Blue Origin has its sight set on space, but the Jeff Bezos-led rocket engine company is quickly expanding its footprint on Earth in a race to keep up with its aggressive headcount growth.
The company, started by the Amazon founder and based in Kent, Washington, is adding more space to its Denver-area portfolio after leasing roughly 36,000 square feet at a property it initially moved into about a year ago, according to multiple brokerage reports. The aerospace company now occupies three of the six floors at the 8744 Lucent Blvd. building in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.
Blue Origin has been leasing large chunks of real estate across the country in recent years as it strengthens its stake in the lucrative aerospace market. It has added more space across its hubs in Washington State, West Texas, Denver, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., as it tries to fill more than 1,000 positions across the country.
A representative for Blue Origin did not respond to multiple requests to provide additional details regarding the Highlands Ranch lease. The company is advertising for nearly 150 jobs in the Denver area, including for engineering and lab technician positions, according to Blue Origins website.
The national aerospace industry, which largely relies on government and commercial business, has been insulated from some of the economic turmoil that has kept traditional office tenants from committing big leasing decisions. Aerospace and defense companies have accounted for about 6% of all office leasing activity in the Denver area over the past year, according to CBRE data.
Some of the largest deals last year were signed by Ball Aerospace and the Southwest Research Institute, boosting leasing activity at a point when the city is still trying to rebuild some of the momentum it lost to the pandemic. Blue Origin partner Sierra Space, a privately-owned company with a hub in Louisville, signed two new leases in late 2022 in the Boulder area to add about 180,000 square feet to its national real estate footprint.
Blue Origins’ choice to expand in the Highlands Ranch area fits with Bezos’ notoriously secretive nature. The Denver suburb is located about 15 miles south of downtown and is largely populated with residential developments and outdoor retail centers. Office tenants have collectively signed just 116,500 square feet of space over the past year, according to CoStar data.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Nicholas Pavlakovich and Matthew Gautreau brokered the deal on behalf of MetLife, the landlord at 8744 Lucent Blvd.