Launch Slideshow

Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, Paul Smith Children's Village, and Lowe's Discovery Lab Architect: Design Studio, Cheyenne, Wyo. Completion: 2009. Brief: $1.3 million LEED Platinum project incorporates two WPA-era buildings.

Cheyenne, Wyo.

Cheyenne, Wyo.

  • Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, Paul Smith Children's Village, and Lowe's Discovery Lab Architect: Design Studio, Cheyenne, Wyo. Completion: 2009. Brief: $1.3 million LEED Platinum project incorporates two WPA-era buildings.

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    Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, Paul Smith Children's Village, and Lowe's Discovery Lab Architect: Design Studio, Cheyenne, Wyo. Completion: 2009. Brief: $1.3 million LEED Platinum project incorporates two WPA-era buildings.

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    Paul Brokering

    Cheyenne Botanic Gardens, Paul Smith Children's Village, and Lowe's Discovery Lab
    Architect: Design Studio, Cheyenne, Wyo.
    Completion: 2009.
    Brief: $1.3 million LEED Platinum project incorporates two WPA-era buildings.

  • National Center for Atmospheric ResearchWyoming Supercomputer Center Architect: H Architecture, Denver. Completion: 2011. Brief: $70 million facility will house one of the world's fastest supercomputers; LEED Gold expected.

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    National Center for Atmospheric ResearchWyoming Supercomputer Center Architect: H Architecture, Denver. Completion: 2011. Brief: $70 million facility will house one of the world's fastest supercomputers; LEED Gold expected.

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    H+L Architecture

    National Center for Atmospheric Research—Wyoming Supercomputer Center
    Architect: H+L Architecture, Denver.
    Completion: 2011.
    Brief: $70 million facility will house one of the world's fastest supercomputers; LEED Gold expected.

  • Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center Architect: Anderson Mason Dale Architects, Denver. Completion: 2012. Brief: $11 million center will have a green roof, a rammed-earth Trombe wall, wind turbines, and PV panels.

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    Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center Architect: Anderson Mason Dale Architects, Denver. Completion: 2012. Brief: $11 million center will have a green roof, a rammed-earth Trombe wall, wind turbines, and PV panels.

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    Anderson Mason Dale Architects/State of Wyoming

    Southeast Wyoming Welcome Center
    Architect: Anderson Mason Dale Architects, Denver.
    Completion: 2012.
    Brief: $11 million center will have a green roof, a rammed-earth Trombe wall, wind turbines, and PV panels.

  • Triumph High School Architect: Design Studio, with RB Architects, Fort Collins, Colo. Completion: 2008. Brief: $13.5 million facility designed to LEED Silver but not certified.

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    Triumph High School Architect: Design Studio, with RB Architects, Fort Collins, Colo. Completion: 2008. Brief: $13.5 million facility designed to LEED Silver but not certified.

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    Paul Brokering

    Triumph High School
    Architect: Design Studio, with RB Architects, Fort Collins, Colo.
    Completion: 2008.
    Brief: $13.5 million facility designed to LEED Silver but not certified.

Cheyenne, Wyo., is the northern anchor of the Front Range Urban Corridor, a stretch of busy municipalities that originates in Pueblo, Colo., and runs through Denver along Interstate 25. But despite being Wyoming’s capital and a federal government stronghold (F.E. Warren Air Force Base is here, along with several other agencies), Cheyenne feels more like a small town than a growing urban area, say locals. After all, it is best known as the home of the nation’s largest outdoor rodeo.

“The biggest thing is government,” says local architect Mike Potter, a principal with Potter Architecture and the president of AIA Wyoming. “They tend to be the ones that do the major building.” All three levels of government have been busy building in Cheyenne—even during the recession.

This steady government work has helped create a stable local economy. “We don’t suffer the dramatic ups and downs of the rest of Wyoming’s mineral-extraction-dependent economy, nor are we strongly influenced by the down cycles of the [nearby] Denver economy,” explains Randy Byers, principal of local architecture firm Design Studio. New development is anticipated from spinoffs related to a new National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) facility and the potential of the Niobrara oil play, a recently discovered geological formation that could bring natural gas– and oil-extraction business to the area.

“Cheyenne should be positioned for several years of positive growth,” predicts Dale Steenbergen, president and CEO of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce. Between government expansion, the recent energy discoveries, and renewed growth up and down the Front Range, it’s no wonder locals are so bullish on the Magic City of the Plains.


POPULATION/EMPLOYMENT
2010 population: 58,000; unemployment is below the national average, at 6.8%.

RESIDENTIAL MARKET
Median home sale price, September 2010: $195,000.

MARKET STRENGTHS
• Small-town atmosphere
• Reasonable cost of living
• Relatively stable economy

MARKET CONCERNS
• Growth challenging current infrastructure
• Economic reliance on government entities
• Downtown in need of revitalization

FORECAST
“Cheyenne will see steady growth over the next 10 years. The city, county, and economic development agencies have had some success in bringing businesses … that help diversify the economy,” says local architect Randy Byers. “There is great hope that the NCAR facility will spawn other high-tech businesses. I also think Cheyenne’s perspective regarding design and development has matured.”