Cherry Creek Perspective

Welcome to Cherry Creek Perspective which provides monthly news of mobility-related real estate throughout the Denver-metro area, and news of real estate, public sector and economic developments in the southeast Denver – Glendale area, relying in part on articles published in Real Estate Perspective. Each business day for Real Estate Perspective, the JRES staff reviews all Denver metro area wide and local newspapers, trade journals, government websites, blogs and other sources for commercial and residential real estate and economic news. News items are condensed into easily readable summaries providing all of the essential facts for the Real Estate Perspective newsletter. And Apartment Perspective, provides a detailed update of Denver metro area apartment rental, vacancy and development/construction activity including proposed projects. A searchable library of all of the JRES newsletters content is available at:

The latest on Real Estate and Mobility is also available at a Group in LinkedIn with that name and moderated by Bill James at:

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Denver City Council Member Wayne New reports that on Thursday, November 9 the final proposed design for the enhancement of the Cherry Creek Area Greenway will be presented for public review and comments. The meeting will be held at the Halcyon Hotel on Columbine Street in Cherry Creek North from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. This design will cover the Cherry Creek Greenway from University to Colorado which separates the Cherry Creek Shopping Center from Cherry Creek South Drive. Features will include new pedestrian and bike bridges, the separation of walking and biking pathways along the Cherry Creek Trail, improved plaza activity space, and public access to creek areas to enjoy the beauties of the creek. The public is invited to this presentation and to give feedback for this wonderful Cherry Creek public amenity and treasure.

Denver Parks & Recreation invites you to attend the latest series of open houses for the Game Plan. Now is the time to review the preliminary action strategies and recommendations for the draft plan. Each meeting is identical on November 28, 29, or 30 at three locations – Barnum, Montbello and Cook Park. Stop by any time between 5:00pm and 7:00pm to provide input. The Game Plan is Denveright’s community planning effort that creates a prioritized roadmap for adapting our parks and recreation system, programming and amenities to meet the evolving needs of our city over the next 20 years.


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From the LinkedIn Group – Mobility and Real Estate


Fulfillment Centers Spur Competition for Industrial Real Estate
“When it comes to finding sites for last-mile logistics, proximity to dense population centers is the top priority, panelists said. That—and the need to get buildings into play quickly to meet demand—means that developers most often try to renovate and repurpose older industrial buildings rather than spend years obtaining entitlements and building structures designed for e-commerce operations…But with suitable buildings increasingly at a premium, Prologis is building a three-story, 590,000-square-foot (55,000 sq m) fulfillment center in Seattle, the first multistory warehouse in the United States. The facility, which is 11 to 12 months from completion, will be able to accommodate both e-commerce and smaller light-industrial tenants, such as aviation technology firms, Kolpa said.”

Ride Sharing and Driverless Cars Are Game-Changers for Real Estate and Cities
“Joe Brancato, regional managing principal at Gensler, an architecture, design, planning, and consulting firm, said that architects are already taking into account the expected change in parking demand. He said it is increasingly common for designers to create parking structures that can be more easily converted into other uses down the road once they become obsolete…Brancato said that creating buildings, roads, and cities more focused on humans than cars is a “tremendous opportunity” that has only just begun and will accelerate as autonomous vehicles gain adoption in the coming years. “This entire movement is really about creating a better experience for people,” he said.”

“So what does transit heaven look like? In the future, the transportation planners suggest, vehicle lanes can be a lot thinner. Machines, after all, should be better at driving straight—and less distracted by Snapchat—than their human counterparts. That means more room in major boulevards for walking, biking, even loitering. Tiny parks might exist where parking meters once lived—no need to park self-driving taxis owned by companies, not individual drivers. In fact, vehicles might not even have their own dedicated spaces at all. “Flex zones” could be turned over to different services and vehicles for different times of day. During rush hour, there could be more lanes open to vehicles. During heavy delivery hours, there could be curb space dedicated to Amazon delivery vans (or landing delivery drones). At night, street space next to bars could be dedicated to picking up and dropping off carousers from driverless taxicabs.”

Vehicle Attacks Are Not Inevitable
Still, barricades, speed humps, and narrowed lanes have limits as life-saving measures. They are localized by definition: Not every street will ever be lined with concrete barriers, and in a crowded city, all vehicles can be weaponized, intentionally or not. The cycling advocate Aaron Naparstek puts it this way on Twitter: “Every driver is rolling down the street with a loaded gun.”

