DENVER (CBS4)– Downtown Denver is booming with growth, employment, retail and tourism according to a new report from the Downtown Denver Partnership.
“We had a billion dollars in investment in the heart of our city,” said Downtown Denver Partnership spokeswoman Tami Door.
In the Downtown Denver Partnership State of Downtown Denver report, 120,000 downtown employees were recorded along with 70,000 residents and a growth rate four times the national average.
Employment is up 11 percent since 2010 and up three percent in the past year.
Those working downtown aren’t clogging up the streets with cars because 60 percent of downtown workers carpool, use mass transit, walk or bike.
“Biking increased as a commuting option 43 percent just over last year,” said Door.
Those statistics have the City of Denver paying attention to the alternative modes of transportation and considering options like protected bike lanes.
“We are very committed to building out the biking infrastructure,” said Door.
The rapid growth in downtown is creating some challenges like affordable housing and office space. City planners say they’re working on creating solutions.
More than 1,000 retail establishments are located in Downtown Denver. More than 75 retailers and restaurants opened in 2014. Retail sales in downtown are on the rise with sales tax collections representing 9.7 of the City of Denver’s total sales tax collection.
“We are getting Downtown Denver ready for the next 20 to 30 years, while also focusing on real implementation needs,” said Brad Buchanan, executive director of Denver’s Department of Community Planning & Development. “A number of development projects and plans are underway, like the central rail extension and the Arapahoe Square rezoning process. The Downtown Denver Partnership partners closely with the Hancock administration to ensure we are moving these plans forward in a way that benefits our city.”