Denver South Economic Development Partnership: Quarterly Economic Summary
Denver, CO – Economic indicators in the Denver South* region improved through the first quarter of the year with rising employment, falling unemployment rates, and an improving commercial real estate market. Employment in the Denver South region increased 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared with the prior year, representing 7,150 additional jobs. Employment in 11 of the 13 super-sectors increased over-the-year, with the construction sector reporting the largest over-the-year increase (+9.2 percent) and the mining and logging sector falling the furthest (-11.7 percent). Unemployment rates fell throughout the region, ranging from a 1.1 percentage point decline in Douglas County to 1.4 percentage point declines in Arapahoe and Denver counties.
Consumer confidence in the Mountain Region decreased between the first quarters of 2015 and 2016, falling 12.9 percent. Retail trade sales improved in the region between the third quarters of 2014 and 2015, with all four market areas recording over-the-year growth in sales. Highlands Ranch recorded the largest increase in sales during the period, rising 10 percent, while Centennial recorded the smallest increase in sales, rising 0.4 percent.
Residential real estate indicators were slightly negative during the first quarter of 2015. The region reported increases in foreclosures and in apartment vacancy rates during the first quarter, but reported increases in average home sales prices. Condominium and townhome sales in the area fell 2.6 percent during the first quarter of 2016 compared with the previous year, while single-family detached home sales rose 1.4 percent. The average apartment rental rate increased in five of the six Denver South submarkets, with rents ranging from $1,197 in the City and County of Denver-Far Southeast submarket to $1,507 in the Douglas County-North submarket.
Trends in the commercial real estate markets (office, industrial, flex, and retail) were positive in the Denver South region in the first quarter compared with the same time in 2015. The flex market reported the largest increase in the average lease rate, rising 9.2 percent to $11.17 per square foot. The industrial market reported the largest decline in the vacancy rate during the first quarter, falling 2.4 percentage points to 3 percent.
*The Denver South region consists of data reported for the following eight zip codes: 80111, 80112, 80124, 80126, 80129, 80130, 80134, and 80237.
CRE Related Company Highlights in Denver South Region
The Regional Transportation District (RTD) broke ground on the $223.6 million extension project of Denver’s southeastern light rail line down I-25. The project will add 2.3 miles of track and three more stations to the line, with one station at the Sky Ridge Hospital complex, one at Lone Tree City Center, and one at RidgeGate Parkway. The completed project is expected to be open to passengers in 2019.
Philadelphia-based Power Home Remodeling plans to open a facility in Metro Denver at the Inova Dry Creek business park in Centennial. The company will lease 23,658 square feet in the Inova Flex industrial building. The company plans to add up to 100 workers at its Centennial location and open the location in January 2017.
First California Mortgage Company announced plans to consolidate and expand its office in the Greenwood Village Tech Center. The company will relocate to a 9,800-square-foot office at 8490 E. Crescent Parkway. The location will be home to the Denver support services for its network of loan officers and retail branches.
After months of attempting to save the company through restructuring and raising capital, Sports Authority announced plans to close its Englewood headquarters and lay off 461 people. Further, the company is closing all 450 stores across the country and going-out-of-business sales started in May. Sports Authority has about 700,000 square feet of retail space in Metro Denver.
Photo credit: Stormerne at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons