T he American office space is nothing if not resilient. It’s been battered and bruised, opened, closed and opened again. It’s been downsized, marginalized, stripped down and sterilized – and still, it endures. Despite changes in technology, culture, design and, ultimately, a pandemic, the office remains vital to American busi- ness, and it is not going away. But its durability is being tested, and we can only guess as to what it might look like when office buildings set- tle into yet another new normal. That’s the good news, or part of it anyway. Unfor- tunately, some numbing statistics may be the harbin- ger of the storm before the calm. According to the Colorado Depart- ment of Health and Environment, at the time of writing this, one in four Coloradans “is infected and contagious” with COVID-19 while the state’s modified status level rests on red, or “severe risk.”With the holi- day season in full swing, and several months of cold weather ahead, it is at least plausible to assume that those numbers may not begin to flat- ten during the winter. That’s the real- ity from the public health perspec- tive, which is the primary driver for how we all live and work today. From an office market perspective, fundamentals, although currently dismal, may shed some daylight on an otherwise equally gloomy fore- cast. Denver’s nonfarm unemployment rate closed out the third quarter at 7.5%, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employ- ment. Considering that the metro area was enjoying a jobless rate of approximately 3% in January, the precipitous fall here seems cata- strophic. In context, that same rate topped out at about 11.5% in April, so Denver has recovered a signifi- cant number of jobs lost over that period, outpacing both state and national claims. That may be a thin Please see Page 16 INSIDE Market updates PAGES 4-8 Updates on Denver, Northern Colorado and the southeast suburban office markets Marc Lippitt Principal, Unique Properties, mlippitt@ Denver office market breeds cautious optimism Many businesses still believe that office space is essential, even with less density and virus-era restrictions. December 2020 PAGE 14 PAGES 19-36 Profiles in courage Despite uncertainty, some Denver businesses remain bullish on office space New industrial section Updates and outlooks as well as trends are highlighted in the inaugural industrial section