Historic Office Property a “Contrarian Opportunity” in Downtown Denver

The George, courtesy of Kairos.

Kairos Investment Management Company (KIMC) has partnered with private real estate investment firm Harbor Associates to acquire The George, an eight-story historic office and retail property totaling 91,027 square feet, located at 820 16th Street in downtown Denver. A sale price was not disclosed.

“This joint venture acquisition aligns well with our contrarian approach, through which we invest in overlooked markets that have a demonstrated pattern of growth,” says Carl Chang, CEO and founder of Kairos. “In 2020, Denver was named one of the top moving destinations in the country and ranked among the top five US cities for inbound growth. As large financial institutions become more cautious with their underwriting, our seasoned investment team will continue to carefully research areas of opportunity like Denver where Kairos can partner with firms to acquire assets with value potential.”

The George is a property that synchronizes with Kairos’ value strategy, which makes value-based real estate investments in strong recovery and growth markets by selecting assets primed for capital and operational improvements. As part of this strategy, Kairos plans to add value to the property by leasing up office spec suites within the building and exploring the development of additional uses within the building, notes Jonathan Needell, CIO of Kairos.

“Many investors are being conservative about placing capital in sectors like office and retail that were hit hardest during the last two years,” says Needell. “Conversely, Kairos views these sectors as contrarian opportunities to acquire properties that are positioned to increase in value after the pandemic. The George benefits from its location, as the Denver metro area is consistently ranking as one of the top cities for startups in the US, offering a high-quality, active lifestyle and lower cost of living compared to markets like Chicago and New York.”

A historic property constructed in 1906 and renovated in 2020, The George is an office building with ground-floor retail situated close to public transportation including a light rail station. The asset is located in the central business district of Denver, an area with a strong diverse economy of high-paying jobs within the tech, financial, medical and education sectors. Many businesses in the area are involved in top office-using industries including artificial intelligence,life sciences, and financial products and services.

“Our joint venture partnership sees Denver as a key market for continued growth,” says Joon Choi, principal at Harbor Associates. “Colorado is one of the fastest-growing states in the US, with Denver continuously leading population growth over the last four years. The George’s strong location within this market and modern amenities position it for increased resident demand in the years to come.”

The George recently received several property improvements including new conference areas, a new lounge, updated HVAC, and bicycle storage—ideal amenities in light of Denver’s active lifestyle and the property’s easy-commute address. The asset is in close proximity to recreational parks, several prominent sports arenas, shopping and dining options, as well as Denver’s 16th Street Mall, which is currently undergoing renovations.


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