Extra, Extra! Huge, market-leading companies are opening major office outposts in downtown Denver!

VF Corp., the publicly traded parent company of outdoor brands such as The North Face, Smartwool JanSport and Eagle Creek valued at over $36 billion, just announced it’s moving its headquarters to downtown Denver.

It’s not the only one — Amazon and Facebook are also considering major offices nearby.

This is part of a larger trend. Out-of-state innovative companies, some from Silicon Valley, looking to Denver for significant office presences. They are attracted (as we all are!) by its top-notch quality of life and relative affordability. It’s also where talent — their millennial coders — find a vibrant, exciting city to live in, near the mountains.

This Denver migration has an obvious influence on Denver neighborhood real estate — as commercial deals are signed, surrounding neighborhoods see an uptick in demand, and, in some cases, prices.

Big companies moving to Denver

VF Corp. is relocating from North Carolina and is eyeing the building near Union Station that Amazon has been sniffing around. Amazon has also strongly considered the space but it reportedly put the deal on hold until it announces the selection of its second headquarters.

If VF Corp.’s deal turns into a lease, the company will become neighbors with Facebook, which recently got zoning approval on 22,800 square feet next door to 1900 16th Street. No lease has been signed yet though. The social network giant is opening office space for network engineers, data center related engineers and other technology employees.

Rachel Carlson

Startup Guild Education, founded and led by young CEO Rachel Carlson, fled the high cost of Silicon Valley as soon as its founders realized the cost of living and hiring there could hamper the company’s growth. Primarily, Guild helps large employers extend education benefits, including tuition reimbursement, to workers who have dropped out. It recently closed a $21 million funding round.

Walmart signed on with the firm so it has some serious traction. It’s a retention play. Companies are finding that the cost to educate employees in less than the cost to retrain new employees when strong, current ones flee for greener pastures.

Impact on Denver neighborhoods

Exciting, innovative companies in downtown Denver. Capitol Hill and Wash Park — near downtown.

So, what does this mean for residential real estate? Demand for neighborhoods near downtown Denver (where the office space is being leased) will heat up, and prices with it. Neighborhoods affected include:

  • RiNo, the forever up-and-coming neighborhood that tracks the Platte River’s course north and east of downtown.
  • The Sloan’s lake and Jefferson Park neighborhoods on the west side.
  • My core neighborhoods — Cherry Creek, Washington Park, Belcaro — will see increased demand from the executives that accompany these companies’ moves.

Demand for what we have to now call moderately priced homes such as 326 S Washington Street, a 1,538-square-foot, three-bed, two-bath Washington Park bungalow for $610,000. Great walkable location, two-car garage for skis, bikes, climbing gear and tents and remodeled and move-in ready. Watch out Denver!