Denver, Colorado is one of the fastest-growing job markets in the country. A boost in economic activity as well as a growing housing market has attracted many businesses and a skilled workforce to locate to the Mile High City. Because of this, the Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP), a non-profit development center, has made plans to invest $2.8 billion in construction projects across downtown Denver.
Since 2015, seven corporate and another 16 mid-size companies have relocated to downtown Denver. They’ve added thousands of open jobs to the market, which encourages workers from out of state to move in. Because of this, the Colorado unemployment rate has dropped to 2.3 percent, the lowest in the country. In early spring, few employers were hiring, keeping unemployment around 2.7 percent, but now that more employers have opened jobs and new offices, thousands of positions were added which decreased the unemployment rate even more.
The job market boom in downtown Denver has attracted many skilled workers to move downtown. In fact, the residential community of Downtown has grown exponentially in the past ten years. Residential development has made it easier for workers to commute, but the streets more crowded. Colorado is also funding a separate project, a restructuring of the Central 70 Interstate, which will decrease traffic congestion.
Aside from the permanent residents and businesses, over 16 million tourists stayed in Downtown Denver hotels in 2016. Denver is known for it’s mountain parks, museums and proximity to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Many visitors also travel to Denver for business trips, as it is a major city for business conventions and meetings. Last year, visitors brought in approximately $5 billion in revenue to the area.
The DDP’s development project plans to accommodate this growth with a multi-billion dollar expansion in hotels, residential units and office buildings downtown. Over 7,000 hotel rooms and apartments, and close to 2.5 million square feet of office space will be added to the downtown district. $512 million has already been allotted to some hotel and apartment units, as well as 870,000 square feet of office space. The rest is still in planning and development stages.
DDP President and CEO Tami Door said, “Great cities do not happen by accident. Our thriving center city is a result of a strategic vision to build one of the most economically powerful center cities in the country, and the metrics outlined in the 2017 State of Downtown Denver signal great success.” (quoted from the Denver Business Journal, 4/20/17)