Real Estate Environment

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Overview

The City of Lakewood’s Economic Development Division is your resource for understanding and navigating our real estate market, opportunities and our development process.  

 We’ve compiled information on Lakewood’s:

  • Real estate market
  • Development process
  • Investment opportunities
  • W Light Rail line
  • Employment centers

Lakewood’s commercial real estate sector comprises approximately 23 million square feet, primarily located in several major employment centers, commercial corridors and major retail areas. While new investment and growth in Lakewood primarily comes from redevelopment and infill projects, there is opportunity for greenfill site development on the western end of Lakewood. 

Light Rail – West Rail Line

Whether you’re a developer, business, commuting employee or resident, or future resident, there’s an opportunity for you in Lakewood. The 12.1 mile long W light rail line connects Lakewood to downtown Denver, nearby Golden and the entire metro Denver light rail system.

In Lakewood, the line provides access to:

  • The Union Boulevard business corridor with over 7,000 employees.
  • The Denver Federal Center with 8,000 employees.
  • The St. Anthony hospital complex with over 2,000 employees.
  • The Colfax Avenue corridor, with hundreds of businesses and 40W Arts District
  • The expanding Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design with over 700 students and staff.
  • Red Rocks Community College with over 6,000 students and staff.
  • Numerous, established neighborhoods
  • The Lakewood Technology Center 

The City of Lakewood has rezoned the areas surrounding light rail stations and the West Colfax Avenue corridor to accommodate for mixed-use and higher density projects.

Business Improvement Districts

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) fill an important role in Lakewood's vibrancy and Lakewood is home to two BIDs:

Lakewood-West Colfax Business Improvement District - Area Map

Alameda Corridor Business Improvement District - Area Map

BIDs are defined areas where businesses elect to pay an additional tax in order to fund projects only within the BIDs boundaries. BIDs are governed by a board of property and business owners in the defined area. The elected board chooses to distribute the funding for appropriate supplemental services above and beyond what Lakewood provides for that area. Services can include street cleaning, additional security, streetscape enhancements, pedestrian connectivity and marketing.  

Commercial Corridors

The City of Lakewood has several vibrant commercial corridors carrying significant vehicle and transit traffic, creating opportunities for various retail, service and professional businesses as well as housing. 

Lakewood’s Economic Development Division has compiled information on the various corridors and is available to discuss them in greater detail.

Alameda Avenue

Office, retail, mixed use and residential opportunities exist along West Alameda Avenue. Major commercial, retail, residential and employment centers along the Alameda corridor include:

  • Downtown Lakewood
  • Belmar
  • Lakewood Civic Center
  • Colorado Christian University
  • Union Boulevard and the Federal Center
  • Green Mountain

 Traffic Counts

West Alameda Avenue averages 25,000-30,000 average daily traffic (ADT).

Amenities

  • Alameda Connects Community Association
  • Alameda Corridor Business Improvement District
  • Urban Renewal Area: West Alameda Avenue Corridor Redevelopment Area
  • Enterprise Zone Designation
  • Bus Service with frequent connections to W light rail line

 

Colfax Avenue

West Colfax Avenue is an eclectic corridor full of history spanning Lakewood from east to west. West Colfax is the longest continuous road in the United States. Transit oriented development opportunities exist in multi-family, office, retail, residential, mixed-use zoning along West Colfax Avenue. Major commercial, retail, residential and employment centers along the Colfax corridor include:

  • Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design 
  • Lamar Station Plaza 
  • Casa Bonita
  • Creekside Shopping Center
  • Lakewood Technology Center
  • Denver West Office Park 
  • Colorado Mills and Denver West retail centers 

Traffic Counts

West Colfax Avenue averages 25,000-30,000 average daily traffic (ADT).

Amenities

  • West Colfax Community Association (WCCA) 
  • Lakewood West Colfax Business Improvement District 
  • 40West Arts District 
  • Urban Renewal Areas: West Colfax Avenue Corridor Reinvestment Area and Colfax-Wadsworth Reinvestment District
  • Union Corridor Professional Group 
  • Applewood Business Association 
  • Enterprise Zone Designation
  • Bus and light rail service by RTD

 

Kipling Street

Kipling Street is a major thoroughfare in Lakewood running north to south. Traditional multi-family, office, retail, residential and mixed-use opportunities exist along the Kipling corridor. Major commercial, retail, residential and employment centers along Kipling Street include:

  •  Denver Federal Center
  •  Colorado Christian University

Traffic Counts

Kipling Street averages 35,000-45,000 average daily traffic (ADT).

Amenities

  • Bus service
  • Enterprise Zone designation 

 

Sheridan Boulevard

Sheridan Boulevard is a major arterial in metro Denver spanning Lakewood from north to south along our eastern border with the city and county of Denver.  Office, retail, mixed use and residential opportunities exist along Sheridan Boulevard especially near the West Rail Line at 11th Avenue.

Traffic Counts

Sheridan Boulevard averages 40,000 average daily traffic (ADT).

