Santa Fe Yards at Broadway Station: Build-to-suit offices, residential planned

Santa Fe Yards is ideally situated between downtown Denver and the Denver Tech Center, representing the focal point of the greater Denver population. Courtesy Open Studio Architecture

BUILDING DIALOGUE

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At a pace faster than many U.S. metro areas, Denver continues to grow year after year, creating new jobs and increasing demand for quality office space. Today’s office buildings play a vital role in the recruitment and retention of talent by companies both large and small. To maximize their utility, office buildings should offer a wide range of amenities, walkability to dining and entertainment establishments, the chance to live within walking distance, immediate access to mass transportation, and a wellness culture for the building’s occupants.

Chris Selbo
Vice President, Development, KDC

This is the idea behind one of Denver’s newest mixed-use developments, Broadway Station. Located at the former Gates Rubber Co. plant site, the 41-acre development is advantageously located at the intersection of Interstate 25, Santa Fe Drive and South Broadway at Denver’s second busiest RTD light-rail stop and bus station. The development is divided into districts including the newly announced Gates District, Santa Fe Residential and Santa Fe Yards, a four-building office complex of up to 1 million square feet.

Santa Fe Yards and Broadway Station

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As one of the few locations that can accommodate 1 million sf of Class A build-to-suit office space, Santa Fe Yards will bring Denver fresh business opportunities. Ideally situated between downtown Denver and the Denver Tech Center, the location represents the focal point of the greater Denver population. In addition, Santa Fe Yards offers impressive amenities, transportation access for major highways, signage/branding opportunities and immediate light rail access, all important qualities valued by Fortune 1000 companies. The conceptual design capitalizes on breathtaking Rocky Mountain views and frontage on a 5.3-acre city park, providing access to walking trails, a patio balcony, fields and sports courts. As for dining and entertainment options, Santa Fe Yards is a short walk from the newly announced mixed-use development, Gates District at Broadway Station.

Liberty Mutual (Plano, Texas) wanted to accommodate all regional employees in one facility to streamline operations and enable lower-level employees to interact with front office executive more regularly.

Due to Santa Fe Yards’ 1 million-sf potential, we are marketing the site as a build-to-suit opportunity for users looking to have a greater influence over the design and functionality of their facilities. While its possible for one user to take the full 1 million sf of entitlements, it is more likely for the site to accommodate up to four separate users in their own buildings. We believe the end user could either be a large corporate relocation or a current Denver company looking to expand or consolidate. Given our experience as a leading developer of corporate build-to-suit campus projects for major companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Toyota and Uber, KDC understands how to implement the real estate strategies Fortune 1000 companies are using to make their businesses thrive.

Why Build-to-Suit? Build-to-suit developments aren’t new to corporate America, but they have recently increased in popularity due to regional facility consolidations and the emphasis companies now place on customizing their real estate to improve their appeal, reduce turnover, and boost productivity. Over the last 10 years, we’ve seen heightened influence of human resource departments over real estate decisions due to their focus on optimizing employee working conditions. The commoditized approach offered by a speculative office building works well for many companies, but larger users can often be deprived of meaningful efficiencies that can be achieved through a more customized, build-to-suit project. In a build-to-suit project, everything from the floor plate size to power redundancy can be customized to exact needs, allowing companies to organize their operations in the most productive facility possible for that group.

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For example, Liberty Mutual wanted to accommodate all regional employees in one facility to streamline operations and enable lower-level employees to interact with front office executive more regularly. To achieve this, we worked with Liberty Mutual to design a 19-story project that included two separate towers connected at level eight by a 250,000-sf super floor containing call center operations and building amenities. This allows daily interaction between all employees by sharing amenities and gathering space on the super floor, increasing success in hiring front office employees who previously worked as customer service representatives within the facility.

Santa Fe Yards Potential

Santa Fe Yards offers the amenities and flexibility needed for a successful custom office. The park frontage, unobstructed mountain views, and Denver outdoor lifestyle allow the site to distinguish itself from corporate offices of this scale around the country. While we’ve developed preliminary conceptual planning with help from Open Studio Architecture, final design of the project will depend on specifications of the end user.

Build-to-suit offices such as Santa Fe Yards are ideal for rapidly growing urban areas like Denver because they can accommodate any company, large or small, and provide amenities and customization options that meet the entire company’s needs.

Published in the March 2020 issue of Building Dialogue.

Edited by Building Dialogue