But are we overbuilding? Depends on what you read. According to CB Richard Ellis commercial brokers Sam DePizzol and Greg Holm the answer is no.
In a May 2008 Rocky Mountain News article written by John Rebchook, the brokers claim that office space is increasing currently only at about 1% annually, compared to the early 1980s when office space doubled downtown. And this time around according to their study, rents are cheaper when adjusted for inflation. They argue that downtown’s is now more diversified thanks to a couple recent boom and bust periods associated with the oil and telecom industries.
However, lending in the construction business has become very tricky of late. Just ask the developers of the Spire building, a residential project now back on track near the Hyatt Convention Center hotel. Although that development will be completed, it certainly has been delayed. Banks these days are requiring substantial presales prior to lending money. And that pressure has unfortunately halted plans to build the Great Gulf residential tower at 14th and Lawrence – which would have added a stunning 51-story condo hi-rise to downtown’s skyline.
But don’t mention any of that to the folks behind the Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, and ongoing Riverfront developments. They are confidently pressing forward and literally raising the bar for prices in the downtown Denver marketplace. And if you think you’ve heard all that before, just keep in mind that this time around, buyers are getting vacation-like amenities with purchases in this day and age. At the Four Seasons, permanent residents will be treated to the same service as the hotel guests (room service, plant care, pet walking) in addition to enjoying their own private fitness center and year-round pool. Got a million to spend downtown? Give me a call I’ll show you all your options!