Rising home prices in metro Denver have made lots of headlines lately, and for good reason. With the average cost of a detached, single-family house in the area blowing past $625,000 and bidding wars commonplace, many first-time buyers are finding themselves figuratively unable to get a foot in the door.
Less attention has been paid to the commercial real estate scene in the Mile High, but it's experiencing the same kind of phenomenon. Consider the stories of five commercial buildings recently put up for sale in Denver (and chosen at random): Historical data shows that one multimillion-dollar property saw its value nearly double in four years, while others experienced fivefold increases or more over the span of a decade or two.
Information about the buildings was obtained for Westword by Jim Smith of Golden Real Estate, a veteran observer of the scene whose regular columns about buying and selling in Denver and beyond are must-reads for anyone who wants to understand a market that seems to get crazier with each passing day.
And talk about crazy: A complex at 1357 Helena Street in Aurora, which is now available at $7 million, was listed for just under $4 million in January 2017.
The asking price for the structure at 1995 Del Mar Parkway in Aurora has undergone an even greater change, albeit over a longer period of time. In October 2008, it was sold for the tidy sum of $675,000. A year later, it was sold again for $1.5 million. Now, it's going for more than $4 million.
The property at 1121 Ogden Street has taken similar leaps over the past few decades. The price in September 1999 was $700,000. Now, a sale is pending at $3.6 million.
The price increases for the building at 8205 West 16th Avenue in Lakewood have been even more dramatic. In October 1997, it changed hands via a $500 quit claim deed — a document often used to transfer property between family members or close acquaintances. Two years later, it sold for $450,000, with prices escalating to $777,000 and $842,500 in separate sales in 2000 and 2001. Today, a sale is pending at just shy of $2.5 million.
And then there's a structure at 10500 West Eighth Avenue in Lakewood, which went for $465,000 in August 2005. The pending sale price today: $1.225 million.
Smith, who specializes in residential real estate, says he believes that the commercial market "is in for a sharp downturn because of how Americans and their employers have gotten used to work-from-home. That means downsizing for many white-collar companies: vacant space, falling values. This will unfold slowly, however, since most commercial leases are five or ten years or even longer."
In the meantime, commercial real estate prices have something in common with those of the typical Denver home. They're both sky-high.
Here are photos and more specifics about the five buildings/complexes cited above:
1357 Helena Street, Aurora, CO 80011
(See photo at top of post)
08/27/2018 New Listing: $5,750,000 (Multiple Listing Service, or MLS)
01/26/2017 New Listing: $3,911,000 (MLS)
1995 Del Mar Parkway, Aurora, CO 80010
12/29/2009 Closed: $1,500,000 (MLS)
10/01/2008 Closed: $675,000 (MLS)
1121 Ogden Street, Denver, CO 80218
04/09/13 $1,977,425 (public records)
11/20/09 $1,190,000 (public records)
09/24/99 $700,000 (public records)
8205 W 16th Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80214
08/17/01 $842,500 (public records)
01/21/00 $777,000 (public records)
09/20/99 $450,000 (public records)
10/28/97 $500 quit claim deed (public records)
10500 W 8th Avenue, Lakewood, CO 80215
Previous sale history:
06/27/2018 Closed: $1,110,000 (MLS)
10/25/2013 Closed: $573,530 (MLS)
08/01/05 $465,000 (public records)
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