Welcome to Cherry Creek Perspective – monthly news of mobility-related and affordable housing real estate throughout the Denver-metro area, and news of real estate, public sector and economic developments in the southeast Denver – Glendale area, relying in part on articles published in Real Estate Perspective. To read the newsletter easily on a mobile device go to:
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Each business day for Real Estate Perspective, the JRES staff reviews all Denver metro area wide and local newspapers, trade journals, government websites, blogs and other sources for commercial and residential real estate and economic news. News items are condensed into easily readable summaries providing all of the essential facts for the Real Estate Perspective newsletter. And Apartment Perspective, provides a detailed update of Denver metro area apartment rental, vacancy and development/construction activity including proposed projects.
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RTD FastTracks – G Line to Arvada opens April 26
Join RTD on Friday, April 26 for the grand opening ceremony at the Wheat Ridge & Ward Station at 9:00 a.m. The event will kick-off G Line service with a dedication, free rides and much more.
RTD – E, F and R lines to reach new destinations in Lone Tree
The new rail extension of the E, F and R lines will open to the public on May 17, 2019. With 2.3-miles of new light rail, three new stations, one Park-n-Ride and 1,300 additional parking spaces, RTD offers customers easy, affordable, and reliable service with connections to Lone Tree and the greater metro area. Enjoy the grand opening ceremony, free rides, and much more.
REAL ESTATE MARKET CYCLE REPORT
The Mueller Real Estate Market Cycle Monitor, Fourth Quarter 2018 Analysis has been released. The report provides Physical Market Cycle Analysis of 5 Property Types in 54 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) compiled by professor Glenn Mueller at the University of Denver, Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management. Scroll to the bottom of the page at:
URBAN LAND INSTITUTE COLORADO – OPPORTUNITY ZONES
On April 30 ULI Colorado invites you to explore the opportunity behind Opportunity Zones and how this new financing tool can be catalytic for communities, investors, and developers alike.
This tool has been in the making since the 2017 tax reform, enacted to incentivize long-term investment in low-income rural and urban communities across the nation. This session gives you the-need-to-know basics but takes the conversation a step further using real case studies and scenarios. Breakfast and continuing education credits will be provided. For details, check the following link:
RAIL~VOLUTION 2019 – transit & community development conference
Come together with professionals who share your dedication to transit, livability and communities. Choose from 75+ thought- and discussion-provoking workshops, ranging from cutting edge policy overviews to practical hands-on strategies. Explore real-world issues and projects across the region via our unique mobile workshops. Registration Opens May 2019
September 8-11, 2019, Vancouver, British Columbia
RTD announced that the grand opening of the G Line, which will run through Denver, Adams County, Arvada and Wheat Ridge, will be on Friday, April 26.
The 11.2-mile electric commuter rail line will connect passengers from the westernmost station, at Wheat Ridge & Ward, to Union Station in downtown Denver in 25 minutes. The line includes six additional stations and a total of 2,230 new parking spots. The project is part of RTD’s 2004 voter-approved FasTracks program to expand transit across the Denver metro region. The G Line will be operated by RTD concessionaire Denver Transit Partners (DTP), which also manages operation of the University of Colorado A Line to Denver International Airport and the B Line to Westminster under a federally funded public-private partnership. Ridership on the G Line has been forecast at 9,000 passenger trips per day during the first year, and at 12,900 daily trips in 2035.
The project originally was slated to open in 2016. The G Line, like all FasTracks commuter rail lines, includes wireless positive train control (PTC) technology, a complex system that reduces the risk of catastrophic train accidents. RTD is the first transit agency in the United States to build PTC technology into a new rail system from the ground up, which has required extensive testing and modification of the system. RTD and DTP have been working with state and federal regulators to secure their approvals.
The G Line will open with quiet zones in place along the entirety of the line. Quiet zones – railroad segments where train operators don’t have to sound their horns on a routine basis – are established once all regulatory approvals have been processed. RTD assisted Arvada, Wheat Ridge and Adams County in the application process to secure these approvals. Horns can continue to be used in emergency situations; if maintenance workers, pedestrians or vehicles are on or near the tracks; if there are issues with gate timing at any of the G Line’s 16 crossings; or if a train must use automatic train control (ATC) instead of PTC.
Denver City Council Members Mary Beth Susman, Wayne New and Jolon Clark announced a partnership between Xcel Energy and Public Works converting all 44,000 Denver streetlights to LED – considered one of most energy-efficient and durable lighting technologies. In addition to enhanced quality of lighting and reducing nighttime light pollution, the efficiency of LED lights provides a cost savings of 4-7% and sustainability benefits begin immediately with a 50% reduction in energy use, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and no carbon footprint. Conversion of the street lights will begin immediately, with Phase 1 focusing on Federal Boulevard and Colfax Avenue, two stretches on the city’s High Injury Network (HIN).
