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216-acre industrial and logistics park coming to Aurora

Friday, June 4, 2021

Ethan Nelson, Data Reporter for the Denver Business Journal, has a story about the 216-acre industrial park coming to Aurora, Colorado. Below is an excerpt.

A massive industrial and logistics park is on its way to Aurora.

Global real estate firm Hines and Denver-based developer Fulenwider have partnered to develop a Class A property straddling E-470 near Denver International Airport.

The project, Denali Logistics Park, consists of more than 216 acres and will accommodate over 3 million square feet upon completion.

Construction on buildings could begin in seven months depending on when deals are made, Hines director Courtney Schneider told Denver Business Journal in an exclusive interview. She said the space can accommodate buildings between 75,000 square feet and 1.1 million square feet.

Schneider said the site will allow future tenants flexibility in building configuration. She said the area’s growing population is helping fuel demand for industrial and logistics space.

“We’re not a market that can be serviced from another region,” she said. “These users need to come in and have a stake in Denver to be able to meet the needs of the Denver population.”

The project’s location allows easy access to the airport and the area’s major interstate highways. It’s near Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, which also boasts approximately 130 acres of undeveloped, adjacent land, and the project’s partners say nearby commercially zoned land will bring things like restaurants and stores to the area.

“The vision is for all the workers [at Denali Logistics Park] to be able to literally walk to lunch if they so desire,” said Ferd Belz, president of Fulenwider. The developer is behind other properties near the airport, like mixed-use developments Peña Station North and Peña Station Next.

The park will include outdoor seating and access to trails along nearby Second Creek. It’s also within an enterprise zone, opportunity zone and foreign trade zone, according to a release.

“Having all three of these designations makes the site highly desirable for future tenants in the distribution and advanced manufacturing and data industries,” said Wendy Mitchell, president and CEO of the Aurora Economic Development Council in the release. “This is a dream product for our team to market to companies looking to relocate or expand and comes at the right time.”

Denali Logistics Park has been in the works for a while, but JLL leasing agent Mitch Zatz, who will help manage leasing for the project with JLL’s Carmon Hicks and Jason White, said the pandemic’s effects have only accelerated the demand for industrial space.

Zatz said the demand has been growing in Denver for a number of years for a couple of reasons: Consumers’ use of e-commerce is growing and the area is increasingly congested with traffic.

“[These factors] started the acceleration probably two or three years ago," he said. "Clients need to get to their customer base much quicker than they have in the past. It's the Amazon effect.”

Other developers have taken advantage of the growing demand for this type of space in the area.

HighPoint Logistics Park, a large industrial and logistics project at the intersection of E- 470 and 64th Avenue in Aurora, announced in November it would expand by 274 acres, bringing its total size to nearly 400 acres. The developer of that project previously told DBJ that the pandemic has accelerated the demand for industrial space.

But for now, Denali’s stakeholders intend to wait for the right deal before breaking ground. “We’ve owned this land for over 100 years,” Belz said. “So, we can be patient.”