Companies with national and global presences continue to choose Denver for their headquarters and offices, bringing their economic tailwinds with them.
The firms are resettling across Colorado’s capital city in neighborhoods from Lower Downtown to Five Points to Cherry Creek.
RES, the world’s largest independent renewable energy company, opened its new headquarters for the Americas in McGregor Square at 1901 Wazee St. on Tuesday.
The company moved to Lower Downtown from Broomfield to attract a more diverse talent pool and to be closer to public transportation. Denver employees were offered EcoPass, allowing for unlimited rides on RTD buses and trains.
The McGregor space currently accommodates 180 workers, but the company plans to expand to another floor later this year. The additional office will host the Support Services Operations Control Center, which will provide operations and maintenance, electrical grid support and more.
That means the company could seek to boost hiring this year, said Susan Mays, vice president of marketing, communications and government affairs, on a Tuesday tour of the new space.
Macs Adventure, a travel company from the U.K., chose Denver for its U.S. headquarters after serving American clientele for about six years.
Located in Five Points, the new office will consist of 22 employees at the Posner Center for International Development at 1031 33rd St.
“We are so excited to establish ourselves in Denver with our North American headquarters and join the growing Colorado outdoor industry,” U.S. sales director Jasper Verlaan said.
Face Foundrie, a facial bar with dozens of U.S. locations, is also scheduled to open its first Denver outpost on Feb. 3 at 2630 E Third Ave. in Cherry Creek North.
“Our Denver location is acting as our ‘Innovation Hub,’ ” said founder and CEO Michele Henry. “We will be piloting new products and services at this location before launching nationally.”
One reason the team chose Cherry Creek is its “demographic saturation for our concept,” Henry added.
CBRE, the commercial real estate services company that represented Face Foundrie in the lease, reported that retail vacancy in the Denver metro area “held steady” at 6.6% in the third quarter of last year. The submarket for Colorado Boulevard, which includes Cherry Creek, was even lower at 4.5%.
“The Cherry Creek submarket has some of the lowest retail vacancy rates in the metro area as brands are drawn to the area’s affluent demographics,” CBRE’s Molly Bayer said.
Last year, the neighborhood also welcomed furniture company Herman Miller‘s first Colorado location.
The influx of new businesses is welcome news for the metro area, with uncertainty facing the region’s real estate sector and economy.
Nationally, the average office vacancy rate sits at about 16% — a jump over the past year, according to CommercialEdge’s National Office Report for December. In Denver, that percentage was a bit higher, at almost 19%.
Vacancies across the U.S. could worsen because of layoffs and downsizing, particularly in metro areas reliant on the tech industry, the commercial real estate software reports.