Industry Research

Boulder, Colorado: Primary Employers Study

We are currently conducting a study of primary employers for the City of Boulder, Colorado. The purpose of the study is to identify firms located within City boundaries that export a majority of their products and services outside of Boulder County; to examine the real estate requirements of those firms (and their employees); and to help the City develop economic strategies and public policies designed to keep primary employers in Boulder.

Colorado’s High Performance Commercial Buildings: An Index and Market Evaluation

State industry leaders remain skeptical about the business case for high performance commercial buildings. To compare these buildings with conventional buildings, Colorado CoStar, LEED®, and ENERGY STAR® data were analyzed to evaluate financial outcomes, and a survey and index were developed to assess leaders’ views of supply/demand, barriers, and incentives. Results indicate a modest rent premium for LEED and ENERGY STAR buildings, and that price and operating costs are the top factors influencing decision making. The evaluation of state-level business cases is challenging due to the lack of available performance data, the trend to not seek certification, and small sample sizes.


Colorado High Performance Building Study: Market Expectations and Factors Influencing Growth

State and local conventional real estate industry experts remain skeptical about the high performance commercial building business case despite the growing body of national research and major market case studies that demonstrate a premium for LEED and ENERGY STAR certified buildings. We developed a quantitative and qualitative approach to evaluate Colorado’s high performance commercial building business case.

Even though Colorado is a market leader for LEED and ENERGY STAR certified buildings, the percentage of the entire stock of 70,000 commercial buildings is less than 1%. Of the 70,000, adequate data are available for less than 1% of the commercial attributes (sales price, rent, size, year built, year renovated, etc.) needed to analyze whether these buildings command a premium, and it was estimated that the 1% has significant errors. While the regression models for rent and sales prices were significant, they only accounted for small variation of the models.

The industry expert survey revealed that the financial case is the most important decision‐making factor. The new Colorado High Performance Commercial Building Index indicated that demand for leasing and purchasing high performance commercial buildings in 2012 is expected to be greater than building supply. Moving forward, we recommend that the Colorado commercial building industry (1) improve the quality of the data for the entire building stock; (2) develop transparent case studies with detailed financial analyses; and (3) work with utilities and building owners voluntarily and/or through regulation to obtain critical performance data related to energy consumption, water consumption, and productivity. Additionally, a method to identify non‐LEED or ‐ENERGY STAR certified high performance commercial buildings, a.k.a “All But Certified,” will be a critical step to evaluating the future business case.


Arvada, Colorado: Land Use Study

This study forecasts expected land use, by property type, for the City of Arvada, Colorado, for the next twenty five years. The study begins with forecasts of population and employment growth for Arvada; puts the people into households and the households into residential dwellings (e.g. single family and multifamily); puts the employment growth into office and industrial space, by industry category; and estimates the demand for retail space by forecasting expected consumers’ expenditures on various categories of consumer goods (e.g. grocery stores, furniture stores, etc.). The study also examines the fiscal consequences of the expected population and employment growth.


Boulder,Colorado: Affordable Housing Study

This study examines the City of Boulder's Affordable Housing Programs. Around 2000, the City of Boulder established a goal of having about ten percent of the City’s housing stock be permanently affordable. The City developed plans to create and maintain permanently affordable housing for both renter-occupied and owner-occupied housing. This reports examines the demand for affordable housing in Boulder, describes Boulder’s Affordable Housing programs and compares Boulder’s Affordable Housing Programs to programs in eight other cities (Portland, OR; Madison, WI; Bellevue, WA; Chapel Hill, NC; Aspen, CO; Vail, CO; Steamboat Springs, CO and Burlington, VT).


Economic Impact of Multifamily and Commercial Real Estate on Colorado’s Economy

This study examines the economic impact that multifamily, office, industrial, retail and hotel properties have on Colorado’s economy. The study estimated both the direct and indirect impacts that new construction, tenant improvements, transactions, property management, and income property financing have on Colorado’s economy. Economic impacts are reported for the entire state of Colorado, for eight economic regions in Colorado and by county. The study concluded that, in 2006, direct income producing property spending was estimated at $12.3 billion, or 5.4% of Colorado’s economy. The total (direct and indirect) economic impact that income-producing properties had on the State’s output totaled $24.3 billion, or 10.5% of Colorado’s economy.


Vail, Colorado: Sustainable Building Handbook

Vail Resorts and the Leeds School of Business have partnered on a long-term research project that will establish new, more comprehensive, green development standards. The MBA team working with Vail created a how-to guide for green development and a database of energy efficient technologies. This hand-book and database, which will primarily focus on development in mountainous regions, is intended for the public use, thereby allowing any developer to access it.


Full Project