These 30-foot poles are the future of cellular, and you can’t keep them out of your Denver neighborhood
“Installations of small cell sites already have increased from 69,000 in 2015 to an estimated 270,000 this year in North America, according to the Small Cell Forum industry group.”

Why Some Cities Are Buying Trailer Parks
“So Boulder and a handful of other localities, desperate to hang on to homes middle- and working-class people can afford, have stepped in to buy parks, fix them up, and transfer ownership to residents or to a nonprofit on condition that rents be kept low.”

Driverless Cars Could Slam Brakes on Self-Storage Sector
“The property type expected to be hurt the most: Self-storage. Because people will own fewer cars, they will have more storage spaces in their garages, so they won’t need to rent it.”

Denver International Airport proposes $1.5 billion in contracts for 39-gate concourse expansion project
“The expansion will make use of the “telescoping” design of DIA’s three original concourses, Stegman said. The long buildings are connected to the terminal and each other by the underground passenger train system at their centers, and their original designs built expansion capability into both ends of each concourse.”

Untying the Traffic Knot
Land use is an essential part of solving the traffic problem, says Don Elliott, a zoning consultant and director of Denver-based Clarion Associates. For much of the 20th century, he explains, public sector planners did not give much thought to traffic. “They drew up beautiful plans for where to put the housing and then said to the roads guys, ‘Figure it out,’” he says. In contrast, “these days, cities more often are likely to recognize that they never will be able to build all the transportation capacity they need so that there’s no congestion. So instead they’ll put density where it’s able to be served efficiently by transit.” As congestion grows to the point at which it affects urban accessibility, developers across the United States are seeing an opportunity to build mixed-use transit-oriented developments in urban areas, where people can live, work, shop, and play while avoiding traffic altogether.

How will autonomous vehicles transform the built environment?
“Advancing conversations around these other public policies—not just engineering and safety—was the focus of a recent event lead by the American Planning Association and held at the National League of Cities (Brookings was also a co-convener)…Looming over the entire day was an unanswerable question: how often will Americans used shared AVs versus ones they privately own? Among this group, there were deep concerns about how infatuation with technology could incite harmful individual behaviors…This group was more optimistic about the shift to more ridesharing.”

Driverless Cars Will Open the Door to a Building Spree
“That’s one vision of how self-driving cars will affect U.S. real estate, laid out in a report by MIT’s Center for Real Estate. But it’s not the only one. Even as reclaimed parking spaces fuel a downtown building boom, autonomous vehicles will encourage builders to push deeper into the exurban fringe, confident that homebuyers will tolerate longer commutes now that they don’t have to drive, according to the report, sponsored by a unit of Capital One Financial Corp.”

A Brief History of Traffic Lights
“While Wire’s system was indeed revolutionary, the title of world’s first electric traffic signal goes to a system installed on August 5, 1914, at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 105th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. Based on a design by James Hoge—the “Municipal Traffic Control System,” patented in 1918—the Cleveland signals included four pairs of red and green lights that served as stop-go indicators. Crucially, the manually operated system was designed in such a way that conflicting signals were impossible. Cleveland was the site of another important first in traffic signal history: It was here that Garrett A. Morgan, an African-American inventor and newspaper owner, designed and patented a T-shaped electrical system with an interim “warning” position—a precursor to today’s yellow light.”

Why Dockless Bikes May Spell The End Of The Old Bike-Share Model
“Unlike existing publicly financed bike-share programs, with bikes that are docked at stations, the neon green, orange and yellow bikes from competing companies are dockless — picked up and dropped off wherever a user likes. Riders use an app on their phone to find available bikes and unlock them for about $1 a half-hour, a cheaper walk-up price than most existing programs offer. The entrance of dockless biking into the U.S. market has rocked a bike-share sector that has long relied on city workers’ help to assemble federal grants, city funds and advertising and sponsorships in order to lure bike-share operators. But those endeavors may be nearing an end.”

“As bold and clear as that opening sentence is, this report goes on to describe the possible impacts on everything from the geopolitical implications of a crashing oil economy to the boost of household income (10%) due to reduced transportation costs to the changes in the automobile industry from production to the local repair shop. They predict a reduction in automobile in use from 247 million vehicles to 44 in an extremely short time frame, all the while estimating that actual miles that people will travel will double compared to a 2021 estimate and at a quarter of the cost.”

