The State of Downtown Denver



Downtown Denver enjoyed a record-setting year in 2017. This growth and prosperity is driven by the Downtown Denver Partnership’s vision and strategy to build an economically powerful center city.

Click below to find out what makes Downtown Denver such a great place. 

DevelopmentOffice MarketTalentMobilityResidentsRetailPublic SpaceTourismBenchmarking
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With record setting numbers of downtown jobs, residents, and visitors, developers are finding downtown a prime location for new investment with $2.3 billion of projects in the pipeline.

In 2017 and early 2018, 17 projects were completed in Downtown Denver, totaling $1,352,880,000 in investment and adding 1,711 residential units, 1,141 hotel rooms, and 1.1 million square feet of office.

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Office Market

A downtown office location provides exceptional access to our regional talent pool and mobility options, driving 2.5% employment growth year-over-year and attracting a steady stream of business expansions.

Employment in Downtown Denver is at an all-time high of 133,478, with much of this growth being fueled by the tech industry. Tech industry employment is up 74% since 2010.

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A downtown office location provides access to Metro Denver’s exceptional and growing labor force of over 1.8 million, 44% of whom have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Some of the region’s most highly educated live in downtown, where 68% of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Over 45,000 students attend public, not-for-profit institutions of higher education in Downtown Denver, with an additional 10,000 attending various trade and private institutions that have classroom space downtown.

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With the abundance of talent in Denver, we know it’s a perfect fit for our mission and team.

– James Quarles, CEO, Strava


Downtown Denver has 9 rail lines, 19.4 miles of bike lanes and trails, 60 RTD bus routes including RTD Free MallRide and Free MetroRide, an extensive bike sharing network, and 4 carshare companies with 21 dedicated parking spaces.

Almost 60% of the Downtown Denver workforce uses transit, bikes, walks or shares the ride for its commute to work. The greatest increase in commuter mode share over the past five years is among bicycle use, which has almost doubled.

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Attracted to vibrant walkable districts and high-quality residential amenities, more people than ever before are choosing to live in Downtown Denver and its center city neighborhoods.

80,271 people live in downtown and its surrounding residential neighborhoods, an increase of almost 17,000 since 2010. In this area, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,462 and the average home sales price in 2017 was $495,000.

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Denver has so many things going for it — an existing top-level talent pool, a burgeoning tech scene, and an overall environment conducive to helping us grow our business.

– Amy Zupon, CEO, Vertafore


New jobs, residents and visitors attracted to a thriving downtown have generated extraordinary demand for new goods, services, and entertainment options, with retail sales up 6.4% year-over-year.

Downtown Denver has over 4,000,000 square feet of retail space with a 3.3% vacancy rate (down 31% year-over-year) and a direct average lease rate of $24.90 (up 5% year-over-year). Key recent retail openings and announcement include: Sephora, Target, Warby Parker, and Whole Foods.

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Public Space

Downtown Denver has 152 acres of parks and open spaces, including Commons Park (20 acres), Civic Center Park (12.5 acres), and Skyline Park (3.2 acres).

The Downtown Denver Partnership is nearing completion of the conceptual design for the 5280 Loop, a new and distinctly Denver amenity that will connect many vibrant and diverse center city neighborhoods through the great urban outdoors, creating a powerful sense of place.

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Premier hotels, award-winning restaurants, and a world-class convention center, all connected by rail to the fifth busiest airport in the country, make Downtown Denver a global destination.

Downtown Denver has 38 hotels with 10,300 hotel rooms. The average daily room rate for downtown hotels is at an all-time high of $186 and average hotel occupancy is an impressive 79%. Over the past five years, 2,436 have been added to the downtown market.

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With our rapid rise in recent years, Denver has moved up in weight class and now compares favorably with the best of the best cities across the country.

Explore this section of the report to see how Denver ranks against the following peer and aspiration cities: Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, New York City, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

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