puts skyscraper on market
The company hopes to take advantage of the favorable
real-estate sector and could get as much as $105 million.
By Beth Potter, Staff Writer
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Qwest is putting a 23-story downtown Denver office building
up for sale to take advantage of the strong real-estate
market, a company spokesman said Wednesday.
The service-center building is at 1005 17th St., between
Arapahoe and Champa streets. About 1,500 customer-service,
computer, finance and archive workers will be moved to other
Qwest offices, spokesman Nick Sweers said.
"From a financial standpoint, it makes sense to do that,"
Sweers said. "We believe the real-estate market is very
Similar office buildings downtown have sold for $115 to $150
per square foot, according to the CoStar data bank that
commercial real-estate brokers use. At those prices, the
700,000-square-foot building could sell for $80.5 million to
"My understanding is that this is an effort to make better
use of their existing space," said Tom Clark, executive
director of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. "If
you have a ready-made asset, it's a good time to put it on
Workers are excited about the move, which could mean cost
savings for some, said Cliff Yarbrough, 25, a Qwest sales
and service employee who expects to be relocated to a
"I may drive a little longer, but it's free parking, so I'll
save about $100 per month," Yarbrough said. "It's a better
environment for everybody."
Information-technology worker Jason Miller, 29, said his job
has been moved five times to various Qwest buildings around
downtown as the telecommunications company has downsized.
"We get shuffled around all the time," Miller said.
Qwest is negotiating with an undisclosed commercial broker
to sell the building, Sweers said.
The building, with its distinctive Mountain Bell logo
engraved in the upper northeast corner, was a showcase
building when it was finished for about $37 million in 1977.
In 1992, Qwest sold its 52-story, 1.3 million-square-foot
downtown headquarters at 1801 California St. for $238
million but continues to occupy about two-thirds of the
building under terms of a 20-year lease.
Staff writer Beth Potter
can be reached at 303-820-1503 or