Colorado State’s Everitt Real Estate Center 2030 Study Finds Fort Collins and Loveland Office Development Likely to Increase over Retail Development

A new study from Colorado State University’s Everitt Real Estate Center found that it is likely that the Fort Collins-Loveland region will evolve into a higher service-oriented economy with a significant office-using employment sector. This would lead office development to progress at a higher rate than retail development over the next 20 years.

“This study focused on what the Fort Collins-Loveland region may look like in 2030,” said Steve Laposa, director of the Everitt Real Estate Center. “It looked at what employment sectors are growing, the possibility of new engines of growth, where people live, quality of life and economic vitality.”

From the researchers’ multiple independent benchmarks, the study found that the cities of Ann Arbor, Mich.; Eugene, Ore.; Durham, N.C.; and Tallahassee, Fla. in 2010 offer highly plausible scenarios for Fort Collins-Loveland in 2030.

Over the last 20 years, however, the Fort Collins-Loveland region’s employment growth rates were highly correlated with cities such as Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, N.C.; Charleston, W. Va.; Kalamazoo, Mich.; Salem, Ore.; and South Bend, Ind.

Based on independent benchmarks, cities from the 1990 peer group that offer plausible scenarios for the region over the next 20 years include:

• Population –Ann Arbor, Mich.; Eugene, Ore.; Hickory, Ala.; Montgomery, Ala.; and Rockford, Ill.
• Households –Anchorage, Alaska; Asheville, N.C.; Durham, N.C.; Salem, Ore.; and Tallahassee, Fla.
• Gross Metro Product –Asheville, N.C.; Tallahassee, Fla.; Columbus, Ga.; and Savannah, Ga.
• Real Estate –Ann Arbor, Mich.; Eugene, Ore.; and Durham, N.C.

A standard method called scenario planning was used for the study. To begin the process of scenario planning for Fort Collins-Loveland in 2030, this study identifies cities in 1990 that resemble the Fort Collins-Loveland region in 2010. A 1990 peer group of cities was selected based on economic output, demographic characteristics, total population, households and employment. By analyzing growth patterns for the last 20 years of the 1990 peer-group cities, researchers applied the factors to Fort Collins-Loveland in 2010 to determine if the 20-year scenario was plausible.

The findings of the study were shared today at the Everitt Real Estate Center’s 14th Annual Northern Colorado Real Estate Conference, “Reality Check 2011.”

Founded in 2000, the Everitt Real Estate Center was established to produce and disseminate knowledge and to provide applied research solutions that address current and future real estate-related needs of Northern Colorado, the Front Range of Colorado and the West. The center also aims to equip Colorado State University students, center members and the community-at-large with real estate educational programs that supplement standard academic and industry training initiatives.