office Lead, Facebook

Development and Investment

Within Downtown Denver, 48 new projects are recently completed, planned, or are underway. Together these projects will yield 3.5MM square feet of commercial space, 1,855 hotel rooms, and 6,600 residential units.

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3B
total investment last year

Mobility

The confluence of multimodal options in Downtown Denver moves more people in more ways than ever. According to The Downtown Denver Partnership’s annual Commuter Survey, most people are getting to work by some mode other than their car; nearly one in 10 commuters are choosing to bike to work every day, and four in 10 are using transit.

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Our team lives all over the metro area, and the regional and local transportation options make it easy for everyone to get to the office. We wanted to keep our company headquarters in vibrant Downtown Denver to continue to attract and retain great talent.

Tim Prunk, President and COO, FullContact

Residents

The move to downtown continues, as the market witnessed a population jump of nearly 13% in the past year, adding nearly 3,000 people. Downtown Denver has added almost 20,000
residents in less than 20 years, with today’s population at 25,727. Demographers agree that residential growth will continue, with forecasts indicating downtown will be home to nearly 33,000 people by 2023. The surrounding center city neighborhoods have similarly seen population climb at a fast pace, with an increase of 10.5% over the past year, bringing the population of the center city neighborhoods to 88,670.

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13%
growth in the downtown population
72%
of adult residents hold a bachelor's degree or higher

Retail & Restaurants

Retail sales in Downtown Denver remain strong, evidenced by 6% annual growth. Increasing sales are reflective of Downtown’s growing residential population (up 13% to over 25K), daytime employee population (up 4% to over 138K), and visitors (up 1% to 17.4MM overnight trips). Two of the largest industry categories, Restaurants (41% of total sales) and Hotel and Other Accommodation Services (25% of total sales) witnessed growth of 4.8% and 11%, respectively.

Download the Retail & Restaurants Report
6%
growth in retail sales

Public Space

Downtown Denver has over 150 acres of parks and open space, including Commons Park (20 acres) and Civic Center Park (12 acres). With Denver’s growing population, Denverites are getting more use out of park space. More public art, cafés, programming, and lighting are leading to additional opportunities to enjoy parks and open spaces in Downtown Denver.

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7MM +
effort to build the downtown tree canopy is underway
4.5%
current tree canopy coverage
10%
future tree canopy coverage

Tourism

Denver continues to attract increasing numbers of visitors, with 17.4MM overnight visitors in 2017, up 1% from the previous year, according to VISIT DENVER. Overnight visitors spent $5.6B in 2017, up 6% from the prior year. The growth in overnight visitors and total expenditures on overnight trips was driven particularly by an increase in leisure travel and spending, reflecting Denver’s growing reputation as a destination. In fact, leisure visits to Denver are up 65%, versus 24% nationally, since 2006.

Download the Tourism Report
17.4MM
overnight visitors in 2017
40
downtown hotels
$750MM
in economic impact

Download the 2019 State of Downtown Denver report for the metrics, perspectives, and stories behind the our thriving downtown.

Download the 2019 State of Downtown Report