DENVER-Thanks to a 330,000-sf prelease commitment by Xcel Energy site work has begun for the Denver CBD’s first major high-rise office building in more than two decades. The publicly held power and gas company committed to leasing 14 floors of a 22-story, 500,000-sf building by Westfield Development that will rise at 1800 Larimer St. The deal also includes expansion rights.

Xcel serves 1.3-million electricity customers and 1.2-million natural gas customers in Colorado. The company’s lead broker for the transaction, Barry Dorfman of Staubach, tells that Xcel was drawn to 1800 Larimer in large part because Westfield is vying to have one of the first office buildings in the nation to achieve the US Green Building Council’s highest certification level, known as LEED Platinum, for its core and shell.

“Xcel wanted to get most of their people under one roof to promote culture while also being environmental stewards,” Dorfman says. “There were really nine options, eight of them being new construction, all of them Downtown,” and most of them needing an anchor tenant like Xcel to take to the bank to get their construction financing.

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