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DENVER-Although Denver area’s industrial vacancy rate soared 31% since the end of 2000, it remains at a healthy 6.3%, says Rick Hubina, a top industrial broker at Cushman & Wakefield. He negotiated transactions of more than 2 million sf, in excess of $125 million from 1998 to 2000.

“The industrial part of our industry is often forgotten, misunderstood, neglected, an outcast,” Hubina tells GlobeSt.com. “But the ‘outcast’ is alive and very healthy and going ver well in 2001. It is time for this outcast to take center stage.”

The industrial market has a vacancy rate less than half of the office market, he notes. The industrial market in the metro area covers 168 million sf, the equivalent of six square miles, he says.

“The industrial vacancy rate has risen from 4.8% to 6.3%, a 31% increase, but it is still very close to 5%,” which is a healthy market, he says.

The market, however, will see the vacancy rate rise to 9% before it falls back to the 5% to 5.5% range, he adds.

One advantage industrial has over office is that it can construction can be more easily controlled.

“A big box distribution space can be built in eight or nine months, while anoffice building takes 1.5 to two years,” Hubina notes at a forecast event. “You are able to control the pace of construction easier.”

The local market, he notes, however, also has seen a number of manufacturers announce they were closing some operations this year, including Samsonite, Kiebler and Jolly Rancher.

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