Well, it took five years, but we finally had an encouraging Emerging Trends report, which drew a sold-out crowd to the Embassy Suites in downtown Denver last Thursday.
Keynote speaker Steve Blank set the scene by placing Denver at #11 with a bullet on the list of best cities for investment in real estate. “People like the urban core, the transportation, the number of young people, the sale of marijuana; people have a genuine desire to be in this market.”
All panelists talked about return to more normal deal flows in 2013; ramp up, hiring, strong sales for existing assets and record-breaking sales for new assets.
Jeff Hawks of ARA predicted that the apartment boom would not go bust. “I’m bullish on Colorado; companies moving here because they can draw the best and brightest to Boulder and Denver; in CO, one person born every 8 minutes; we need 19,000 units every 3 years just to keep up with demand.”
Mary Sullivan, HFF: “If US become energy independent within 7 years, CO will be a huge beneficiary.” Sullivan also predicted that with sales of Class A office reaching $400/sf, there will be a demand for a new downtown office tower in next year.
Jessica Ostermick, CBRE director of research: Expect this growth cycle to last into 2017.
Moderator Patricia Gage, Colorado Business Bank: What are the headwinds?
Interest rates bumping past 5.5 percent
Lack of affordable housing
Scarcity of water
The session kicked off with ULI Colorado’s vice chair Amy Cara of East West Partners discussing ULI’s new Women’s Leadership Initiative to attract new women members to ULI and to promote leadership by women within ULI and its related professions.
Stacy Stout of STOUTstrategies also presented a video summary of the successful ULI Impact Awards presented to Dana Crawford, Brad Weinig, and three projects on Dec. 12 at the Four Seasons.