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The Great Pot Property Bind

Legal marijuana's hardest-hitting side effect is one nobody predicted: a red-hot industrial real estate market.

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When Coloradans voted to legalize marijuana more than a year ago, everyone suspected there would be side effects. What forecasters didn’t predict was that one of them would be a red-hot industrial real estate market. As more growers seek larger facilities (and lower rents) to raise their crops, the Denver market is tightening, says Brett Gilbert, president of Competitive Edge Engineering and a developer for multiple grow operations. The 2014 Denver Industrial Market Trends report shows that the Mile High City’s industrial real estate market expanded for 10 consecutive quarters; the number of occupied square feet nearly doubled in the first half of 2014 alone. With increased demand, prices have jumped from $40 per square foot to more than $80. The competition is so fierce that one of Gilbert’s clients gave up trying to set up a grow house in Denver, instead purchasing a 30,000-square-foot property in Trinidad, a small town 15 miles from the New Mexico border. Now that’s what we call redefining the market.

(Read about the short, happy life of one Colorado marijuana plant)

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