Growth in Denver and What that Means for Small Business

For this post, we are going to talk about something that has been on a lot of people’s minds for at least the past few years. We are talking about growth in Denver, and what a key concern with this growth should be for small businesses.

The Metro Denver’s population growth rate has held steady at a high level of 1.5% annually between 2004 and 2014 according to the MetroDenver Economic Development Corporation. In January of this year, Forbes ranked Denver #6 among the top twenty fastest growing cities in the country. More recently, in June, Metro Denver ranked #1 in economic job growth among the top ten Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

With the growing population, as well as the booming economic environment, these people and businesses all have to go somewhere. As to be expected, the Denver area has been experiencing some growing pains, especially when it comes to both residential and commercial space availability and rates. Over the past year, rental rates for offices in Denver jumped up 7.5 percent, which amounts to the 6th biggest jump in the country. Residential rental rates increased 9% over the last year, the highest in the country, even higher than notoriously high rental markets like San Francisco. So what does all of this growth mean for a small business owner?

Whether you operate a small business as a landlord of commercial or residential space, or are a small business that is a tenant of commercial space, with this growth and rising rental rates, people have a lot more at stake when it comes to their leases. Your small business might not be able to stay afloat with a large unexpected rent increase on its commercial space or it might not be able to afford to move somewhere else. Similarly, if you are a landlord, your tenants might not be able to afford higher rates or might be looking over leases more critically, since they are paying more. Either way, with more money at stake, people are more likely to get into a dispute leading to a legal battle over a lease now more than before.

After all, rates are high, so tenants are more likely to want to fight to stay where they are now or might try and get away with more at their rented space due to the high price they are paying. All of this means that there is no better time to look over your leases, whether you are a lessor or lessee, than right now. This goes for leases that are currently in effect, and ones that might be coming up. You should be sure that you know exactly what terms are in those leases, exactly when they will end, and all the other details and problems that could arise. Even if you have looked at your leases, give them another look, and have an experienced attorney look them over too. This is not an area you want to have any surprises in, as they can be quite costly. Investing some time and money now with your leases can save a lot of money and headache down the road. Additionally, you should consider preparing now for upcoming lease negotiations that will likely happen in this tight market, and knowing what the existing lease contains is the first step in that process.

If you need legal help in writing or reviewing your leases as a landlord of rental properties or as a tenant of commercial space, then don’t hesitate to reach out and contact the Law Office of E.C. Lewis, P.C., home of your Denver Small Business Attorney, Elizabeth Lewis, at 720-258-6647 or email her at

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Real Estate Services for Business Owners

Elizabeth Lewis provides the following real estate law services to small and medium sized business owners in Denver and throughout Colorado:

  • Commercial real estate purchases
  • Legal review of commercial real estate leases
  • Protecting your assets