P3 in Action – Denver, Colorado

by | Feb 20, 2017

P3 in Action – Denver, Colorado

With its combination of mountain views and metropolitan amenities, Denver, Colorado has claimed the top spot on the list of fastest-growing large cities in the nation. This explosive growth has created a unique situation for the city’s housing market, with too much demand and too little supply. A 2016 article from The Denver Post sums up this predicament:

“A decade ago, Denver-area builders were pulling permits for nearly 15,500 single-family homes a year on average. During the past three years, single-family permits have averaged closer to 8,000 a year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”[1]

Now, builders are trying to catch up to the growing demand for new homes. According to Metrostudy’s 1Q16 lot-by-lot field survey of Denver’s housing market, the number of annual homes started as of 1Q16 was up 26%—reaching the highest level of starts since 2007. Builders also closed 29% more units in 1Q16 than during 1Q15, and annual closings in 1Q16 were up 23% YoY.

To support its building department and meet the ongoing need for new homes in the Denver area, the City implemented a P3 (public-private partnership) endeavor. As part of the Denver P3 team, SAFEbuilt provides off-site building and zoning plan review for residential single family and townhome structures, as well as residential additions. We also support the City with supplemental services for civil engineering review, and our staff coordinates with Denver professionals to match their processes and protocols. Both Denver staff and SAFEbuilt staff work within the City’s Accela electronic permitting system to streamline and centralize processes.

As Denver strives to keep pace with its rapidly expanding population, SAFEbuilt does what we do best—combine forces with the City to help it rise up to its fullest potential. We partner directly with the building department to coordinate deadlines, review schedules, track plans, clarify code interpretations, stay current with review and permitting requirements, notify the City and applicants of required reviews, and more.

By using the P3 approach and choosing SAFEbuilt as its ally, Denver is equipped for continued growth. The City now has access to the support, resources, and know-how it needs (both internally and externally) to help boost building processes, avoid a housing deficit, and strengthen both the housing market and the overall Denver economy.

[1] The Denver Post, Jan. 15, 2016

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