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Finding that Perfect Development Opportunity in the Denver Metro Area

Denver and surrounding cities are experiencing tremendous growth. The Denver metropolitan statistical area (MSA) is growing at 2.1 percent compared to the national average of 0.8 percent. According to ULI’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2016 report, Denver's future growth prospects remain high. Denver ranked 6th out of 75 US and Canadian cities based on overall real estate investment, development trends, and homebuilding prospects.

Denver suburbs - including Aurora, Commerce City, Lone Tree, Northglenn, Sheridan, Thornton, and Wheat Ridge - are accommodating large portions of growth by entitling and approving new transit-oriented development projects. These projects are made possible by investments in light rail by Denver’s own Regional Transportation District (RTD), which oversees bus and rail transit service in the greater Denver metropolitan area. As RTD continues to invest in transit infrastructure, more transit-proximate development opportunities will continue to come on-line throughout the region (see below).

Planned Lines/Construction Projects

Line Service From Service To Completion Date
G Denver Wheat Ridge Fall 2016
R Aurora Lone Tree Winter 2016
N Denver Commerce City, Thorton, Northglenn 2018
L 30th and Downing, Denver 38th and Blake, Denver TBA
C, D Littleton and Mineral, Littleton RidgeGate Parkway, Lone Tree TBA
E, F, R Lincoln St., Lone Tree RidgeGate Parkway, Lone Tree TBA
B Denver Westminster TBA

Transit-oriented development throughout the RTD system reflects the region’s preference for walkable, sustainable, health-conscious communities. Denser patterns of development also support Colorado’s desire to protect and preserve open space, accommodating for sizable increases in population while retaining its recreational character.

With current and future investments in infrastructure creating opportunities for new development, it is worth looking at the methods by which communities find developers and real estate professionals find their next opportunity. From our team’s research and discussions with real estate professionals throughout Colorado, we’ve learned that developers tend to rely primarily on information obtained from their professional network and their own knowledge of a particular region, city, or submarket.

The data emerging from OppSites analytics fully supports these trends. While there are development opportunities being showcased by more than ten cities in the Denver MSA, it is clear that development opportunities within the city of Denver have attracted far more attention than those in the surrounding ten cities combined.

For Colorado cities not named “Denver” to unlock their true potential, real estate professionals and economic development leaders must find new ways to find each other, share information, and collaborate. Our partners at ULI Colorado go to great lengths to create forums for face-to-face meetings, but it is clear that many development opportunities are not yet on the radar of the region’s developers.

Transit-oriented development opportunities still exist both inside and outside of Denver. Our goal is to help every community raise awareness of their best development opportunities and to help real estate professionals find that perfect Colorado development site, uncovering hidden potential that might otherwise go unrealized.

If you are interested in exploring transit-oriented development opportunities in various Denver area cities, click here or on the image below.