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Peña Station North emerges

Pena Station
Pena Station NEXT and Pena Station North are being listed by brokers Tom Lee and David Hart of Newmark Knight Frank.

Peña Station Next is a cutting-edge, sustainable, transit-oriented development that has generated local, national and international headlines. For example, it is  is home to the Panasonic Smart City, called CityNow, that develops and tests tomorrow’s technology in a real neighborhood.

The site, largely owned and developed by L.C. Fulenwider Inc., a family owned company that has been shaping the fabric of Denver and Colorado for the past 115 years, is a true TOD, given that it includes a University of Colorado A-Line rail stop at East 61stAvenue.

Adjacent to Peña Station Next is an equally impressive development site that Fulenwider has quietly rebranded as Peña Station North.

“It’s a hell of a piece of dirt,” said Cal Fulenwider III, chairman and CEO of his eponymous development firm.

Denver International Business Center rebranded

Peña Station North, “from Day One,” had been known as the Denver International Business Center, Fulenwider noted.

The site, which stretches north of East 64thAvenue, the northern boundary of Peña Station Next, is even larger than its sister site.

Fulenwider still has about 200 acres at Peña Station North that can be developed. It started with 275 acres, but some of the land has been sold for about 10 hotels and offices, said Ferd Belz, president of Fulenwider. The northern site stretches all the way to East 72nd Avenue.

Pena Station

Cal Fulenwider

Peña Station North, as its original name suggests, is ideal for a big, corporate office campuses.

It is so big, in fact, it was one of the eight local sites submitted for the Amazon HQ2. Denver was one of the losing finalists for the second Amazon headquarters, which would have employed as many as 50,000 people at an average salary of $138,000.

So why change the name of the Denver International Business Center?

Peña Station North name makes sense

The answer is deceptively simple.

After Peña Station Next was awarded the rail stop and Fulenwider was going through the approval plan with Denver International Airport and the city, Belz and his team also reviewed the master plan for the Denver International Business Center.

“It sort of dawned us that 64thAvenue was kind of an imaginary line,” Belz said.

Pena Station

Ferd Belz

“If you stepped north of 64th, it’s not like anything really changed. It all looks pretty much the same.”
It made more sense for that land to be considered an extension of Peña Station Next than a separate development entity, Belz explained.

Hence, Peña Station North emerged.

Veteran brokers Lee, Hart listing sites

Fulenwider recently listed both properties with veteran brokers Tom Lee and David Hart with Newmark Knight Frank.

Going forward, we are going to be hearing a lot more about the rebranding of the Denver International Business Center as Peña Station North.

“We have not officially really rolled it out yet,” Fulenwider said.

Pena Station

An artist rendering of Pena Station Next, a TOD site near DIA

If you scratch the surface of just about any deal, there is a story behind it. The Rebchook Real Estate Corner looks at the what and who that make the Colorado commercial real estate industry spin every Tuesday and Thursday online at CREJ.com. The people behind the deals are passionate about what they do, whether they focus on offices, apartments, industrial, retail, land or lending. They also are passionate about their clients. Given the cyclical nature of commercial real estate, those who prosper in it have plenty of stories to tell. I hope to share them with you. 

This column includes news stories, in-depth looks at deals, profiles, Q&As and pieces on the latest trends. Contact John with story tips at JRCHOOK@gmail.com or 303-945-6865.

John Rebchook has been taking the pulse of the Denver-area and Colorado commercial real estate world for almost 35 years. He joined the editorial staff of CREJ in 2011. Prior to that, he was the Real Estate Editor of the Rocky Mountain News from 1983 until it closed in 2009.