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Colorado developers eye Market Street Station

Commercial real estate is plentiful, but a well-known landmark on a prime piece of downtown property comes along once in a lifetime. One Colorado city has such a property that will be available soon, and developers are already jumping on board.

A very rare piece of commercial real estate in a bustling urban setting is about to open up in Denver's Lower Downtown area. Market Street Station, which currently operates as an RTD bus terminal, is set to close on May 11, 2014. The bus operations will relocate to the Union Station site. City government purchased the site in 2008 for $11.4 million. It will take possession of the property when the bus company vacates and operate it as a public parking facility until the end of 2015 when developers can exercise an option to purchase.

A joint venture of two Colorado development firms has been created to manage this project. The Denver Union Station Neighborhood Co. does plan to exercise its purchase option and pay the $14.5 million for the property, and it is already making plans for the site. There has been quite a bit of renovation and major building projects going on in the area, and this property is in the heart of it.

While the developers have not disclosed their plans, analysts believe that it will incorporate commercial office space, private housing, a variety of retail venues, restaurants and hotels. This project is expected to re-energize the LoDo area, giving residents a new center of activity and bringing tax dollars into the city's coffers.

This is not going to be a simple project. The developers are dealing with a massive space that spans almost a full city block, and they will have to deal with zoning issues, the complexity of trying to build in an urban setting, as well as a number of commercial settings that will have to be leased and managed. The developer will have to partner closely with its legal team, accountants and commercial real estate professionals in order to make this a successful project.

Source: The Denver Post, "Denver developers have sights set on RTD's Market Street Station" Steve Raabe, Apr. 30, 2014

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