2019 - What a Year in Parker
Tuesday, January 07, 2020
From an economic development standpoint, 2019 was an exceptional year in Parker, Colorado with more than $370 million in capital investment and projects representing commercial, industrial and retail real estate developments.
“Expanding the town’s boundaries two years ago is paying dividends today,” says Matt Carlson, Economic Development Manager of Parker Colorado’s Economic Development Department. “The last 10 years have been transformational for Parker. Parker has really come into its own, and this past year has been an exciting one with which to end the decade.”
He says one reason for Parker’s growth is the cost and transportation challenges of being in downtown Denver are forcing businesses to look consider areas outside the city center, such as Denver South. “In fact, eight of nine Fortune 500 companies located in Colorado are in Denver South, and Parker sits right in the middle of that area,” he said.
“Location is a big reason businesses decide to open, expand or relocate in Parker,” Carlson continues. “We are just 25 minutes from Downtown Denver and 25 minutes from Denver International Airport with easy access to both Interstate 25 or E-470 as well as new light rail stations in Lone Tree.
Highlights of 2019
Some of Parker’s big wins this past year include a medical device company that chose the town for its 100,000 square foot R&D, sales and distribution facility, bringing 250 jobs to the area over the next two years. Paragon 28’s new location is close to two medical universities: University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and Rocky Vista University (RVU). Proximity to RVU was a major factor in building the facility in Parker because the company collaborates with RVU’s physicians, labs and other resources.
Etkin Johnson also began a project for a 334,000-square-foot Class A industrial/flex campus slated for a Q3 2020 completion, an asset class that Parker hasn’t seen in the last decade. Carlson said that this type of space is needed in the Denver South area and has already generated numerous inquiries from interested parties.
Parker also welcomed two new hotels to town. The $30 million development of the upscale Laszlo Hotel will serve as a catalyst to re-energize downtown and change the dynamic of Mainstreet. A new Marriott Spring Hill Suites adds 100+ rooms to Parker’s hotel inventory and coupled with the new La Quinta Hotel (opening in 2020), will more than double the available rooms in Parker.
“Parker was incorporated in 1982, and for the next 35 years, the focus of development was residential housing and retail services,” says Carlson. “Now, the focus is expanding with additional commercial office space, flex industrial space and hotels. It is very exciting!” Carlson went on to say that the retail sector is growing in Parker, as well. “We’ll have 250,000 square feet of new retail space in the next three years.”
A Growing Community
Parker has evolved from a rural community to a suburban, and finally, to a semi-urban community while keeping many amenities that make it such a great place to live and work.
“Parker has many of the amenities of an urban business district, like downtown Denver, built into the community. We have easy access to downtown and airports via car or light rail, but not the central business district congestion,” says Carlson.
The issue of meeting the demands of the residents and businesses in Parker, however, is front and center. The Parker Road Corridor Plan, for example, is one way the city is working to increase the transportation flow in the area while planning for development and managing the aesthetics of future development. “When any community grows, transportation can become a challenge. In this instance, the Town worked with the Colorado Department of Transportation to discuss ways to make the Parker Road Corridor, or Highway 83, flow better,” says Carlson. “This plan is the first step in a path forward.”
Along with addressing transportation, other priorities for Parker in the new decade include enhancing the residential mix to address starter homes and workforce housing, as well as diversifying Parker’s tax base to increase economic vitality.
“All three are critical to Parker’s future, a future we know is very bright,” Carlson says.
To learn more about Parker and the benefits it offers its residents and business, please visit the Parker Colorado Economic Development Department’s website.