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Westpeak Building in Downtown Boulder Sells for $30.1M

January 22, 2018



Westpeak Building in Downtown Boulder Sells for $30.1M

The Westpeak Building, a four-story, 55,500-square-foot office building in downtown Boulder, has been purchased by LC One LLC, an entity registered to Boulder-based real estate mogul William Reynolds. According to public records, the building at 1470 Walnut St. was acquired on Dec. 28 for $30.1 million from Walnut Canyon Partners LLC, registered to Bruce Oreck and Eric H. Gabrielsen of Boulder, which developed the building in 2001. Representatives from Reynolds’ firm, W.W. Reynolds Cos., did not return requests for comments. Ashley Overton, a broker associate at The Colorado Group Inc. in Boulder, represented Oreck and Gabrielsen in the deal. (BizWest)



Amazon Narrows Field for Second Headquarters Location to 20 Inc. narrowed the field of cities for its proposed new headquarters to 20, with New York, Boston, Chicago, Miami and Austin, Texas, among the contenders. Seattle-based Amazon solicited proposals in September for its second corporate seat, a project that’s expected to cost more than $5 billion and create 50,000 high-paying jobs over the next 10 to 15 years. Politicians across the U.S. and Canada eagerly expressed interest, and the company received proposals from 238 locations, including from smaller markets like Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Memphis, Tennessee. The company plans to make a decision this year and will continue discussions with the finalists, it said in a statement Thursday. The list reveals little in terms of geographic preferences, with finalists on both coasts and the heartland. Amazon found it difficult to engage with so many applicants and had to whittle the list to enter the next phase of evaluation. “Getting from 238 to 20 was very tough – all the proposals showed tremendous enthusiasm and creativity,” Holly Sullivan, of Amazon Public Policy, said in a statement. “Through this process we learned about many new communities across North America that we will consider as locations for future infrastructure investment and job creation.” Whatever city gets chosen will be transformed by Amazon, which has already changed the character of its native Seattle, setting in motion a building boom and rising rents. High paying tech jobs can permanently transform a region and raise the political prospects of the leader who helped seal the deal. Amazon has said its preferences for the site include a metropolitan location with a population of more than 1 million, mass transit, proximity to an international flight hub and the potential to retain and attract technical talent. The finalist cities are: Atlanta- Austin, Texas- Boston,- Chicago- Columbus, Ohio- Dallas- Denver- Indianapolis- Los Angeles- Miami- Montgomery County, Maryland- Nashville, Tennessee- Newark, New Jersey- New York- Northern Virginia- Philadelphia- Pittsburgh- Raleigh, North Carolina- Toronto- Washington D.C. (Bloomberg)





Denver Office Market Improves with Recovering Energy Prices

Even though the downturn in the energy industry in the fall of 2014 forced many companies to vacate their office space, there is a crop of newly formed energy companies stepping in to backfill the space. Although there was a global oversupply of oil and gas, rather than pulling back on production, OPEC decided to let prices plummet from around $106 a barrel to less than $50, First Vice President and co-leader of CBRE’s Energy Facilities Group Anthony Albanese said. That caused larger energy companies to vacate large blocks of space. In 2015, 1001 17th St. saw 330K SF of sublease space come on the market when Newfield Exploration Co. closed its Denver office and WPX Energy shrunk its workforce by 8%. Much of that space has been backfilled by relative newcomers Caerus Oil and Gas, Centennial Resource Development and Nine Point Energy, Albanese said. “We have seen a significant rebound in energy company formation,” Albanese said, noting that many energy companies come to Denver because of its central location. “Denver is a regional hub and fits right into the main production areas in the U.S.” Today, oil and gas companies account for 4.9M SF, or 17.8%, of the downtown office market, according to CBRE’s 2017 North American Energy Trends report. Over the past year, they have accounted for more than 100K SF of negative net absorption downtown, where about 660K SF of oil and gas sublease office space is available — down from 863K SF in 2016. Oil and gas jobs account for just 1.4% of the city’s total employment. Nearly 3,500 energy-related jobs have been cut since the downturn, though energy employment has grown again in the past six months. Denver’s economic diversity gave the city a significant cushion during the downturn, mitigating any potential severe long-term impact. “Although we have seen a large bump of sublease space enter the market as a result of the energy downturn, we are fortunate in Denver that the timing has aligned with a strong period of population and job growth along the Front Range,” Albanese said. “Other industries, including professional services, healthcare and technology, are eager to enter or expand in our market, helping to absorb much of the residual space left by energy companies either exiting Denver or reducing their footprints.” The real test of the resiliency of Denver’s traditional energy sector will occur between 2019 and 2022 when 55% of energy company office leases downtown totaling 2.5M SF will expire. As much as 30% of that office space could be returned to the market, which could increase the downtown vacancy by up to 3%. Still, Albanese is optimistic. “With oil and gas rebounding and stabilized and continuing to grow, that bodes well for the stability and strength of our downtown office market,” he said. (Bisnow)



Fed's Beige Book: Retail Soars, Labor Tight in Colorado Region

Retail sales “increased sharply” over the last several weeks in Colorado and neighboring states, and consumer spending “remained well above year-ago levels,” according to the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s latest regional "Beige Book" economic survey, released Wednesday. The survey of business leaders, issued today charts winners and losers in the regional economy, spanning a six-week period ending Jan. 8. The report says the region’s manufacturing and energy sectors “expanded further” over the six-week period, “and capital spending plans were positive.” It also says a majority of those surveyed in the services sector “reported labor shortages, and strong wage growth was anticipated in the months ahead.” The regional Beige Book covers the Fed's Kansas City-based 10th District, which includes Colorado and some or all of six neighboring states. (Denver Business Journal)