Xcel serves 1.3-million electricity customers and 1.2-millionnatural gas customers in Colorado. The company's lead broker forthe transaction, Barry Dorfman of Staubach, tells GlobeSt.com thatXcel was drawn to 1800 Larimer in large part because Westfield isvying to have one of the first office buildings in the nation toachieve the US Green Building Council's highest certificationlevel, known as LEED Platinum, for its core and shell.

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"Xcel wanted to get most of their people under one roof topromote culture while also being environmental stewards," Dorfmansays. "There were really nine options, eight of them being newconstruction, all of them Downtown," and most of them needing ananchor tenant like Xcel to take to the bank to get theirconstruction financing.

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Indeed, Westfield Development president Rich McClintock saysXcel's lease commitment is the reason the estimated $190-milliondevelopment is moving forward despite economic conditions. Thelease for 66% of the building makes the building 75% preleased,giving the lender, Wachovia, confidence that Westfield will be ableto generate the cash flow to obtain permanent financing and takeout its construction loan.

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The developer and Fredrick Ross Co., the listing brokerage firmfor the project, also have committed to leasing space in theproject, as has Westfield Capital Partners, an investment firmwhose partners include the presidents of both Frederick Ross Co.and Westfield Development. Other tenants include Apartment RealtyAdvisors and Citywide Banks.

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Given the size and length of its commitment, Dorfman is believedto have negotiated a substantial discount to the $27 to $30-per sfasking rate (NNN) that was in place at the time they begannegotiations. Dorfman declined to comment on the topic, citingconfidentiality agreements. The asking rate for the remaining spacein the building is now $34 per sf.

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Dorfman, president and founding principal of the Staubach Co.'sFront Range Division, which includes Denver, was assisted inrepresenting Xcel by Bruce Dodge, EVP and principal of the FrontRange Division, and Matt Anderson, a VP in Staubach's Denveroffice.

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Xcel will be bringing together at 1800 Larimer operationscurrently housed in two different buildings. The lease on Xcel'scurrent regional headquarters at 1225 17th St. in Denver expires inJuly 2011, the year it expects to occupy 1800 Larimer. The companyalso owns a facility at 550 15th St. that it reportedly plans tosell. Xcel has about 3,900 employees throughout Colorado, aboutone-third of which will work at 1800 Larimer.

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Westfield Development is working on one other big project inDenver called Lincoln Station, a $700-million mixed-use,transit-oriented town center development at the end of the newsoutheast light rail line. The development includes 500,000 sf ofoffice, 1,500 to 2,000 residential units and 50,000 sf of retailspace.

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