“It’s not often that the skyline of a city changes — but that’s going to happen soon to the Mile High City,” reporter Molly Armbrister wrote this June in the Denver Business Journal.
That’s when work began on 1144 Fifteenth, the 40-story, $30 million office building being erected by Hines on 15th street. And as new office towers take shape on the Denver skyline, more new companies and residents are flocking to the city’s booming downtown area.
Molson Coors Brewing Company relocated its headquarters to the second-tallest building in the city, 1801 California, while Liberty Global announced it will set up shop in the Triangle Building under construction near Denver Union Station.
San Francisco warehouse space developer Prologis is planning a move to the Dairy Block in LoDo, and this fall DaVita Healthcare Partners Inc. revealed a massive downtown expansion, where it plans to lease 11 floors in a planned 410,000 square-foot office building.
But big companies aren’t the only ones driving downtown Denver’s expansion in 2015 and 2016. Since 2011, almost 13,000 new residential units have been added downtown — and that’s still barely enough to keep up with demand. Overall, the population of the area is fast approaching 73,000, and real estate developers have invested an estimated $5 billion there in the last five years.
The residential boom is driven in part by the college-educated workers and graduates seeking jobs at companies like Molson and Prologis. College graduates are much more likely to move to a new city or state in search of job opportunities. About three-quarters of college grads have changed communities or lived in multiple states, and with Denver’s economy on the upswing, many young professionals are moving or returning to the city.
The Downtown Denver Partnership recently reported that downtown Denver has grown in population by 15% over the past five years.
“The explosion of population growth in the center city, where some neighborhoods have grown by more than 30 percent since 2010, is a testament to our collective progress toward building an economically healthy, growing and vital downtown,” said Tami Door, CEO of the DDP.