Colorado’s tech presence is expanding, and Colorado Springs is among several cities in the state that have seen significant growth year-over-year.
A new data book released at the end of October by global commercial real estate firm CBRE Group showed Colorado’s growth in the number of tech industries expanding and relocating to the state.
Colorado Springs has seen a 56,500 square-foot net increase space occupied by the tech industry year-over-year, and a 25.5 percent increase between 2016 to 2017 in space occupied by software companies.
Matt Gowler, an associate with CBRE advisory and transaction services in Colorado Springs, said growth in Colorado’s tech industry can benefit everyone.
“In many cases, when a new business comes to Colorado, it triggers job growth,” Gowler said in an email. “It can aid in continued in-migration bringing fresh talent to our market, and it can help diversify our economy, which sets us up for sustained stability in the years ahead.”
In total, 2.5 million square feet is occupied by the tech industry in Colorado Springs, which includes 14,200 high tech jobs.
According to CBRE’s Colorado Tech Book, software has demanded more space in Colorado Springs, with companies like Cherwell Software, Intelligent Software Solutions and Oracle expanding their presence in the city.
Right now, software companies occupy 445,000 square feet in Colorado Springs, according to the data book.
The increase and expansion in the Pikes Peak region’s tech industry is helped by an average office asking lease rate of $12.11 in the first quarter of 2017, which is affordable compared with Denver’s average of $27.59, Seattle’s $34.48 or San Fransisco’s $70.29. The direct office vacancy in Colorado Springs is 10.8 percent.
Other cities across the Front Range, including Fort Collins and Boulder, are also seeing an increase in the expansion and addition of the tech industry.
“Colorado is attractive to tech companies for many reasons, including our impressive population growth, Millennial in-migration, educated workforce, entrepreneurial business culture and renowned quality of life,” Gowler said.
Around 40 tech companies expanded in Colorado over the last year with a positive net absorption of 400,000 square feet from the second quarter of 2016 to the second quarter of 2017.
High-tech companies currently occupy 16 million square feet across the Front Range.
“Colorado’s profile within the tech industry seems to only be rising,” CBRE Research Analyst Katie Murtaugh said in the release. “From startups just beginning their business to Fortune 500 global companies, we are consistently seeing organizations interested in opening or expanding their presence in Colorado, citing our strong population growth, relatively low cost of living, sustained economic growth and unmatched entrepreneurial spirit.”
Companies are attracted to Colorado due to the low cost of doing business and the availability of highly skilled workers, the release said.
In 2017, at least 14 companies opened new offices across the Front Range, including Vertafore, an insurance technology firm that moved its headquarters from Seattle to Denver; Xero, a software accounting company that moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Denver; and Propertybase, a Germany-based real estate marketing firm that opened a U.S. headquarters in Boulder.