Texas DOT Open to Burying Highway That Cuts Through Dallas
“The idea that Dallas needs to reconsider its relationship to highways is central to an ascendant political coalition in the city.”

Jet-makers are preparing for a world with on-demand, pilotless air taxis
“There are no immediate plans to replace commercial pilots with computers. But industry experts say the technology enabling fully-autonomous flight is already here.”

Remaking Greater Los Angeles as a Transit-Oriented Region
“With this shift to transit, Los Angeles and surrounding cities are addressing the need for taller, denser, walkable, and bikeable commercial and residential development along major boulevards and near transit lines to support the public investment in transportation infrastructure and to provide transit access for people…Under its joint development program, Metro has partnered with private developers to provide long-term ground leases for more than 25 TOD projects that are completed, in process, or under review.”

Why 2017 will go down as the beginning of the end of the internal combustion engine
“In addition to setting aggressive production quotas for EV’s, China plans to scrap internal combustion engines entirely as soon as 2030. By taking a lead role in the shift to plug-ins, the world’s largest auto market is forcing the rest of the international community to follow in its footsteps.”



Thinking of trying a transportation network company such as Uber or Lyft. For a big discount on Lyft go to:

Denver City Council Member Wayne New reports that Eco-Rides USA is revolutionizing urban transportation and starting the revolution in Cherry Creek. Eco-Rides is essentially a free version of Uber or Lyft — only more convenient. Hailed like a cab, caught like a bus, and soon to be an app on your phone, it is perfect for getting to work, for being the First Mile or the Last Mile of your commute, or going to your favorite restaurant or shop. Don’t worry about parking, traffic congestion, construction detours, or weather. You will have a great sense of relief using the comfortable, safe, GREEN, and FREE Eco-Rides USA service. For additional information, call Eco-Rides at 720-699-2669.

Councilor New also reports that one of the items included in the GO Bond Transportation ballot measure is the Colfax Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). With population and business growth in the area expected to increase significantly in the next 20 years, there is an opportunity to reimagine how Colfax functions, looks and feels while accommodating an increasing need for enhanced mobility and safety along the corridor. Through extensive citywide planning efforts and input from the community, the Colfax Corridor Connections project has identified an updated alternative for dedicated center-running bus rapid transit on Colfax Avenue. They are currently weighing the pros and cons of center-running vs. side-running BRT options.

Why BRT on Colfax?

  • Transit Speed and Reliability: Peer cities have experienced 25-40% travel time savings over previous bus service. BRT provides a boarding experience with station features similar to rail.
  • Ridership on peer center-running BRT services has increased 50-100% over previous bus service.
  • Economic Development: BRT attracts public and private development. Peer systems have experienced $100 million to $5.8 billion in redevelopment and new development.
  • Safety: BRT supports Vision Zero through shorter pedestrian crossings with less exposure to vehicle traffic and reduced right of way confusion.
  • Place-making: Center lane stations provide opportunity for landscaping and public art. Most important, sidewalk space is free for greater retail and pedestrian oriented amenities.

Denver City Council Member Mary Beth Susman reports that the Colfax Corridor Connections team continues work to improve mobility on East Colfax Avenue (between I-25 and I-225). Based on project goals and prior public input, a recently completed study recommends a Bus Rapid Transit design concept in the center lanes of East Colfax. This design aims to double daily bus ridership from 22,000 to 50,000 and shorten travel times by up to 15 minutes. The design also includes amenities such as benches, public restrooms, and bike facilities.

Streetsblog reports that it’s a little easier to ride the bus and train now that RTD has launched mobile ticketing — electronic fares that you can buy and validate with a smartphone or tablet. Transit riders who use the Android and Apple operating systems can download the app from Google Play and the App Store.

For now riders can only buy day passes, which cost the same as a two-way fare. That means unlimited rides for $5.20 a day on local routes and $9 on regional routes (half that for discount fares). As has always been the case with RTD day passes, they don’t last 24 hours; they expire just before 3 a.m. the day after purchase. RTD is rolling out the fare technology in phases. Single ride fares will likely be the next option available, followed by monthly passes, but RTD does not have a timeline on those features. The agency wanted to get the fare tech up and running sooner than later, and other fare passes would’ve delayed the launch, RTD spokesperson Nate Currey said.

