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AT A GLANCE

With its unparalled natural and built environment, Denver offers a strong housing market, enviable lifestyle options, one of the fastest-growing economies in the country and award-winning multimodal transportation that attracts employers and employees to this place.

Founded in 1858, Denver is Colorado's capitol city and home to more than 708,000 people. Today the "Queen City of the Plains" is the nation's 19th largest city, and the most populous city within a 500-mile radius. Denver continues to be one of the most popular relocation destinations in the U.S., especially among Millennials, due to both its cosmopolitan feel and its proximity to the Rocky Mountains. The city's diversity of culture and entertainment makes it an attractive option for people who want the amenities of a large city without the drawbacks. In fact, more of Denver's new residents come from Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York than from any other city outside Colorado.

Taking nothing for granted, Denver’s desire to continually improve pulses forward. Not finding the data you seek here? Email
John Hill or call him at 720-913-1611.

City and County of Denver

MAJOR EMPLOYERS - 2017

United Airlines 5,700
University of Denver 4,140
Frontier Airlines 3,430
Southwest Airlines 3,110
HealthONE 2,920
Kaiser Permanente 2,430
Saint Joseph Hospital 2,340
CenturyLink 2,270
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield 1,910
Wells Fargo 1,900

EMPLOYEMENT, BY INDUSTRY CLUSTER

Government 68,614
Accomodation/food services 52,585
Professional/technical services 52,216
Health care/social assistance 49,061
Administrative/waste services 36,112
Retail trade 30,112
Wholesale trade 27,409
Transportation/warehousing 25,703
Finance/Insurance 25,620
Manufacturing 20,834

Source: Metro Denver EDC

Home ownership in Denver's nearly 300,000 households is right at 50%, and home values are rising at a rate surpassing virtually all the country. Our average home price is currently $325,000 in the City and County of Denver, and $402,500 in the Denver metro area.

Denver has officially joined the ranks of high-cost cities for rental and for-sale housing. The irony of a booming population and thriving economy is that concern grows over the number of local households spending more than 30% for rent/mortgage, along with a dearth of available units across a range of prices. Strong home values are a gift to the Denver residents who are homeowners, of course, but can further threaten the opportunities for ownership by renters.

Average monthly apartment rents in 3Q 2014 in Denver included $1,020 for 1 bedroom and $1,451 for a 2 bed/2 bath unit. Metro area rates were slightly lower.

Such are the challenges that can be anticipated and addressed in the “smart growth” approach which public, private and nonprofit leaders in Denver and Colorado have been committed to for the past 25 years. In Fall 2014, Denver released an ambitious, five-year strategic plan to improve its affordable housing, a strategy relying on stronger cross-sector partnerships and a goal of developing, rehabbing, and/or preserving at least 3,000 units by 2018.


City and County of Denver - Cost of Living Index - 2017

Index includes groceries, housing utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services. Denver’s comparatively lower grocery and utility costs balance the rise in housing costs.

San Francisco 192.9
Washington, DC 155.7
Seattle 149
Boston 148.2
Los Angeles 148
San Diego 146
Portland 129.3
Chicago 123.6
Denver 112

Source: Metro Denver EDC

Denver’s booming downtown serves as the nexus of the entire Rocky Mountain region. More than $5 billion in public and private sector projects have opened or are under construction in the downtown area over the past five years, anchored by the visionary redevelopment of Denver Union Station—an innovative transportation, commercial and cultural hub connecting the entire metro region with the heart of the city.

The 16
th Street Mall is a mixed-use pedestrian and transit corridor that is a major tourist attraction in its own right.

According to the Downtown Denver Partnership, Denver's urban core civic/business association:

Development: 
Between 2016 and early 2018, 49 development projects were either under construction or completed downtown, representing more than $3 billion in investment, 1,500 additional hotel rooms, 6,000 additional residential units, and 3.3 million additional square feet of office space.

Office Market: Downtown Denver has more than 37 million square feet of office space. 1.6 million square feet of space was added in the past three years, and another 1.6 million square feet is under construction or planned for development. 

