How the tech ecosystem is shaping Denver's real estate market

by Anthony Sodd
September 9, 2015


According to a new study by the commercial real estate company CBRE, Denver’s tech industry continues to thrive and grow.

For the last two years Denver’s tech scene has grown by a whopping 10.7 percent, adding some 5,603 tech jobs. That growth has accounted for 20 percent of all new jobs produced in the city. In that same time period high tech companies doubled their footprint in downtown Denver, and now account for about eight percent of all tenants in the area. Overall, Denver saw the 10th largest increase in new tech jobs of any city in the U.S.


While Denver’s tech sector grew faster than its counterpart in cities like Boston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., it was by no means the fastest growing in the country. In fact, Denver’s tech sector was only the 19th fastest growing in the U.S., though many of the cities ranked above it started with significantly smaller tech bases. Nashville, for example, saw its tech sector grow by 22.7 percent, but that growth only accounted for 2,117 new jobs. San Francisco remains the fastest growing tech market, having grown by 42.7 percent over the last two years.  

The study found tech labor costs in Denver to be fairly high, at least as compared to other cities in the list. Software engineers earn more only in large, expensive cities like the San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Los Angeles, Boston, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Seattle and New York. In Denver the average salary of a software engineer was around $102,000. That’s about $18,000 more than in places like Pittsburgh or Nashville, and $36,000 more than across the border in Toronto and Vancouver.

As far as office space goes, Denver’s average of $24.15 a square foot was slightly more expensive than most cities on the list, but an absolute steal when compared to what you’d pay in New York City ($69.71) or San Francisco ($67.99); and was even a deal when compared to tech heavy cities like Seattle ($32.39) and Austin ($31.33).


The study also looked at venture capital fundings nationally, which saw a large influx in 2014. While Early Stage and Late Stage companies received sizable amounts of money in 2014, Expansion Stage companies took the lion’s share. Interestingly, San Francisco’s rent prices follow the funding trends almost exactly.

Denver’s tech scene may not be experiencing the breakneck, gold rush style growth of places like San Francisco, but then again we’re also not experiencing the headaches either.


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