Still, this development is a big deal for a transit system that’s behind cities in North America and overseas when it comes to easy, intuitive fare tech. Buying a bus fare on the fly used to require either exact change or a smart-fare-card, which is convenient when planning ahead, but can take up to three days to load money onto over the internet. And off-board fare payment is not only convenient for individuals, it’s good for the RTD system. Mobile fare tech can reduce “dwell time” — the amount of time a bus waits at a stop — by half or more, according to the National Association of City Transportation Officials. With fewer riders searching for change and un-crumpling dollar bills, buses will get people to their destinations faster.

Denver Community Planning and Development reports that the City and County of Denver and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) recently shared proposed design concepts for improvements to the 16th Street Mall — including the alignment of the transit lanes and general location of the trees, lights, and gathering and pedestrian space — as part of a federal environmental process to design the Mall’s future. This is one step in a broad effort to rethink and potentially redesign the 16th Street Mall — one of the city’s most vital connectors and important public spaces.

Confluence asks, “Could This Be the Dawn of a New Era for Denver’s Iconic Main Street?” On a sunny Denver day, the 16th Street Mall can a beautiful place to dawdle. Look down, and you’ll immediately see why. An intricate system of granite pavers laid by Portuguese and Spanish craftsmen in 1981 grounds the mall, both literally and figuratively, with its rattlesnake pattern. But maintaining the mall’s original paving costs RTD about $1.2 million dollars annually. “There certainly is a desire to look at the configuration of the mall itself, to make sure sidewalk spaces are sufficient to handle the large number of pedestrians we have,” says Susan Wood, RTD planning project manager. But from RTD’s perspective, problems associated with congestion pale in comparison to the cost of maintaining antiqued infrastructure. “Because of our weather conditions, water gets underneath the pavers and causes them to pop up, and then the pavers will crack off when a vehicle drives over them,” explains Wood. Pavers have caused some pretty heated debates since 2015, when RTD began researching the option of replacing bus lanes with a less costly surface. And they’re just one of the problems.

9 News reports that Denver hosted two open houses to hear thoughts on how to clean-up the 16th Street Mall – now 35-years-old with complaints streaming in about the quality of the shops and crime rates. Denver Police Violent Crime statistics for the last year show 27 assaults, 26 robberies, and one murder. In 2015, Visit Denver did a study that showed crime and “general seediness” along the mall were top reasons people decided not to visit Denver. The city is discussing several proposals they hope will not only help with those statistics but will also give the mall a much-needed upgrade.

Officials are going over a couple of proposals on how to lay out the mall. One of the big ideas is whether they should take out the median, put the Mall Ride in the middle, and expand pedestrian access on the side. They’re also thinking about leaving the median and changing the layout of the pedestrian walkways. Or might not change much at all, and keep paying an estimated $1 million per year to maintain the pavers. The city did pump money into extra security over the summer, but officials think more upgrades could help solve many of the issues.

Next with Kyle Clark reports that The American Public Transportation Association has given RTD it’s AdWheel Grand Award, meaning RTD’s marketing for the A Line was one of the best in public transit this year. The APTA says RTD’s campaign made a huge impression on the internet, saying it reached more than 255 million people online – or, technically speaking, the campaign resulted in 255 million multimedia impressions over a three-month period. RTD also drew more than 100,000 people to their grand opening events. RTD was up against 350 other entries and was one of 11 winners.

Denverite reports that getting an RTD bus shelter is more complicated than you’d think. Even if you have the money and permission to build a shelter, RTD still has to conduct its own evaluation of whether there should be a bus stop. The criteria include span of service, scheduling, physical space, safety and “others as specified.” One of those “other” criteria is that shelters go to bus stops where ridership exceeds 40 passenger boardings per day. RTD says that number is under review and may go up to 100. Then, if the location passes the evaluation, the new shelter still has to adhere to RTD’s design standards, which mandate safety and security requirements, all the way down to color, although minor deviations like Glendale’s copper domes are possible. While RTD doesn’t have money to install new bus shelters, it does spend an average $3,000 per shelter per year to keep its 340 shelters in good shape, though.

RTD is looking for regular bus and train riders who are interested in sharing their ideas on the 2018 customer panel. The 15-member panel meets four times a year to provide valuable input on products and services that can help us better serve our customers. Panel members receive a free Regional monthly pass for each month they attend a meeting and a free annual EcoPass for the following year if they attend all four meetings. RTD is accepting applications through December 15, 2017.

