Tech Center is Colorado’s tech neighborhood to watch

Lower costs and ample office supply make the area increasingly attractive.

Jun 1, 2017, 6:16 PM

Affordable, tech-friendly space is plentiful in this neighborhood on the rise.

The Denver region (encompassing downtown Denver, Tech Center and Boulder) has a strong appeal to tech companies, and it’s easy to see why.

The area boasts a highly educated workforce, a true live-work-play community and rents lower than tech hubs like Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Boston. And given the flood of tech companies into the downtown core over the last two years, there are now a number of viable neighborhoods to choose from. But as in most cities, they’re not all created equal. Particularly when it comes to affordability.

What Denver’s top 3 tech neighborhoods cost you

Your biggest spend is on your people, so when you’re looking for a new office there are three big numbers to consider: employee pay, rent cost per person and parking costs paid to cover their commutes.

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Combining all three, you get an average cost per employee—a straightforward way to understand your true spend, and an easy benchmark to compare across locations. So where do you find the most bang for your buck?

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Tech Center is more than $9,000 less per employee than Boulder and just over $3,500 less than downtown Denver. That could mean major savings, especially if you have a larger workforce.

What Denver’s top 3 tech neighborhoods cost your talent

We’ve covered costs for you, but what about the costs for your people? Their quality of life is impacted by the affordability of basic necessities like average rent, transportation, healthcare, food and entertainment. All these factors can come into play when they’re choosing between one employer and another.

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All in, it’s $7,000 cheaper to live and work in Tech Center than Boulder, and $4,000 less expensive than downtown Denver, with rent costs being the biggest differentiator. Though, it’s worth noting that the emerging Tech Center is playing catch up in terms of amenities compared to its more seasoned competition. But if you’re in the market for value, a higher quality of life for your employees through more manageable costs may outweigh a reduction in amenities.

I want to grow. But where to go?

In addition to lower talent costs, space is less expensive and easier to find in Tech Center where vacancy isn’t so tight.

A significant number of Class A and B options stretch across Tech Center and can accommodate a company of nearly any size.

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Greater availability generally means lower average rental rates. And Tech Center’s no different.

Its average rent rate for Class A and B space is nearly $6 cheaper p.s.f. than Boulder, and more than $11 less p.s.f. than the downtown Denver. That could mean significant savings when you look to take your company to the next level.

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The big picture

Planting your flag is a big decision, and one that needs to feel right. If you’re looking for something specific—certain amenities, a specific type of vibe or easy transportation access—there are a number of choices in and around Denver, depending on what you covet the most.

However, if affordability is what you’re after, for both you and your employees, the cost benefits of Tech Center are hard to ignore. You’ll have the ability to grow while keeping your budget in check and bring a higher quality of life to your people by making their dollars go further. That type of value should help keep the neighborhood firmly on tech’s radar going forward—regardless of a company’s stage.


Research: Thomas Jaroszewski | Editor: Michael Cronin