Employees: 
More than 130,000 people work in Downtown Denver; employment is up 17% since 2010. Denver's unemployment rate was 3.2% as of July 2018.

Residents: Nearly 80,000 people live in Downtown Denver and its City Center neighborhoods. Downtown's residential population has tripled since 2000. Over the past five years, Denver has been adding an average of 15,000 residents per year. 

Retail & Restaurants: More than 1,000 retail establishments, representing over 4.1 million square feet of space, are located downtown. Retail sales tax collections in Downtown Denver have increased almost 60% since 2010, are on the rise, and retail vacancy is at a low 4.3%.

Students & Universities:
 More than 48,000 students attend public, not-for-profit higher education institutions downtown, adding to central Denver's vibrancy and its supply of highly educated workers. Two-thirds of Downtown Denver residents have a Bachelors degree or higher.

Mobility: About 60% of Downtown Denver employees use transit, walk, bike or ride shares to work. Commuting by bike into Downtown Denver has increased by an estimated 25% in the past year.

Tourism: In 2016, Denver welcomed 16.4 million overnight visitors who spent $5 billion. Downtown Denver has 35 hotels with a total of 9,500 hotel rooms and more than 500,000 square feet of meeting space. The Colorado Convention Center welcomed nearly 1 million people at more than 210 events in 2017.

Development opportunities are rising in Denver’s emerging corridors, poised to deliver the highest rates of growth in the near term.

Welton Street: One of Denver’s oldest and most culturally vibrant neighborhoods is blooming with new commercial and residential development and public/private investment. Its proximity to downtown, excellent transit and cool vibe are surging it up the list of Denver’s desired places to live and thrive. OED is only one of a number of funders pumping pre-development and project dollars into the neighborhood, which is shifting rapidly while we work to ensure that its rich cultural history is maintained and celebrated. Learn more here.

Brighton Boulevard: This is the inner launching point of Mayor Hancock’s “Corridor of Opportunity,” a 23-mile ribbon of current activity and exciting potential leading from downtown to DIA. This area to the north and east of the city represents the greatest concentration of undeveloped land in Denver. Already a red-hot spot at its downtown end with the boom of commercial growth in RiNo, the corridor is primed for development when the East Line commuter-rail line opens in 2016, connecting nine stations and the booming commercial and residential areas of Stapleton and Gateway. Learn more here.

River North / South Platte Riverway: This emerging community, as known as RiNo, is home to a remarkable mix of creative businesses and artisans. Over the past decade it has quietly been building interest among Denver's creative class for its authentic, industrial feel and eclectic combination of old warehouses, rail yards and new mixed-use developments, making it one of Denver's most unique places to live, work and play. Meanwhile, one of the presently under-utilized assets in the region is the last segment of the South Platte River that has yet to be reclaimed. It stretches for 12 miles through Denver, and our vision includes a mix of retail, residential, hotel, industrial and office real estate to maximize the exciting potential of 24 miles of waterfront. Learn more here.

National Western Center:  Celebrating its 109th year, the National Western Stock Show represents Colorado's largest agricultural convention, bringing more than 600,000 visitors annually. To secure the future of the NWSS, a bold new master plan has been developed to transform the 130-acre complex into a 270-acre campus. The plan is an ambitious partnership between the City of Denver, Colorado State University, History Colorado, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and the National Western Stock Show Association. Learn more here.

Cherry Creek North: Already an admired jewel in retail in the Western U.S. and a top-flight residential address, Cherry Creek North is in the midst of its biggest construction boom in decades, bringing new apartments, condos, commercial space, retail, and a new hotel. Denver has received an unprecedented number of requests for building permits in Cherry Creek since the recession ended. Its resident population is about to increase significantly, and planners have completed a new area plan, thanks to CCN's legendary Business Improvement District. The unanimous approval by Denver City Council in 2014 of new zoning that will enhance mixed-use development progress came on the heels of the 2013 sales taxes in Cherry Creek North growing by 9.2%, compared to a 7.5% increase across all of Denver. Learn more here.