The Colliers report, done in conjunction with locally basedRestrepo Consulting Group, says no new retail centers weredelivered in the second quarter and that net absorption wasnegative at 235,000 sf. The CBRE report shows 880,000 sf of newretail space being delivered and net absorption being positive tothe tune of 450,000 sf.

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The result is a 180 basis point difference in the overallvacancy rate, with CBRE putting it at 5.82%, up from the mid 4%range 12 months ago, and Colliers placing it at 4%, up from 3.1% 12months ago.

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A third report, by Applied Analysis, a locally based businessresearch and advisory firm that tracks 50 million sf of retail inthe market, shows a more dramatic increase in vacancy than eitherof the first two reports. Applied Analysis puts the current vacancyrate at 6%, up from 3.3% 12 months ago, a 270-basis -point increasein the past year and the highest vacancy rate since the mid-1990s.CBRE is reporting a 180-basis-point increase over the past year.Colliers is reporting a 90 point jump.

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Like the CBRE report, the Applied Analysis report says therewere new deliveries in the quarter, but pegged the number at325,000 sf, less than half that of CBRE. Like the Colliers report,Applied Analysis found net absorption to be negative for thequarter, but put the actual figure at 19,000 sf, much less thanColliers reported.

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Part of the discrepancy results from the type of square footagethe companies track. While none of the companies track regional andsuper-regional malls, CBRE and Applied Analysis track smaller and,therefore, more buildings than Colliers.

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Colliers says it typically only tracks anchored retail centersin excess of 50,000 sf while CBRE says it tracks buildings as smallas 20,000 sf. Applied Analysis says it tracks smaller buildingsthat are anchored, such as those anchored by the new small-formatgrocery chain Fresh & Easy. Whether that accounts for theentire difference in the amount of square footage each reportcovers -- CBRE tracks 60 million sf, Applied Analysis 50 million sfand Colliers 40 million sf.

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John Stater, Colliers research manager for Las Vegas, said thatin addition to the difference in the type of product being tracked,one additional explanation for the discrepancies may lie in how thedifferent researchers are treating Arroyo Market Square, a new 1million-sf retail center. "We showed it being completed lastquarter, so that addition to the market was recorded in the firstquarter by us," he says. "It could be [CBRE report] could bephasing it in and showing a large chunk of it in their numbers thisquarter."

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Stater adds that CBRE's inclusion of smaller retail centers thanColliers includes also could help explain the some of thediscrepancy in vacancy. "While I don't track the smaller buildingsI have heard that vacancy is higher in the smaller product."

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While CBRE's research director could not immediately be reachedTuesday for comment, Brian Gordon, a principal with AppliedAnalysis, says he accounted for most of Arroyo Market Square in thefourth quarter of 2007 and the remainder in the first quarter of2008, and that he only tracks a handful of 20,000- to 50,000-sfcenters, such as ones anchored by the new Fresh & Easysmall-format grocery store chain.

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"Some of the guys who are reporting high, strong absorption, I'mnot sure they are accounting for all anchor spaces that werevacated during the quarter," he says. "A handful of grocery stores,several furniture retailers that cater to the residential marketand several Rite Aids all closed up shop and left in the secondquarter, which is unusual in this market; we've never seen multipleanchor spaces vacated at the same time."

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