Colorado Public Radio opens office near Denver's Capitol Hill
From the suburbs to the epicenter of all things Colorado, a state network finds its new home.
303 E. 17th Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80203
Colorado Public Radio (CPR) is a state network that produces incredible shows, broadcasting both music and news to its hundreds of thousands of listeners statewide. Many residents rely on CPR to keep them informed about the places they care about, laws that will affect them, and of course, how much snow the mountains might be getting for a good weekend of powder.
JLL recently worked with CPR to secure it a new space near Colorado’s capitol, and relatively far from its homebase in Centennial.
Because CPR produces such ground-breaking, quality stories about Colorado, it was important for it to have a presence near the state capitol and central Denver, as its main office is a long drive away. Reporters covering stories that took place in the city had to travel far from the office or work remotely to avoid transportation woes.
“For us, we were so far away from the center of where things happen in downtown,” said Jenny Gentry, Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration of CPR. “And with the increased speed of the newscycle and decrease of employment in newsrooms around the country, we feel it is imperative to be closer to where there’s news.”
Not only was the need for a closer base important, but CPR was quite literally growing out of their existing space as their news team continued to expand. They needed more space, and they needed to be strategic about where it was.
Because CPR is a non-profit, the economics of the deal were crucial. It had to be close enough to the capitol without charging upper-tier downtown rates.
Gentry said that Executive Vice President Tim Bourdelais, who brokered the deal, clearly understood CPR's mission.
“We have financial constraints as a non-profit,” Gentry said. “ You don’t want to be in the marble foyer at the bank.”
When JLL began searching for CPR’s new space, only a handful of options fit that criteria. But, Bourdelais also kept an eye on buildings that didn’t have availability. So when an option opened up that fit what CPR was looking for, Bourdelais was able to secure CPR’s new satellite office, as well as negotiate a longer term deal than the initial offer.
However, CPR’s new space ended up being a two-step process. What first began as a small, drop-in space near the capitol became so popular that they decided to expand the office and make it into a newsroom they could actually broadcast out of. The ink was not yet dry when they realized they would need more space. Bourdelais was able to negotiate an additional 7,580 square feet for the team, which has transformed the office into a workspace for 50 with six new studios to broadcast from.
The result of this new space for CPR is "profound", Gentry said. Not only did it help bring the newsroom together, but it gave them space to put the Denverite team, an online newsletter it acquired, in its new downtown location. Now, employees that need adequate space and proximity to newsmakers can have that without working remotely or traveling to and from Centennial.
The efficient newsroom layout and its new studios are far more than the drop-in space the CPR team was originally looking for.
“CPR has a friend they can trust in JLL,” Gentry said.
The partnership between CPR and JLL began in the early 2010s, when Bourdelais reached out to Gentry regarding CPR’s space. The two maintained that partnership through the years, with Bourdelais checking in on their real estate needs. They eventually began looking for CPR's new space in mid-2018.
Because the headquarters building CPR has in Centennial was donated to them, the new space in the heart of Denver was its first commercial lease. Gentry said that Bourdelais was crucial in helping the CPR team understand everything from amenities to net rent, the leasing process and lease terms.
CPR’s new space is located at 303 E. 17th Avenue in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood.