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January 2015


by Michelle Z. Askeland

The word “amenities” is a major

buzzword in the office property

market today. There are amenities

provided by the building, ameni-

ties provided by the employers and

amenities based on building location.

Rather than present the employer-

based amenities, often thought of

as perks, such as dog-friendly office

policies, adjustable and unassigned

work stations, and other incentives,

instead, let’s focus on the top trends

building owners are advertising as

major conveniences and benefits.

Owners must take into account

many considerations about what they

should offer in a new building or in a

renovated one. The first one is cost.

Owners must determine the sweet

spot, in which rent levels remain tol-

erable or competitive while the build-

ing provides tenants as much as pos-

sible, said Jennifer Bridges, Kieding

senior project manager.

Another is what type of clients the

owner wants to attract. Generational

needs play a big part here. Those

looking to attract millennials must

consider the location thoughtfully,

as well as what types of activities

those future employees like to do. For

example, a Westminster redevelop-

ment trying to entice tech compa-

nies to lease space features indoor

bike storage, a climbing wall and a

game room, among other things, said


And then there’s the competition

factor. By knowing what other office

buildings of similar size and age

offer, owners can decide to meet or,

most likely, try to exceed those fea-

tures. For example, an out-of-town

buyer recently visited the Denver

Tech Center looking to invest. After

visiting several area properties, he

jokingly dubbed himself the “rest-

room king.” He said he planned to

upgrade his property’s bathrooms,

which is a property feature that typi-

cally doesn’t see many updates. In

doing so, he said he’d raise the bar for

all buildings in the area, said Bridges.

“It’s all about the state of the market,”

she said. “In certain submarkets, rest-

rooms have become underwhelming

across the board.”

There is also an amenities curve.

Some buildings are always ahead and

some are always a little bit behind,

said Bridges. Every client must find

the right blend as it furthers its

corporate culture. However, most

experts agree that there are some

must-haves if a building wants to

compete in today’s competitive envi-


“Amenities should be things that

are easily accessible and actually

used,” said Bruce Johnson, Cresa

Denver principal.

The baseline for building-provided

amenities includes break rooms,

multipurpose meeting areas, on-site

fitness centers, cafes or food service,

and wellness rooms, said Bridges.

Bike storage is another feature that

is quickly becoming mandatory for

businesses located in the central

business district.

In today’s market, it’s often not

enough to offer a stripped-down

How less space doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. Parking in LoDo The allure of amenities PAGE 14 The Denver Art Museum admin. building is designed to promote productivity. Trends in action PAGE 20 Comfort and collaboration are becoming crucial elements in the workplace. Workplace evolution PAGE 19

Canadian developer First Gulf plans to build a rooftop patio on the 22nd floor at 1401 Lawrence St.

Please see Page 16