2016 State of Downtown Denver Report Released

May 10, 2016


The Downtown Denver Partnership has released the 2016 State of
Downtown Denver report. The annual report, funded in part by the
Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, is one of the most
comprehensive statistical looks at the stories and statistics behind a
thriving center city, detailing increasing investment, strong office market
fundamentals, a growing and highly-educated workforce and vibrant
residential population in Downtown Denver.


“Our center city’s strong economy and dynamic energy creates a place
where people want to live and work, and as a result, it’s a place where
companies want to locate,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the
Downtown Denver Partnership. “Downtown Denver is a model for what a
great city can be as a result of our collective strategic, place-based
economic development strategy and the long-term vision and commitment
of public and private-sector leaders.”

At a breakfast attended by nearly 600 business and civic leaders, Door
presented key facts from the report, including:

Development and Investment
Developers are responding to increased demand propelled by a strong
population and job growth, as well as key public-sector investments. $2.5billion of investment is under construction or planned for Downtown Denver,
on top of more than $634 million of investment in 2015 that included 15
projects to create an additional 511 hotel rooms, 1,901 residential units and
333,000 square feet of office space.

Office Market and Employers
Downtown Denver is an ideal place to start or grow a business. In the past
24 months, 24 companies have relocated or expanded, and office market
fundamentals remain strong with a 9.5 percent direct vacancy rate and
$33.14/square foot direct average lease rate. As of the beginning of 2016,
an additional 2.8 million square feet of office space was planned or under

More people are working in Downtown Denver than ever before, totaling
123,548 at the end of 2015. Employment has increased 13.2 percent since
2010, surpassing the nation-wide increase of 8.5 percent. Denver is also
the seventh most educated metro area in the country, with more than 40
percent of Denver Metro area residents earning a bachelor’s degree or

Students and Universities
54,000 students attend public, not-for-profit institutions of higher education
in Downtown Denver, and more than 10,000 students attend trade or
private institutions. The Auraria Higher Education Center continues to see
growth and investment to help ensure businesses are able to recruit
qualified employees, with new facilities including an aerospace and
engineering sciences building at Metropolitan State University of Denver,
and an advanced manufacturing center at the Community College of

Ranked as the top place to live in the U.S. by U.S. News & World Report,
75,972 people live in Downtown Denver. Attracted to vibrant walkable
districts and diverse residential amenities, this number is expected to grow
by 12.6 percent over the next five years, compared to 3.7 percent

Retail and Restaurants
First-to-market and new-to-downtown options create a diverse retail scene,
including the second non-coastal location for Uniqlo, which will open a
23,000-square-foot flagship store later this year. 53 percent of businesses
along the 16th Street Mall are local businesses or local chains contributing
to the $45 million in retail sales tax collections generated in Downtown
Denver in 2015.

Multi-modal transportation options converge in Downtown Denver, where
nearly 60 percent of Downtown Denver employees commute to work via
transit, walk, bike or ride share. 21 percent of Downtown Denver residents
don’t own a car.

Public Space and Activation
Downtown Denver’s parks and public spaces are an economic asset for the
community and help transform an individual’s experience in the center city.
In 2015, public spaces were activated for a collective total of 749 days.
Events like Meet in the Street, produced by the Downtown Denver
Partnership and funded by the Downtown Denver Business Improvement
District, resulted in 30 percent more pedestrian traffic on the Mall, and 60
percent of people spending more time in the space.

Tourism and Attractions
A world-class destination for regional and international tourists, more than
15 million people, including one million conference attendees to the
Colorado Convention Center, visit the city each year and spend a total of
$4.6 billion. Downtown Denver’s 32 hotels also experience high occupancy
rates, and with four new hotels planned.

“I applaud the Downtown Denver Partnership for leading the private
sector’s commitment to help develop and implement the strategies that are
responsible for the economically vibrant center city showcased in the 2016
State of Downtown Denver report,” said Joe Vostrejs, principal of City
Street Investors and chairman of the Downtown Denver Partnership.

Following an overview of the report, a panel moderated by Rob Cohen,
CEO of IMA Financial, and including Crissy Fanganello, director of
transportation for Denver Public Works, Chris Frampton, managing
partner of East West Partners, and Scott Heimes, chief marketing
officer at SendGrid, discussed the opportunities and challenges facing
Downtown Denver, including population growth, mobility, affordability and
education, as well as the role the entrepreneurial community plays in the
future of the center city.

“While Downtown Denver is certainly thriving, it’s important to continue
collaboration between the public and private sector and engage in
important dialogue to drive our center city forward,” said Rob Cohen, CEO
of IMA Financial and chair of the Partnership’s Downtown Denver Inc.
Board of Directors. “Let’s continue to invest in and capitalize on the
opportunities we’ve worked so hard for and ensure Downtown Denver
remains the best place in the entire country to live, work and visit.”