Members of the Real Estate Club just returned this past week from an excellent club trip to the great city of Denver. I would first like to thank club co-presidents Brittany Harrison and Scott Gibbel as well as WREAA for organizing the trip, and finally, Chad Messer, a 2015 MBA alum, for doing much of the ground work in Denver. The trip had roughly 35 real estate club members attend (20 undergrads and 15 graduate). The first event of the trip was a cocktail reception Wednesday night in the newly renovated Union Station, the “LoDo” area of downtown Denver. Thank you to CBRE and alum Mark Cantwell for sponsoring the reception, which gave the students an opportunity to meet some of the UW Denver alums. With a very packed day on the horizon for Thursday, the night ended relatively early for Badger Nation in “LoDo.”
Thursday morning commenced with an excellent market report on Denver from an esteemed panel of CBRE brokers and executives led by Tim Richey. Denver has seen dramatic growth and an influx of people moving their which has helped drive the demand for real estate especially in multi-family and office. After breakfast and the market report, we headed out on the town and met up with some friendly contacts from Hines Development for a tour of two of their new buildings, one in “LoDo” and the other in CBD. The latter is a substantial project and will be one of the tallest buildings in Denver and with their plans most likely the nicest. These fantastic tours were followed by lunch at Avanti in the “LoHi” neighborhood, this was a hit especially among the undergrads as they were able to taste many different foods and escape the dining halls of UW.
The afternoon was the highlight of the trip for many of the club members. Dan Hanson, a fellow first year MBA said, “The bus tour of redevelopment of the RiNo neighborhood and seeing “The Source” and “Industry” were interesting redevelopment projects and probably the highlight of my trip.” These two projects were old rundown warehouses that were renovated into a market with multiple boutique stores at “The Source” and “Industry” (a tech/start up incubator scene) looked like a scene out of the movie The Internship. Both of these sites we were able to meet the developers and discuss their visions and re-development plans in depth. After a long day touring the city of the Denver the club members had some down time before dinner with alumni, some used this time to rest while others kept their motors running like myself and went to Larimer Street, one the most famous and busiest areas of town. Dinner was at a lovely Mexican restaurant called Tamyao on Larimer Street, and a big thanks is in order to WREAA for making a generous donation to the dinner and picking up the tab for all the of students.
The final leg of the trip was Friday morning, and it commenced with a tour of the Renaissance Downtown Denver that is a newly opened hotel in a 100 year old bank building (see picture below).The trip concluded with a great presentation on the renovation of the historic union station, with Ken Schroeppel a professor at UC-Denver. Ken was kind of enough to also take us on a walking tour of the historic station itself along with its surrounding neighborhood. Ken provided great insight on the development and build-out of this part of town. Upon completion of the tour many students stayed in Denver for the weekend or traveled to the mountains for some skiing. All in all it was an excellent trip, and thank you to the alumni and others who made this trip a reality.