Do you know a program, business, event or idea that’s perfect for the National Western Center? Help cultivate what happens on campus and online. On March 20, the National Western Center kicked off a campaign to identify ideas, partners, programs and events that could be a part of the National Western Center when it opens its doors in 2024 (and earlier). “We’ve received some great ideas, and we’re still looking for more!
Whether you’re a rancher in Colorado, Canada or Colombia; an entrepreneur trying to solve the world’s water problems; or a neighbor who wants to sell products at the public market, you could have a home at the National Western Center – on campus or online.” The innovative campus will feature more than 2.2 million square feet of indoor and outdoor spaces. Those spaces can play host to festivals and concerts, local markets, sporting events, lectures, trade shows, conventions, office space, incubators, educational experiences, art shows, family activities, retail shops and more. An online presence offers even more opportunities to learn, share and connect. This is the place and platform where your idea, program or business could take root! By April 20 to learn more, share your idea and be part of the National Western Center from the beginning, visit:
Denver City Council Member Mary Beth Susman reports big East Colfax Transit Improvements. Over the next several years, RTD will be upgrading all 15L stops between Broadway and I-225 to include enhanced shelters with lighting and security cameras. Other improvements such as queue bypass lanes, transit signal priority and bus bulbs will be added in key locations along the corridor. As part of the project, 37 bus stops will be upgraded, twelve of which are between Colorado Blvd and Yosemite St.
The 15 and 15L combined are the busiest routes in the entire RTD system, with approximately 24,000 boarding’s per day. RTD has received grant funds from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) for the project. Improvements at bus stops include enhanced bus shelters that include lighting, security cameras, and passenger information as well as trash cans and benches. At some stops, bus bulbs, also known as curb extensions, will be added. These bus bulbs will provide more waiting space for passengers and allow buses to stop in the travel lane instead of pulling to the curb which will reduce delays in service. Queue bypass lanes will be located at four locations where buses experience delays due to traffic congestion. The lanes will allow buses to share a right turn-only lane, which will allow buses to proceed in advance of the green light for the general-purpose lanes. Transit Signal Priority (TSP) will be installed at many intersections in Denver, which will provide longer green lights for buses to progress along Colfax.
Some of these improvements will be utilized by the planned BRT including the TSP technology. Because the BRT will be center-running, new bus stops will be constructed as part of the BRT project. The new bus shelters that RTD is announcing as part of the 15L improvement project will be repurposed as new BRT lines are built in the future. RTD’s Regional BRT Feasibility Study will wrap up this summer. The agency says construction will begin between Broadway and Grant in early April and will continue along East Colfax for approximately 13 to 14 months.
Bye-bye, bikes? Many mobility companies quietly shift their focus to scooters. Some municipal representatives report they were told the dockless bike-sharing model has not been profitable but scooters hold more promise…The company confirmed to Smart Cities Dive that customers overwhelmingly are choosing electric products — meaning scooters and e-bikes — as their preferred mobility devices.
REAL ESTATE AND MOBILITY
Denver’s Upcoming 16th St Mall Renovation Hits Another Milestone
The project, now estimated to cost between $90 and $130 million, will replace and fix problems with the mall’s distinctive granite tiles while making the 1.2-mile thoroughfare a better place to get around and a more enjoyable place to hang out…The renovation will replace the pavers with textured granite designed to avoid slipping. It will also fix a costly problem that trapped water under the tiles and compounded the frequent freeze-thaw cycles that already torment Colorado roads…Another key feature of the project would remove the plazas in the middle of the street where food vendors and public seating exist today. This would move the bus lanes to the center of the mall, allowing larger sidewalks, which will create a more comfortable place for seating and allow a wider range of events and activities on the mall.
China’s ‘Silk Road urbanism’ is changing cities from London to Kampala
Both of these huge projects are part of the $1trn global infrastructure investment that is China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China’s ambition to reshape the world economy has sparked massive infrastructure projects spanning all the way from Western Europe to East Africa and beyond. The nation is engaging in what we, in our research, call “Silk Road urbanism” – reimagining the historic transcontinental trade route as a global project, to bring the cities of South Asia, East Africa, Europe and South America into the orbit of the Chinese economy.
Barcelona’s Ambitious Plan to Become a Post-Car City
“The plan, which contains not only superblocks but comprehensive programs for green space, bicycle and bus networks, and much more, will not eliminate cars in the city, or deny one to anyone who needs one. But it will radically reduce their prevalence, the amount of space they occupy, and demand for their services. If it is fully implemented (a task that could take multiple administrations, even multiple generations), it could make Barcelona the first plausibly “post-car” major city in the world — a place where most streets are not for cars and most people don’t have one.”
The Race to Code the Curb
Coord, a spinoff of “smart city” developer Sidewalk Labs, launched “Open Curbs,” which pins the locations of wheelchair cuts, fire hydrants, bus stops, and other physical assets that define the curb to digital maps, available to anyone who’s interested in using them. The hope is that this tool can help curb-curious local officials, mobility companies, and researchers can reach a common understanding of the physical environment they’re all operating in.
