Colorado’s Mile High City sits at 5,280 feet above sea level, attracting visitors each winter for an incredible ski season. But Denver is more than a stopover city or a winter sport destination. Millennials are flocking to Denver for the city’s vibrant music scene and wealth of tech jobs. While home buying has seen a decline, the local economy remains strong and And residents from like-minded cities such as Portland, Tucson, and Austin are still drawn to Denver’s DIY spirit, outdoor culture, and employment opportunities.
In the past seven years, Denver witnessed 100,000 new residents settle within the city limits. While the city’s pace of growth is leveling out, the city’s population boom continues to make headlines. And as Denver surpassed a new population milestone — 700,000 residents — “Denver’s pace of growth mirrored Colorado’s as a whole, with the state’s population topping 5.6 million in mid-2017… for a total population of 5,607,154.”
As Denver’s labor pool continues to grow, companies are attracted to the wealth of talent and creativity in the area. Denver is establishing its reputation as a national hub for art, media, advertising, health services, entertainment, outdoor sports, tourism, and technology.
With businesses ranging from multinational advertising firms to tech company satellites, there is more than 113 million square feet of Denver office space to accommodate all sizes and budgets. Feel free to filter our real-time listings by neighborhood and number of employees, and check out the rest of our city guide for everything else you need to know about finding Denver office space.
Denver Office Space | Lease Data and Trends
|Class A||Class B||Vacancy|
|Central Business District||$42/sf||$32/sf||16%|
The overall average asking rent for office space in Denver hovers around $30 per square foot to lease, and commercial office space in Denver’s Central Business District rents for around $37 per square foot. Within Denver’s Central Business District, LoDo and the western portion rank as the most expensive places to rent in Denver.
There are numerous cost-effective alternatives in Denver’s southeast and southwestern suburbs. In Denver’s suburbs, averaging asking rents (across all building classes) are more affordable, hovering near $27 per square foot.
In tandem with Denver’s population growth, the city’s commercial real estate inventory is on the rise. According to projections from international real estate advisory leaders, “businesses will move into more than a million square feet of downtown Denver office space every year between now and 2021.” The absorption rate isn’t unprecedented, in fact it parallels Denver construction trends in the 1980’s when the Downtown skyline formed and LoDo and Uptown established their reputations as preeminent commercial districts.
But the resurging swell in commercial real estate is not only noteworthy for the city of Denver, but also for the country as a whole. Compared to dozens of markets in the United States, Denver shows one of the biggest jumps in new office space, ranking “ninth in total office space square footage slated to be available by the end of 2018.” While larger cities like New York City and San Francisco show larger totals of new office space to be built out by the end of 2018, Denver is tracking to deliver nearly 3.5 million square feet of new office space by the year’s end.
As new office space comes on the market, now is a lucrative time for investors – and a smart time for companies – to secure commercial real estate in Denver. Over the past seven years, building owners have spent more than $168 million on capital improvements, creating modern and unique spaces that contribute to overall office satisfaction. And with new buildings rising up in prime locations, the race for the city’s best real estate will stay highly competitive.
If you’re looking for premium office space in the trendiest parts of Denver, or you’re interested in leasing some of the city’s newest construction, SquareFoot is your go-to resource for finding a real estate match. Well-apprised of new construction and hot spaces coming back on Denver’s commercial real estate market, our brokers are working to offer you a first look at modern office spaces.
Popular Neighborhoods to Rent Denver Office Space
Located in the southern heart of Downtown, Denver’s LoDo area is the city’s oldest neighborhood. As areas like Glendale began to fade in popularity in the ‘90s, a new cultural scene emerged in LoDo, drawing some of the city’s most famous restaurants, art galleries, and boutiques into a concentrated area. LoDo represents new growth in Denver’s Central Business District, as tech companies and sports giants are eager to fill new construction spaces in LoDo. Current commercial tenants in LoDo include: software company FullContact, employment agency Creative Circle, AutoDesk, Cisco, Equus, and the Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field.
Aside from its strong commercial scene, LoDo is well known for Larimer Square: “Denver’s oldest and most historic block.” Once home to the city’s first saloon, dance hall, and civic buildings, today Larimer Square’s historic buildings house independent shops, award-winning restaurants, and vibrant nightlife. Most employees who commute to LoDo travel through Union Station, which houses a train shed, a light rail station, and a bus facility, making it a daily stop for most commuters in the area.
Located in the heart of Denver’s Central Business District, Downtown Denver is a tech mecca bordered by Broadway and West Colfax Avenues, Speer Boulevard, and Lawrence and 20th Streets. As Denver’s local business economy continues to grow, new tech companies and start-ups continue to build on the already-dense tech firm culture in Downtown Denver. Popular tech startups in the area include Marketo, a leader in marketing automation software, Vertafore, a Washington-based insurance technology startup, and other notables including Apto, Gusto, SALT, Ibotta, and FareHarbor.