Amenities

  • Alameda Connects Community Association 
  • Alameda Corridor Business Improvement District 
  • West Colfax Community Association 
  • Enterprise Zone Designation
  • Bus Service with frequent connections to the West Rail Line

 

Wadsworth Boulevard

Wadsworth Boulevard is the second busiest arterial in metro Denver carrying an average of 60,000 vehicles per day.

Office, retail, mixed use and residential opportunities exist along Wadsworth Boulevard especially near the West Rail Line at 13th Avenue station. Major commercial, retail, residential and employment centers along the Wadsworth corridor include:

  • West Rail Line
  • Downtown Lakewood
  • Belmar
  • Lakewood Civic Center
  • Academy Park
  • Belleview Shores and Marston Park

Traffic Counts

Wadsworth Boulevard averages 60,000 average daily traffic (ADT).

Amenities

  • Alameda Connects Community Association 
  • Alameda Corridor Business Improvement District 
  • West Colfax Community Association 
  • South Lakewood Business Association 
  • Enterprise Zone Designation
  • Bus Service with frequent connections to the West Rail Line 

Employment Centers

More than 80,000 people are employed in Lakewood with the majority working in one of our five major employment centers located along major transportation routes like US Highway 6, Interstate 70, West Colfax Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard. Each of our major employment centers has its own specific characteristics. The Union/Federal Center, for example, is the city’s most dense employment area with more than 13,000 employed, including nearly 8,000 federal employees, located in high and low rise offices with various business amenities located throughout the corridor. Denver West, in contrast, is a traditional office park made up of low-rise buildings with amenities located in the adjacent retail center, Colorado Mills.

Academy Park

Academy Park is an employment center on approximately 250 acres within the City of Lakewood. It is located at the southeast corner of West Hampden Avenue (U.S. 285) and South Wadsworth Boulevard and extends south to Quincy Boulevard.   

Commercial Inventory 

 

Number of Buildings

Total Square Feet

Vacancy Rate

Office

23

1,459,120

24.0%

Industrial/Flex

2

120,454

0.0%

Retail

3

20,813

0.0%

 

Zoning

Primarily zoned Planned Development (PD) to allow office, medical, R&D, lab and fabrication & assembly.

Development Opportunities

Several land sites are available in Academy Park for office, flex, mixed-use development. 

Amenities

  • Enterprise Zone designation
  • Ten hotels located within Academy Park offering more than 1,100 rooms
  • RTD Wadsworth/Hampden park n ride located at U.S. 285 & Wadsworth Boulevard.
  • Scheduled RTD local service along Wadsworth Boulevard.
  • Close to a wide variety of housing stock and rental units.
  • Southwest Plaza Mall is only a few miles south on Wadsworth Boulevard.
  • Close proximity to a wide range of restaurants and fast food alternatives
  • Adjacent to Pinehurst Country Club and within minutes to The Homestead and Fox Hollow public golf courses

Highway Access

Easy access from West Hampden Avenue (U.S. 285) with quick connections to C-470 and I-25.  

Denver West 

Denver West is an employment center on approximately 220 acres directly adjacent to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Colorado Mills retail center. Denver West is located at the intersection of Interstate 70 and West Colfax Avenue (U.S. 40). Major employers include NREL, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Jeffco R-1 School District and HomeAdvisor. CBRE manages the majority of Denver West Office Park. While the majority of Denver West is located within Lakewood, several parcels are located within Unincorporated Jefferson County.

Commercial Inventory

 

Number of Buildings
in Area

Amount of Square Feet

Vacancy Rate

Office

24

1,753,330

16.7%

 

Zoning

Primarily zoned Planned Development (PD): Denver West Office Park to allow for a variety of office uses.

Development Opportunities

Several land sites are available in Denver West for office and retail uses.

Amenities

  • One full service hotel located within Denver West, four more hotels nearby
  • Located directly adjacent to Colorado Mills retail center
  • Enterprise Zone designation
  • Directly adjacent to luxury apartments and other housing options

Highway Access

Easy access from I-70, U.S. 6, C-470, and West Colfax Avenue

Downtown Lakewood & Belmar

Downtown Lakewood is located at the intersection of Wadsworth Boulevard and Alameda Avenue just six miles west of downtown Denver. Belmar and the Lakewood Civic Center occupy the southern two quadrants of the intersection.

The creation of Downtown Lakewood was kicked off in May 2004 when the $750 million first phase of Belmar opened. Belmar combines retailers, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, theaters, offices, residences, artist studios, parks and plazas, structured parking; all within 22 city blocks. There are over 80 shops and restaurants open in the development. Belmar is also home to luxury condos, educational facilities such as Paul Mitchell and the Colorado Media School and over 250,000 square feet of office tenants.

Commercial and Residential

 

Number of Buildings

Amount of Square Feet

Vacancy Rate

Office

18

668,702

3.5%

Retail

56

2,294,552

1.7%

Housing

20

2662 units

9%

 

Zoning

Primarily zoned Planned Development (PD) to allow for a variety of office, retail, residential and mixed-use development modeled on New Urbanism.

Development Opportunities 

Several significant offices, residential and retail projects can be integrated into Downtown Lakewood.

