Downtown Denver with the Front Range in the background

The Bay Area has a new rival when it comes to attracting tech companies and talent: Denver.

With one of the lowest unemployment rates in the US and the second best place to live according to the US News and World Report, Denver has become a sought-after location for large tech companies and startups. From the Google campus in Boulder to Slack, which has its eye on a 50,000 SF room in downtown Denver, 22 tech companies either opened satellite offices or moved their headquarters to the Denver Metro Area last year.

The migration of tech talent from the coast to the mountains has become the focus of Pivot To Colorado, a public-private initiative aimed at attracting talent from the Bay Area. The $ 500,000 campaign used billboard advertising and digital marketing to convince potential newcomers that the city is promoting more community and less competition.

In the Bay Area, this competition involves finding affordable housing. The rents in the Bay Area are among the highest in the United States. While the population and construction boom has raised affordability concerns among Denver residents, the metropolitan area remains affordable relative to the cost of housing in other cities on the west coast. According to RentCafé, the average rent for an apartment in Denver in October was $ 1,535, up 1% year over year.

In response to the influx of talent, tech companies acquired SF849,000 of new office and commercial space between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs between July 2017 and June 2018.

Denver can also offer more than an abundance of jobs and a lower cost of living. Surrounded by mountains, hiking trails and numerous indoor and outdoor areas, the underground area is a pioneer in the growing trend towards office wellness.

“Companies have recognized that the tech talent pool is not just in the Bay Area and that Denver has a lot to offer in terms of young tech talent,” said Jeremy Attema, project manager at stok. “The cost of living in the Bay Area is rising and tech companies are struggling to attract the talent they want. Many people look for cities that offer the same amenities as the Bay Area, and Denver is a good fit. “

As a high-performance real estate service company, stok focuses on improving the built environment through regenerative and people-centered design. The company balances customer financial and performance goals with sustainability and occupant wellbeing. It focuses on the design and implementation of high performance buildings designed to improve the productivity, comfort and health of residents.

Essential high-performance building design strategies to improve the performance and experience of residents include, but are not limited to, indoor air quality and ventilation, thermal comfort, natural and artificial light tailored to circadian rhythms, noise and acoustics, active design, exterior views and biophilic design that mimicking the materials and shapes of the natural world to promote wellbeing.


San Francisco skyline

Denver has become a leader in this new type of development, Attema said. As the seventh healthiest city in the US, wellness is anchored in its culture according to America’s Health Rankings.

“Promoting the health and wellness movement in this region is critical as Denver and Colorado as a whole are very healthy and physically active,” Attema said. “Residents go outside more than anywhere else in the country, so bringing this into the office makes a remarkable difference.”

Taking advantage of the growing demand for health and wellness design in the workplace, Stok implements biophilic design principles that combine nature with design to create habitats where people thrive. The company has explored this design strategy in several projects in Denver, as design plays an influential role in promoting health and wellbeing.

“It’s more than just having a living wall and putting a planter every 50 feet,” Attema said. “It’s so much more than that. Biophilic design uses natural colors, elements and materials that are integrated with natural shapes, patterns and daylight. And it’s not qualitative jargon – these strategies have been tested and proven. High performance buildings really do affect people’s ability to function in the built environment. “

Building with the health and wellbeing of residents in mind has a significant financial advantage. According to a new whitepaper from stok, focusing on wellness upgrades can generate over $ 23,000 in net value per employee over a 10 year period. Combined with the lower cost of living in Denver compared to the Bay Area Moving an office to Colorado offers savings for both the employer and the employee.

While many tech companies moving to the Denver area are either smaller tech companies or satellite offices, those companies will grow and mature over time as the Denver lifestyle attracts more talent and becomes a major technology hub, Attema said. Wellness-oriented office buildings could drive this growth if the city finds a way to entice developers on the multi-family side to build more affordable housing.

“If Denver continues to offer and maintain this high quality of life [housing] Affordability relatively stable, there’s no reason Denver can’t move from a secondary market to a primary market like Seattle on the back of tech companies, ”Attema said.

This function was created in cooperation between Bisnow Branded Content and stok. Bisnow’s news staff was not involved in the production of this content.