The Opus Group® Announces Joint Venture with Principal Real Estate Investors for Sun Empire, a Multi-phased Speculative Industrial Development in Aurora, Colorado

The Opus Group (Opus) today announced plans for the first phase of a 316-acre, 3.9 million-square-foot master-planned industrial development called Sun Empire. The project is a joint venture between Opus and Principal Real Estate Investors.

Located in Denver's airport submarket at the southeast corner of 56th Avenue and Harvest Mile Road in Aurora, Colo., the site is three miles from Denver International Airport with direct access to E-470 and I-70, providing excellent access to the Denver Metro and the greater Front Range market. Construction of the initial phase – two buildings totaling 828,953-square-feet – is expected to start in September 2022.

“Opus is very excited about this long-term investment in the Denver Metro area," said Larry Pobuda, executive vice president and general manager at Opus. “The project is significant and the site is in a strategic location directly in the path of growth."

The master plan proposes speculative buildings ranging in size from 200,000- to 625,000-square-feet, with the ability to expand to 1 million-square-feet. The first building is a front park/rear load of 204,859-square-feet, with 38 dock doors, 248 vehicle parking stalls, 56 trailer parking stalls and 32-foot clear height. The second building is a cross dock of 624,094-square-feet with 110 dock doors, 415 vehicle parking stalls, 85 trailer parking stalls with a 40-foot clear height. Opus is incorporating the 40-foot clear height, which is uncommon in the Denver market, to accommodate the ever-changing needs of users and larger stacking requirements. This initial phase of Sun Empire is expected to be complete in late 2023.

“Sun Empire will be a dynamic business park that appeals to a wide range of users," said Joe Swensson, director of real estate development for Opus. “We were pleased to work with the City of Aurora to bring our vision for this project to life."

Opus has multiple industrial and multifamily projects underway or recently completed in the Denver metro area. These include Kalaco Apartments at the intersection of Colfax and Kalamath in the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood; Cadence Broomfield, a senior living community; 19Nineteen at Mile High apartments near Empower Field; The Ridge at Dove Valley industrial; and North Washington Commerce Center industrial in Thornton.

Opus is the developer, design-builder, and architect and structural engineer of record on the Sun Empire project. Todd Witty and Daniel Close of CBRE are marketing the space for lease.

About The Opus Group:

The Opus Group​®​ is a family of commercial real estate development, construction and design companies headquartered in Minneapolis with offices and projects across the country. Opus operates as an integrated, multidisciplinary team with expertise in development, capital markets and finance; project management and construction; architecture, engineering and interior design. The Opus Group includes Opus Holding, L.L.C. and its operating subsidiaries: Opus Development Company, L.L.C., Opus Design Build, L.L.C. and Opus AE Group, L.L.C. Specializing in industrial, office, residential, retail and institutional projects, The Opus Group has broad capabilities, deep experience and a proven design-build model that delivers solutions for customers on time and on budget. For more information, visit and follow @TheOpusGroup on Twitter and Instagram.

About Principal Real Estate Investors:

Principal Real Estate Investors is the dedicated real estate investment group within Principal Global Investors, a diversified asset management organization and a member of the Principal Financial Group®. As a top 10 global real estate manager1 Principal Real Estate Investors has more than 60 years of real estate investment experience2. The firm's capabilities span the spectrum of public and private equity and debt investments, and it manages or sub-advises $106 billion in commercial real estate assets (as of March 31, 2022).

1 Managers ranked by total worldwide assets (net of leverage, including contributions committed or received, but not yet invested, REIT securities are excluded), as of 30 June 2021. “The Largest Real Estate Investment Managers," Pensions & Investments, 4 October 2021.
2 Principal Real Estate Investors b​​​ecame registered with the SEC in November 1999. Activities noted prior to this date were conducted beginning with the real estate investment management area of Principal Life Insurance Company and later Principal Capital Real Estate Investors, LLC, the predecessor firm to Principal Real Estate Investors.