69% of Denver’s Office Deliveries Since 2002 Were in Suburban Areas

The evolution of how and where we work changes slowly. But sometime during the last half-century, the US stopped building as many skyscraper office buildings and started building more campus-style offices in the suburbs or on the urban fringe. As a result of this transition, parking became easier, office amenities expanded and commuting time increased.

But is this really what happened? Have the suburbs been more popular for office development than cities? And, if so, has this same trend played out across the entire country? To find out, CommercialCafé identified properties in 50 top markets across all urban, suburban, and central business district (CBD) locations. Then, using data provided by CommercialEdge, analyzed the office footprint within each area from 2002 through 2021 to see where the expansion and growth was concentrated in the last two decades.

The study found that in the US, 1.8 billion square feet of rentable office space has been constructed across the country in the last 20 years, with 85 percent in the top 50 metropolitan areas. Office construction was overwhelmingly suburban, as campus-style design and cheaper land pulled developers and companies further out of the city.

Findings in Denver:

  • Nearly 40 million square feet of office space was added to the Denver market over the course of 20 years;
  • Suburban areas in Denver represent 69% of total added office space, accounting for nearly 27 million square feet. 319 properties were added to the market in suburban areas since 2002.
  • In comparison, 31% of office construction took place in the CBD and urban areas, adding only 89 buildings totaling around 12 million square feet.
  • The Western region added the fourth-largest number of office square footage in the last 20 years – with more than 1,989 properties and 172 million square feet of office space.


Graphic courtesy of CommercialCafé

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