We’re Looking for the Most Improved Parking Crater!
We’re looking for entries for Most Improved Parking Crater! Downtown Denver in the 1970s vs. today is a great example of the kind of improvements cities can make with the right mix of attention, policy and investment.
Millennials are choosing to face 2-hour commutes instead of paying exorbitant rates to live in cities, and it’s resurrecting a near-dead part of the suburbs
More millennials are purchasing homes in regions peripheral to the affluent suburbs — a move that’s reviving the exurbs for the first time in a decade, Laura Kusisto of The Wall Street Journal reported. On average, these homes are more than 16 miles from central business districts — the greatest distance since 2004, Kusisto reported, citing Fannie Mae loan data.
MICROMOBILITY, THIRD LANES, AND TOMORROW’S STREETSCAPES
Cities desperately need an improved right of way for this emerging third group: a rolling lane for people and goods that move faster than pedestrians, but slower than cars, combined with slow speed zones where different modes can safely share streets. The meteoric rise of electric scooters is proof of a mounting desire for personal mobility as a component of dense live, work, play communities. According to research by Populus, people are willing to travel up to 3 miles on an electric scooter to access transit — versus just a half-mile on foot — making the scooter an effective tool for ushering in a new era of transit equity where automobiles are a choice, not a necessity.
The Self-Driving Future Arrives in Commercial Real Estate
“There are probably close to 70 different [driverless shuttle] pilots that are planned or underway in the United States dealing principally with the low-speed shuttles that are going to be maxed out at 15 to 25 miles an hour,” Guckert said. “They are 10- to 12- to 15-passenger shuttle vans and Brookfield is clearly one of them. The shuttles are one thing that in my opinion are going to continue to grow and really will be the precursor to things with autonomous vehicles in the future.”
The impact is showing up in stronger force in parking lots and garages. Parking demand is already starting to drop dramatically, Guckert said. Retail developers are finding that even at the peak Christmas shopping time, parking use is dropping to fewer than four spaces per thousand square feet of mall space. Many malls currently provide five to 5.5 spaces per thousand.
Italy joins China’s Belt and Road Initiative
Announced in 2013 as an ambitious plan to build a “belt” of overland corridors and a “road” of maritime shipping lanes spanning Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe, the BRI has evolved to encompass other regions as well as digital infrastructure and even cultural exchanges. Also known as “The New Silk Road”, it promises to strengthen China’s trade and investment links with the rest of the world and cement its position as a major global economic power…Analysts at Morgan Stanley predict China’s investments in BRI countries could reach $1.3 trillion by 2027.
Closing Central Madrid To Cars Resulted In 9.5% Boost To Retail Spending, Finds Bank Analysis
Twenty million anonymized transactions were analyzed by the bank and Madrid city council, and it was discovered that the decision to limit road access to the city center by motorists led to a 9.5% increase in retail takings on Madrid’s main shopping street, the Gran Vía.
The clever way Walmart is trying to beat Amazon
The key: Walmart’s stores are doubling as warehouses for online shoppers. It’s something other retailers, including Target, are also trying to do to compete with Amazon. But no other traditional retailer has Walmart’s scale. “The greatest part about Walmart using the Walmart store is that store is already profitable,” King says. “If you can use those as warehouses, it’s a game changer for us. Most of the cost of e-commerce is in shipping. If you think about the ability to have deployed inventory five miles away from 70% of Americans, and you can figure out that last mile, you’re talking about a difference in profitability.”
Disruptive Convenience Store Format Coming to Colfax
The new format, which will open during the second half of 2019, will include a 2,700-square-foot Choice Market as well as fuel pumps, electric vehicle supercharging, bike share terminal, electric scooter charging stations, and solar collection on the canopy. Customers will have the option to skip the checkout process, order & pay ahead via the Choice Mobile App, or checkout as they normally would at any other store.
What is the future of mobility?
GM’s Kleinbaum remains bullish. “I expect a meaningful roll out of autonomous vehicles in five plus years,” he said. “I think consumers will love this tech, and there will be huge consumer demand. Everyone wants to have a car that drives itself; I travel 50 miles to work every day, so I certainly want one!”…The ties between Silicon Valley and Motor City are strengthening every day, and by 2030 he envisions both established automotive players and technology firms working even closer. “You can imagine the structure of the industry will be significantly different in future than it is today,” said Kleinbaum. “If you think the rate of change is rapid now, just wait,” concluded EY’s Roberts.
Stop trying to solve traffic and start building great places
The country needs new performance measures to prioritize broader community goals around accessibility, economic development, sustainability, and livability…Decreasing reliance on LOS [level of service] also means introducing measures that don’t lead with transportation use, but instead with measures related to economic, social, and environmental outcomes.