Land market taking center stage at CREJ conferences

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Demand for land in the Denver area is off the charts. This aerial shot is from a DRCOG report.

Land demand in the Denver area is off the charts.

“On activity, it probably is record as far as buyers of land,”  said Mike Kboudi, a land broker with Cushman & Wakefield.

Competition is fierce.

“It is really hard to get a good piece of ground,” said Kboudi, who during the past five years has sold more than 3,000 acres in the metro area for more than $215 million.

Shown is the Denver Regional Council of Governments planning area. DRCOG will make a presentation at the upcoming commercial land conference sponsored by CREJ.

“There aren’t a lot of distressed pieces of ground out there.”

Developers, users and homebuilders are on the hunt for sites.

“On the home side, there are 15 builders competing for single-family lots,” said Kboudi, who will be one of the keynote speakers at the 2017 Residential Land Development Conference & Expo, sponsored by the Colorado Real Estate Journal.

More than 500 are expected to attend the half-day conference from 7:30 to 11 a.m May 24 at Hyatt Regency Aurora. It will be the largest conference of its kind in the Rocky Mountain region.

Mike Kboudi

The residential land conference will be followed by the Commercial Land Development Conference & Expo, also sponsored by CREJ. The afternoon conference will run from 12:30 until 4:45 p.m.

In addition to builders, there is demand for land from all commercial real estate food groups.

“There are multiple buyers for office and industrial and retail, as well as hospitality and senior centers,” Kboudi said.

Even multifamily land is hot.

“Theoretically, that has slowed down” with fears of overbuilding, he said.

“But if you are out there, demand for multifamily ground doesn’t seem to be slowing down,” Kboudi said. “It seems like there is at least one warm body that wants to buy every apartment site out there.”

“I would say the hottest areas for land are Douglas County, the Boulder County corridor and DIA,” Kboudi said.

“Infill sites in Denver also remain hot,” he said.

The one area where demand has slowed down is for marijuana growhouses and distribution centers, he said.

“It is still a huge part of the economy,” but there is not as much growth in the grass business as before, he said.

If you are buying land, the one bright spot, sort of, is that land prices have not risen as much as other construction costs, such as labor and fees, he said.

The schedule for the CREJ land conference is:

7:30 – 8 a.m. – Land Market Update and Review of Recent Residential Transactions: Jim Capecelatro, Cushman & Wakefield, and John Covert, Metrostudy;

8 – 8:15 a.m. – Denver Metro “Whale Sites” – A Selection of Significant Opportunities for Residential Repositioning and Development: Steve Ferris, The Real Estate Garage;

8:15 – 9 a.m. – Home Builders Panel: Thrive Home Builders, Century Communities, Lokal Homes, Tri Pointe Homes LLC and Richmond American Homes;

9:45 – 10:30 a.m. – Product Design/Land Planning: Challenges and Opportunities: Norris Design, Axcelerate Worldwide Inc., KGA Studio Architects, REDLAND, Trio Environments Inc. and DTJ Design;

10:30 – 11 a.m. – Real Estate Branding and Marketing: WideFoc.Us, OZ Architecture (invited), Strada Marketing (invited); and

11 – 11:45 a.m. – Visionaries Panel: Chetter Latcham (invited), Buz Koelbel (invited), Chris Frampton (invited).

The scheduled for the CREJ commercial land conference is:

12:30 – 1 p.m. – Land Market Update and Review of Recent Commercial Land Transactions:  Jim Capecelatro, Cushman & Wakefield;

1 – 1:30 p.m. – Growth in the Denver Region (How Denver Fits into the National Economy and How It’s Changing; Changing Demographics and HowThis Could Impact the Region): Daniel Jarrett, Denver Regional Council of Governments;

1:30 – 2 p.m. – Getting in Front of the Path of Growth in the Denver Market – An In-Depth Look at the Relationship Between Rooftops and Retail: John Covert, Metrostudy;

2:45 – 3 p.m. – Infrastructure Update (Anticipated Transportation Improvements on Colorado’s Key Corridors With a Tie to Land Development Opportunities): Jeffrey Kullman, ATKINS;

3 – 3:45 p.m. – Intelligent Mobility (Connected and Automated Vehicles) Will Revolutionize Development: Jarrett Wendt, Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Co; Jim Gunning, Mobility Choice Blueprint; Peter Kozinski, RoadX Program, Colorado Department of Transportation; Derek Brown, Mortenson; and Jeffrey Kullman, ATKINS;

3:45 – 4:15 p.m. – Denver Metro “Whale Sites.” A Selection of Significant Opportunities for Commercial and Multifamily Repositioning and Development: Steve Ferris, The Real Estate Garage; and

4:15 – 4:45 p.m. – DIA Infouence Area: Darryl Jones, Denver International Airport; Ferd Belz, Fulenwider; Tricia Allen, ACED; Michelle Claymore, city of Commerce City; and Wendy Mitchell, Aurora Economic Development Council.

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