The city of Denver is expanding its use of private office space to another floor in The Denver Post building, in part to accommodate the refurbishment of the main municipal office building across the street.
Under the proposed new $9.9 million sublease deal with DP Media Network LLC, the city would occupy more than 25,000 square feet, taking up the top floor of the 11-story building. The sublease would run from spring 2020 through late 2029.
A City Council committee is set to consider the contract amendment spelling out the new sublease Tuesday afternoon, with a likely final vote by the full council later this month.
The city’s main offices for the parks and public health departments, the economic development office, the Civil Service Commission and the independent monitor are among those already occupying 120,000 square feet on four other floors in the Post building, at 101 W. Colfax Ave.
The 11th-floor sublease would increase the total of the city’s deals to nearly $42 million, with staggered end dates in the 2020s.
Julie Smith, a spokesperson for the Denver Department of Finance, said the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Office Building, which opened in 2002 across 15th Street, is undergoing a gradual refurbishment. The extra space in the Post building will allow for temporary relocations of various offices during that process, she said, but officials haven’t decided on the ultimate use of the new space.
The city has agreed to pay $32 per square foot each year for the 11th-floor space, up from the $28.20 gross rate paid in its previous sublease deal in early 2018. Smith attributed the increase both to market changes and the 11th floor’s “higher-level finishes,” adding that the executive floor was the only new space available in the building.
The Post is in the process of moving the last of its operations out of the building, as corporate employees now on the 11th floor join the news operation and other departments at The Post’s Washington Street facility in Adams County.
The newspaper’s owner doesn’t own the building but holds a long-term lease for most of the space. It has subleased it out to several tenants in recent years, with city government becoming the largest occupant.
In 2017, The Post examined city government’s rapid expansion since the end of the Great Recession, including a hiring spree that spurred the leasing of more private office space. At the time, city officials defended their decisions as fiscally prudent.