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Cherry Creek West helps mark neighborhood as a Denver real estate star

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Cherry Creek will be transformed into an even hotter place to live, work and play with more than a dozen real estate projects, including a billion-dollar mixed-use development aimed at gaining even more attention in the years to come. Neighbor.

Denver’s affluent neighborhood, lined by Cherry Creek itself, already attracts travelers with its foodies, with hotels like Hotel Clio and Halcyon, and upscale restaurants like Hillstone, Elways, and 801 Chophouse. It’s also a destination for shopping therapy, with the Cherry Creek Shopping Center and blocks of stores everywhere. Cherry Creek North.

However Blueprint DenverThe Land Use and Transportation Plan, which forecasts the future of Colorado’s capital city, predicts that Cherry Creek will become a “regional hub” by 2040 with new housing and job growth.

The developer seems eager to make a claim in the neighborhood. Most notable is the planned Cherry Creek West. The 12.5-acre development will demolish the mostly empty western end of Cherry Creek Mall, transforming the western parking lot into a mixed-use community. .

Overseen by Denver real estate developer East-West Partners for more than 20 years, the Cherry Creek West development stretches from University Boulevard to Clayton Lane, First Avenue to the Creek itself.

East West Partners aims to include new office, retail and residential spaces in the development, said managing partner Amy Cara. The project is expected to cost about $1 billion.

Denver City Councilman Chris Hinds, who represents District 10, said Cherry Creek West is one of about 15 new projects, mostly office developments, underway in the neighborhood.

Even COVID-19 hasn’t dampened Cherry Creek’s growing popularity. Charlie Will of commercial real estate and investment firm CBRE said the area “seemed more vibrant and fun to be in” during the pandemic, adding that sales records, rental demand and development He added that all the activity proves it.

According to Blueprint Denver, Cherry Creek is considered Denver’s neighborhood, with greater access to opportunities and less vulnerability to involuntary evictions. Along with Downtown and the Tech Center, it’s been called a very job-dense area.

“Cherry Creek has become the largest rental and commercial space investment market in the entire Rocky Mountain region,” Will says. He predicts that trend will continue in the future.

Will added that the district “consistently” ranks among the top three commercial real estate markets in the state, if not the entire Rocky Mountain region, along with Denver’s Lower Downtown/Union Station and Boulder. rice field.

However, values ​​continue to rise in Cherry Creek. Ten years ago, his record price per square foot for the Janus Capital Group headquarters building at 151 Detroit Street, which was 100% leased by CBRE, was $393, but the recent sale of the 270 St. Paul property was $842 per square foot. According to Will, 67% of the cents are leased.

He described Cherry Creek as a very small market with a “supply and demand imbalance.”

Historically, the majority of office tenants in the region consisted of financial advisors and hedge funds. But over the past two years, its tenant base has expanded significantly into the energy, real estate, insurance, healthcare and technology sectors, he said.

Many new projects will be built in the area over the next decade, but land constraints and zoning requirements will make the approach “more cautious,” Will said.

Aerial view of the west side of the Cherry Creek shopping center on the corner of University Boulevard and First Avenue in Denver on Thursday, November 18, 2021. Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post.

Cherry Creek’s “New Front Yard”

One of the most visible developments is Cherry Creek West. Its northern end will contain a public square and marketplace. The south side has green spaces suitable for live performances and another public square. A dedicated two-way bike track is also planned.

Underneath the site will be an underground car park that will house seven buildings ranging in height from 8 to 13 stories. But “we haven’t made any final decisions about how the individual buildings will be constructed,” Carla said.

They build both luxury residential spaces and affordable housing on site. The latter is a “really nice addition to Cherry Creek,” Carla explained, hoping it will help area workers live in the neighborhood.

According to a presentation given at a community briefing last month, East West Partners’ mission for the project is to “create a vibrant, people-centered neighborhood that incorporates creeks” and Cherry Creek’s “new front yard.” functions as

“Cherry Creek has no gateway,” Cara said in an interview. “From downtown he is picked up by two parking lots, one for Whole Foods and the other he is for the shopping center.”

She called it a “missed opportunity” and added, “We no longer have the same culture of cars and outdoor parking.” I also pointed out that

The debate over Cherry Creek West began in 2015, she said. The Buell Foundation owns the site, and East She offers her West Partners her 99-year land lease.

If all goes according to plan, construction could start in the third quarter of 2024 and the first building could be occupied in 2027. East West Partners also developed the residential Riverfront Park and was the co-master developer of Denver’s Union Station.

The southwest corner of the upcoming Cherry Creek West development near University Boulevard and E. Cherry Creek South Drive on September 9, 2022. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)
The southwest corner of the upcoming Cherry Creek West development near University Blvd and East Cherry Creek South Drive taken on September 9, 2022. (Photo Credit: Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

Evolving market demands

But Cherry Creek West isn’t the only development underway.

Nick Lemasters, President and CEO, Cherry Creek North Business Improvement Districtnoted several projects at work within the boundaries of his district, the 16th block stretching from First Avenue to Third Avenue and from University Boulevard to Steele Street.

One aims to build a new mixed-use office building at 235 N. Fillmore St. Another redevelopment of 300 N. Fillmore St. will complete a four-story mixed-use office, restaurant, and retail building, according to public records.

A new five-story multi-family building will be constructed at 165 N. Madison St. The 299 Fillmore St. project transforms a retail gallery space into a restaurant.

“Really, for the first time in years, we’re starting to see development north of Third Avenue,” said LeMasters. “Some of those buildings are probably past their useful life, and developers have come to the table and, from what we understand, are paying a premium for the land.”

Two projects are currently under construction in the area, and two or three more may be built in the next few years, he added.

Cherry Creek North’s real estate business is led by more than one developer. LeMasters cites Elevation Development Group, Broe Group, Stillwater Capital, BMC Investments and Midwest Property Group Ltd. as companies working to secure parts of the neighborhood.

According to Craig Ferraro, associate professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, today’s rush of retail and office development in Cherry Creek follows a trend caused by early changes in the neighborhood’s housing market.

Cherry Creek North consisted of bungalows built in the 1930s and 1940s, but the homes underwent major renovations around the 1990s, he said. Due to its proximity to downtown Denver and the Cherry Creek shopping center, the house was demolished and replaced with a small mansion.

Cherry Creek benefited from more than $170 million in private investment in the 2000s, bringing new housing stock, improved streetscapes, and more. 2012 Cherry Creek Regional Plan.

Ferraro focused on the development of multifamily condominiums and apartments over the past decade.

To secure an apartment in Denver, renters reportedly spend an average of $1,994 a month on their space. Nationwide property introduction service “RentCafe”The site ranks Cherry Creek as one of the city’s three most expensive neighborhoods, with an average monthly rent of $2,518.

“People moved to the area and upgraded their homes, so they wanted to be closer to unique retail,” says Ferraro. “That is now leading to the development of office space there.”

Cyclists ascend the Cherry Creek Bike Path under University Boulevard across from the soon-to-be-developed Cherry Creek West on September 9, 2022.  (Photo Credit: Andy Cross/The Denver Post)
Cyclists ascend the Cherry Creek bike path under University Boulevard across from the soon-to-be-completed Cherry Creek West development on September 9, 2022. (Photo Credit: Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

Community turns to new projects

Denver City Councilman Hines said he sees “a lot of potential” in Cherry Creek West. Especially since its developers have considered the needs and desires of “people over cars” as is the case with underground parking garages.

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