RTD’s Free MallRide bus service will pick up and drop off in the new Civic Center Station outdoor bus turnaround starting on November 12, 2017. All other bus service will continue operating from the temporary gates on Broadway, Colfax, and Lincoln until the station opens for bus service on Sunday, December 17, 2017.

Real Estate

Denver Golf reports that City Park Golf Course is now an active construction site. Trees have been a driving force of the CPGC design and the team has taken great care to minimize the impact to trees while balancing golf playability with a need to provide greater flood protection to thousands of homes downstream. All living and healthy perimeter trees (except for 5 at the entrance) will remain, as will several large historic groves of trees internal to the site. Approximately 70% of existing course trees will be preserved, and with all the new trees being planted onsite there will be a net gain of roughly 500 trees. Of the trees to be removed at the golf course, approximately 19% are in poor/very poor condition or dead. Of the good and fair rated trees to be removed, approximately 55% of them are younger trees with diameters of less than 12 inches. Final numbers are yet to be determined based on changing tree conditions and the tree scans/surveys that are being completed. Two Denver Water lines, one 36 inches and another 42 inches, will need to be relocated.

Denver Community Planning and Development reports that through an agreement with Clayton Early Learning, Denver will purchase the Park Hill Golf Course property. The city’s purchase of the property will allow time for a community visioning process that is currently underway to continue and help ensure both Clayton and the 155-acre property keep serving the residents of Denver.  Clayton’s lease with its golf course operator expires at the end of 2018. With declining revenue and increasing costs at the golf course, Clayton began meeting with community stakeholders in 2016 about the financial challenge and to begin a conversation about the future of the property that would generate sufficient revenue for Clayton to continue serving low-income children from Northeast Denver. Learn more about the future of the Park Hill Golf Course.

Denver City Council Member Paul Kashmann reports that The University of Denver continues development of a master plan that will guide campus development in the coming decades. This exciting effort is looking at ways the University can better blend with the surrounding community as well as welcome the surrounding community into the many events and programs D.U. has to offer. There will be ongoing options for community input.

Denver City Council Member Mary Beth Susman reports that after routine inspection, Denver Parks and Recreation has decided to close the Cranmer Park terrace due to deteriorating conditions and associated safety concerns. The terrace will remain closed for public use until reconstruction efforts are complete. The terrace was constructed in the 1930s on a rubble base that lacks proper drainage. Over the years, Denver’s freeze-thaw cycles have caused significant damage to the terrace flagstone, mortar and mosaic panorama. Design plans were developed to ensure that the terrace, mosaic panorama and sundial are historically accurate. The entire terrace will be removed, a new foundation will be built and the terrace will be built with a slight grade to improve drainage. Additionally, the face of the sundial will be repaired. DPR has accepted a bid from Krische Construction which is anticipated to begin work in early 2018 and complete by late fall 2018, weather permitting.

Councilor Susman also reports that Denver recently released a draft of Housing an Inclusive Denver, the City’s new five-year housing policy, strategy and investment plan, for public review. The new plan outlines strategies to create and preserve strong opportunity-rich neighborhoods with diverse housing options that are accessible and affordable to all Denver residents. Public comment on the draft document is being collected through November 13, 2017.

Councilor Susman also reports that the Denver Zoo needs your feedback about sustainable building design as part of their City-approved Master Plan. The Denver Zoo is committed to ensuring the long-term protection of the environment in support of all species by lessening their operational impacts on the environment and inspiring zoo visitors and communities to take meaningfully actions to reduce their impacts. Their vision seeks to protect the health and biodiversity of the planet so future generations can thrive. As Denver Zoo begins designing components of Phase 1 of its Master Plan, they seek community feedback into the design of new exhibits and buildings.

At the September meeting of the Cherry Creek Steering Committee, Nick LeMasters, General Manager of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center said that Taubman will likely announce a tenant to replace the closed Safeway store soon. Taubman has a long-standing commitment to another tenant that will be honored. With Bed, Bath & Beyond moving soon to the Target shopping center in Glendale, the building may have temporary tenants until the best strategy is clarified for the entire West end. Chatter about the effect of paid parking is subsiding and the real test will be during the holiday season.