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DENVER-The Denver-area retail market will undergo a sea change next year, transforming from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market, Grubb & Ellis projects in a year-end overview and forecast. “While liquidity is plentiful, banks and investors are scrutinizing every aspect of a deal from expansion plans to cash expenditures,” accordingto the report.

“While this cautious approach will protect creditors from making irrational decisions, it will also slow down growth — the one thing needed to pull the economy out of the recession,” the report adds.

About 503,000 sf is under construction in the 64.1-million-sf market, the report says. The current vacancy rate stands at 7.4%.

“Retailers who understand that the rules of the game have changed will survive,” according to Grubb & Ellis. “Lease rates will dip in 2002 as some industry fallout is expected to increase the supply of vacant space. In addition, subleasing and liquidating will take a more prominent role allowing for ample business opportunities for both sides of the transaction.

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