But Downtown Denver goes beyond tech culture, the area represents Denver’s diverse interested in art, live music, and outdoor adventure with a hand of art galleries, concert venues, and river guide tours. And as one the city’s most central locations, Downtown Denver is well connected to the rest of the city – making it an ideal destination for companies that are eager to be at the center of economic expansion in Denver. Many locals reach Downtown Denver via Union Station, although warmer months show a surge in employees commuting to work by walking the riverfront trail, or biking along the integrated path and using one of Denver’s 82 B-cycle stations.
East of Downtown lies Uptown: the hip, new kid on the block of Denver’s Central Business District. While LoDo and Downtown are more established areas in Denver’s Central Business District, Uptown’s more affordable rent prices – there’s an $10 per square foot cost advantage for Class A properties compared to neighboring LoDo – the sprawling green space, and the high profile restaurant rows make Uptown one of the most attractive spaces to rent commercial real estate in Denver.
Uptown is a hub for creative companies like Ogilvy, an international advertising giant. But the commercial scene is diverse, too, hosting software startups, engineering corporations, and traditional media outlets alike. For companies that prioritize access to transportation, culture, and the heart of Denver business district, Uptown continues to be a top commercial destination. While public transportation buses and rail lines serve Uptown, many commuters still chose to travel to and from this Denver neighborhood by car. In fact, surveys show that
“people who live within five miles of downtown are more likely to drive than
use RTD’s bus or rail service.”
Capitol Hill is Denver’s bohemian jewel. Nestled between Denver’s golden capitol dome and Cheesman Park, Capitol Hill is marked by growth and urban renewal. In its early days, Capitol Hill served as the eclectic home base for Beat Generation legends like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Today, the area still attracts local businesses, foodies, and visitors with its eclectic charm, but the neighborhood now pairs its counterculture roots with political buildings, civic centers, and small businesses. Companies that settle in Capitol Hill are diverse, ranging from software support companies like Cheetah International to architecture firms like Smith LaRock Architecture PC to non-profits like Safer.
While Capitol Hill doesn’t offer the same supply of Class A office space, compared to nearby areas like LoDo and Midtown, it compensates for the dearth of commercial real estate with an abundance of hip eateries, family-run shops, quirky bars, and uniquely Denver establishments. Capitol Hill is one of Denver’s most walkable neighborhoods, and the area is also accessible via bus lines 0, 3, 6, 5, and 52.
Cherry Creek bridges the gap between Denver’s Central Business District and other city suburbs. Thought known for its premier shopping district, a growing number of businesses and condo developers are capitalizing on new construction in the area. Cherry Creek remains best recognized for its wealth of including highbrow retail shops such as: Tiffany & Co., Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton and more. A popular choice for locals and tourists alike, Cherry Creek is a cosmopolitan area that invites visitors to indulge in luxury shopping and fine dining. The office space in Cherry Creek matches the affluent neighborhood surroundings, as innovative, luxury Class A properties are on the rise.
Yet the rates for commercial office space in Cherry Creek remain noticeably more affordable compared to Downtown Denver, providing a lucrative market for companies. While most people commute by car to Cherry Creek, the neighborhood is bike and public transit-friendly. A number buses frequent the area, including the 6 and the 46 that run along East 6th Avenue.
Glendale is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. A city within a city, Glendale is bordered by Denver on all sides, making it an island with all the potential for residential and commercial development that would offer unparalleled access to Denver’s diverse attractions. The location is ideal for transportation, since Glendale is only a mile and a half north of I-25, five miles from the heart of southeast Denver, and 25 minutes away from the Denver airport. Glendale is primarily a residential area, but city initiatives are underway to reclaim the area’s past legacy as a thriving entertainment district. As the most densely populated city in the state, Glendale is a neighborhood to watch.
Getting to, From, and Around Denver, CO
A core advantage of having an office in Denver’s LoDo, Downtown, Uptown, or Capitol Hill areas is access to a talented, well-educated pool to potential employees, thanks to Denver’s modern and robust transit system. Even neighboring Glendale and Cherry Creek areas are connect to Denver via a sprawling network of buses, trains, and commuter rails. Without driving, locals can visit Union Station to access local and regional light rail and bus services, Amtrak lines, and free shuttles.
Last mile transit options
In addition to Denver’s mass transit system, the city offers a bike share program. Locals can purchase a pass that fits their needs, whether you’re an everyday commuter or you want to entertain guests from out of town. Passes can be purchased by the trip, day, month or year. The bike system helps keep Denver well-connected “with 88 stations and 700 bikes throughout ten central Denver neighborhoods.”
Distance and density commuting
Since Denver is well connected by its major Amtrak train hub and by its wealth of public transit options alongside a fast-growing network of bicycle lanes, Denver employers have the advantage of recruiting from far-away suburbs, local colleges, and residents from just down the block.
While Denver office space is accessible to thousands of potential employees, transportation isn’t without its shortfalls. Despite all the non-driving options, Denver ranks as the 23rd worst city for traffic congestion in North America. Based on 2018 data from INRIX, Denver drivers spent 36 hours stuck in traffic last year.
Fortunately, Denver city planners are working on “a long-term transportation plan and vision for the city through 2040.” While the details of this plan are still in flux, transportation initiatives in Denver promise to take a holistic approach that factors in pedestrians, bikes, and cars to improve the both safety and ease of commute.