City strikes nearly $89 million deal to buy former Denver Post building at Civic Center

The city of Denver is set to purchase the former Denver Post building in downtown for $88.5 million. The move is intended to make room for the city and county’s courts, as many non-criminal courts are currently housed in the historic City and County Building across Civic Center Park. The building, located at 101 W. Colfax Ave., boasts 306,000 square feet and is equipped with building security, an auditorium, connections to the city’s computer network, and a 635-space parking garage.

The purchase deal is up for consideration before the City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee and, if approved, the deal could close in March. The building, which opened in 2006, served as the joint headquarters of The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News before moving out of the building in 2018.

The city plans to issue certificates of participation to finance the purchase and will continue to charge rent to The Post’s ownership, generating revenue from parking and sublease payments. Plans to take over leasing functions after 2029 are also in place.

In addition to meeting space requirements for courts, the building will also provide dedicated space for non-profit and judicial advocate services. Bill Mosher, who led the development of the Post building, views the proposed sale as a good deal for both the city and the seller.

The building’s proximity to existing downtown courthouses makes it a preferred location for the city and the deal is seen as a way to inject activity into the under-renovation 16th Street Mall. The move is significant as it reflects the city’s belief in the resurgence of downtown Denver as a welcoming place to live, work, and play.

Historically, the building opened in 2006 as the headquarters for The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, before The Post moved out of the building in 2018. Kayan LLC, an affiliate of American Properties, currently owns the building.

The city’s plans to purchase the building come at a time when values of downtown office buildings have declined due to changes in commuting and remote-work habits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, city officials believe the negotiated price “falls within the appraisal value.”

If approved, the purchase of the building will help meet the space needs of the city and county’s courts and contribute to the revitalization of downtown Denver.

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