New Heights for the Mile High City

Evidently not content with already having the largest spec office building under construction in downtown Denver, Hines today held a groundbreaking ceremony for an even bigger project in the Mile High City.
HINES

Evidently not content with already having the largest spec office building under construction in downtown Denver, Hines today held a groundbreaking ceremony for an even bigger project in the Mile High City, a 662,000-square-foot, Class A office tower at 1144 Fifteenth. The 40-story project will be the largest office building undertaken in Denver in nearly three decades, and once completed, will be one of the tallest office buildings there.

The new tower, between Arapahoe and Lawrence streets, well surpasses Hines’ 1601 Wewatta building in Denver’s LoDo (Lower Downtown). That 10-story, 300,000-square-foot, Class A, LEED Gold project, which is nearing completion, was until this morning, the largest spec office development underway in Denver.

The 1144 Fifteenth project will consist of 27 floors of office space on top of a 13-story podium with  retail, restaurants and a 5,000-square-foot fitness facility. Designed by architectural firm Pickard Chilton, the building will be clad in a glass-and-aluminum curtain wall and feature floor-to-ceiling glass, 25,000-square-foot floor plates and 10-foot ceilings on typical floors.

Hines is developing the tower as a purely speculative project, in what Hines calls “a testament to the strength of the Denver market and the firm’s confidence in its future growth.” JLL will lead leasing for the building, which is scheduled for completion in January 2018.

“Pickard Chilton and Hines have an exceptionally successful track record of developing best-in-class office projects in North America,” Hines senior managing director Charles Elder said in a release. “This project will provide the high level of quality expected from a new Hines office building, and we are pleased to be delivering the next landmark office tower in Denver.”

With a sentence that could have been written specifically about Hines’ two buildings, a 2015 forecast from Marcus & Millichap begins: “Rapid economic growth, rising tenant demand and falling vacancy are amplifying developer confidence in the Denver metro, prompting speculative development.”

The Denver office market benefits from an uptick in office-using employment, driven largely by new employers moving to the area. M&M predicts that the overall metro office vacancy rate will dip below 15 percent for the first time in about eight years, despite the addition of 2.2 million square feet of space this year and 1.3 million in 2014.

Average asking office rents are expected to rise 5 percent this year, following a 5.4 percent increase last year.