Amenities

  • Major public transit transfer center at Lakewood Civic Center
  • Established bus routes along West Alameda Parkway and Wadsworth Boulevard
  • Direct shuttle to W light rail line via Wadsworth Boulevard
  • Enterprise Zone designation
  • Numerous restaurant, Quick-serve and fast food options
  • Close to Colorado Christian University
  • Concentration of multi-family housing units

Highway Access

Access from Wadsworth Boulevard, U.S. 6 and Hampden Avenue (U.S. 285)

Lakewood Tech Center

The Lakewood Technology Center (LTC) is located just north of the Denver Federal Center on approximately 300 acres within the City of Lakewood. While the LTC is comprised mainly of industrial and flex space, it is bordered on the north and south by retail and office uses. 

Commercial Inventory 

 

Number of Buildings

Amount of Square Feet

Vacancy Rate

Industrial/Flex

31

1,396,079

0.9%

Office

15

733,673

40.9%

Retail

17

383,147

10.2%

Zoning

Zoned for research and development, industrial, mixed-use and office.

Development Opportunities

  • Various land parcels are available for retail, office and industrial users
  • Mixed-use redevelopment opportunities are available along West Colfax Avenue

Amenities

  • Enterprise Zone designation
  • RTD Oak Street light rail station located within LTC
  • Scheduled RTD bus service along West Colfax Avenue, Simms and Kipling
  • Located along a regional bike trail
  • Colorado Mills Shopping Center is just two miles west on West Colfax Avenue 
  • Close proximity to a wide range of restaurants and fast food alternatives

Access

Access via Sixth Avenue (U.S. 6) from Kipling Street or Union/Simms or I-70 from West Colfax Avenue.

Union Boulevard & Federal Center 

The Union Blvd./Federal Center area is Lakewood’s largest employment center. Anchored by the Denver Federal Center, this area covers more than 1,000 acres and employs more than 13,000. The Union Blvd./Federal Center area is bordered by Kipling Street on the east, Union Boulevard on the west, West Alameda Parkway on the south and U.S. 6 on the north. Located just eight miles from downtown Denver, this area is home to the St. Anthony Medical Campus and the Federal Center light rail station.

Commercial Inventory (excluding Federal Center) 

 

Number of Buildings

Amount of Square Feet

Vacancy Rate

Office

46

2,570,682

16.3%

Industrial/Flex

27

519,365

8.0%

Retail

43

405,651

3.3%

 

Zoning

  • Most uses allowed except for heavy industrial
  • Mixed Use zoning to allow for light rail opportunities
  • Fifty-five federal buildings, totaling four million square feet of rentable space, occupy the 623-acre campus.

Development Opportunities

  • Primarily dense infill opportunities along Union Boulevard

Amenities

  • RTD Federal Center light rail station and park ‘n Ride located at Union Boulevard and Second Place
  • Major hub for public transportation transfers
  • Enterprise Zone Designation
  • Forty restaurants and foods options within the corridor
  • Nine hotels located within the area offering more than 1,000 rooms
  • Located three miles from Downtown Lakewood/Belmar
  • Located eight miles from downtown Denver

Retail Areas

Lakewood is a preferred location in the region for retail and entertainment, strengthening Lakewood’s position as a regional retail hub and visitor destination. The local retail landscape is an eclectic mix of traditional national and regional tenants with a healthy population of small locally owned businesses and one-of-a-kind owner-operated stores and restaurants. 

Located less than three miles west of downtown Denver, the City of Lakewood encompasses 44 square miles. Sheridan Boulevard forms the east boundary and C-470 forms the west boundary connecting Lakewood to the north and south areas of metro Denver. In mid-2013 the new W light rail line will quickly connect many of our neighborhoods, employment centers and commercial corridors with downtown Denver and the entire FasTracks network. With a population of approximately 152,000 residents, Lakewood is Colorado’s fifth largest city. 

Retail development is an important focus for the City of Lakewood. With the understanding that new or redeveloped retail projects enhance the municipal tax base, provide services to its residents and are a catalyst for other development, the city is committed to assisting with your retail development project. 

Major projects include: 

Belmar, located in Downtown Lakewood

Belmar is located in the heart of downtown Lakewood and combines retailers, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, theaters, offices, residences, artist studios, parks and plazas, structured parking; all within 22 city blocks. There are over 80 shops and restaurants open in the development. 

Major retailers include:

  • Dick's Sporting Goods
  • Target
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • DSW
  • Hobby Lobby
  • Party City
  • Century 16 Theatre.

Belmar is also home to luxury condos, educational facilities such as Paul Mitchell and the Colorado Media School, over 250,000 square feet of office tenants.

 

Colorado Mills and Denver West 

Colorado Mills is located on 200 acres at the intersection of I-70, Colfax Avenue and Indiana Avenue, just 10 miles west of downtown Denver. Colorado Mills, Denver West Village and the Promenade at Denver West comprise nearly 1.5 million square feet of gross leasable area as well as several land sites for new development. 

Major retailers include:

  • Dick's Sporting Goods
  • Super Target
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Barnes & Noble
  • OfficeMax
  • Old Navy
  • Christy Sports
  • DSW 
  • United Artist Theaters.

Colorado Mills is owned and operated by Simon Property Group, Inc.