Belle­view Sta­tion await­ing 2nd For­tune 500 com­pany

New­mont Min­ing will be join­ing West­ern Union in mixed­use de­vel­op­ment

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Joe Ru­bino

Two com­mer­cial build­ings, two For­tune 500 com­pany head­quar­ters.

That’s the score­card so far for Belle­view Sta­tion, a 51­acre, mixed­use project com­ing out of the ground around the Belle­view Sta­tion light­rail stop in south Den­ver.

With its walk­a­ble, ur­ban de­sign, col­lec­tion of hip restau­rants and Den­ver mail­ing ad­dress, vet­er­ans of the south metro real es­tate mar­ket are pro­ject­ing that West­ern Union and New­mont Min­ing won’t be the last big fish the project reels in as it grows.

West­ern Union is set­tling into 7½ floors of the One Belle­view Sta­tion build­ing, 7001 E. Belle­view, af­ter leav­ing a nearby Douglas County busi­ness park this year. But New­mont was the toast of the mas­ter­planned neigh­bor­hood Thurs­day as com­pany of­fi­cials, de­vel­op­ment part­ners, real es­tate bro­kers and Den­ver Mayor Michael Han­cock gath­ered to cel­e­brate work get­ting un­der­way on the 15­story of­fice tower that New­mont is set to move into in 2020.

Like West­ern Union, New­mont isn’t trav­el­ing far. Its cor­po­rate head­quar­ters to­day are in the Palazzo Verdi build­ing in Green­wood Vil­lage, just 2½ miles south of Belle­view Sta­tion. But the forth­com­ing build­ing — named 6900 Lay­ton — will of­fer things its 10­year­old Green­wood Vil­lage coun­ter­part doesn’t.

“It gave us a chance to move to a new build­ing and re­model with­out hav­ing to do that in place,” New­mont ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent Bill MacGowan said at Thurs­day’s event. “Re­ally cool ameni­ties and a great site.

“(Be­ing in) the city of Den­ver was re­ally im­por­tant to us as well.”

New­mont, the coun­try’s top gold pro­ducer, will move 400 to 500 em­ploy­ees into four floors of 6900 Lay­ton, MacGowan said, with an op­tion to take on a fifth floor.

The build­ing — for now a large hole in the ground at the south­east cor­ner of Lay­ton Av­enue and South New­port Street — is be­ing de­vel­oped by Prime West Cos. Prime West de­vel­oped, sold and keeps an of­fice in One Belle­view Sta­tion. The 380,000­square­foot Lay­ton build­ing, which is be­ing backed fi­nan­cially by Switzer­land­based Part­ners Group and built by the Weitz Co., will have plenty of at­trac­tive fea­tures in­side: col­umn­free floor plates, a fit­ness fa­cil­ity with a yoga room, bike stor­age and a west­fac­ing outdoor ter­race.

But it might be what’s out­side that counts most for the workers who re­port there.

Grad­u­ally de­vel­op­ing since 2012 un­der the guid­ance of fam­ily­owned prop­erty owner Front Range Land and De­vel­op­ment, Belle­view Sta­tion now is home to nearly 700 apart­ments and 80,000 square feet of ground­floor re­tail space, with a half­dozen more de­vel­op­ment sites in wait­ing.

The of­fice build­ings and fu­ture of­fice sites are grouped on the east side to pro­vide walk­ing­dis­tance ac­cess to light rail. Leas­ing agents brought in trendy busi­nesses such as Troy Guard taco joint Los Chin­gones, con­veyor­belt sushi stop Sushi­Rama and Den­ver­born Corvus Cof­fee Roast­ers.

That style of de­vel­op­ment — ur­ban­iza­tion of the sub­urbs, as many real es­tate con­fer­ences re­fer to it these days — is a sell­ing point for em­ploy­ees, said Ryan Link, a se­nior vice pres­i­dent with real es­tate ser­vices firm CBRE.

With Colorado’s un­em­ploy­ment rate be­low 3 per­cent, it can pro­vide an edge when it comes to hir­ing.

“Com­pa­nies and clients of ours are us­ing their real es­tate to re­cruit and re­tain em­ploy­ees,” Link said. “I be­lieve a lot of the ex­cite­ment around (Belle­view Sta­tion) is it is cre­at­ing a very mini­down­town.”

Green­wood Vil­lage last year con­sid­ered amend­ing the city com­pre­hen­sive plan to clear the way for more dense mixed­use de­vel­op­ment on a 44­acre site around its Or­chard Sta­tion light­rail stop, but city vot­ers re­jected that pro­posal largely be­cause they didn’t want ur­ban­iza­tion.

There are other fac­tors that make Belle­view Sta­tion a draw, said Fred­eric de Loizaga, Link’s part­ner in the south­east metro mar­ket for CBRE.

CBRE com­peti­tor Cush­man & Wake­field is han­dling leas­ing at 6900 Lay­ton.

The project is new, pro­vid­ing higher­qual­ity op­tions than much of the ex­ist­ing of­fice space in the Den­ver Tech Cen­ter/south metro area, de Loizaga said.

South metro rents re­main $10 to $15 cheaper per square foot on aver­age than in build­ings down­town.

Then there is that Den­ver mail­ing ad­dress — some­thing West­ern Union, a com­pany that ad­ver­tises on the jer­seys worn by the NBA’s Den­ver Nuggets, has made it clear it val­ues.

Will more big­name busi­nesses move out of of­fice parks and into Belle­view Sta­tion and other denser, ur­ban­style de­vel­op­ments like it in the fu­ture?

“The quick an­swer is yes,” de Loizaga said. “You’ll see more of it.”

Pro­vided by the Gensler ar­chi­tec­tural firm

Here is a ren­der­ing of the build­ing com­ing to the south­east cor­ner of Lay­ton Av­enue and South New­port Street in the 51­acre Belle­view Sta­tion de­vel­op­ment that’s near a light­rail stop in south Den­ver. When it opens in 2020, the 15­story of­fice tower named 6900 Lay­ton will be the head­quar­ters of New­mont Min­ing, a For­tune 500 com­pany.

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