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DENVER-Office leasing activity failed to move forward in the first quarter, shows a report by locally based Frederick Ross Co., a full service commercial real estate firm. The vacancy rate rose to 20.85% in the first quarter from the overall vacancy rate of 19.29% at year-end 2001.

The market also showed 1.1 million sf of negative absorption, Ross notes.

New supply, however, was minimal. One of the few buildings to open was the 280,000-sf 390 Amber building in the Interlocken Business Park.

The report notes that the Central Business District still has the lowest office vacancy rate, but it still stands at 12.9%, up from 11.84% in the previous quarter. Downtown lost 240,000 sf of occupancy and no new supply was added.

The southeast suburban market posted 485,000 sf of negative absorption and the vacancy rate rose to 25.2%.

“Fortunately, supply remains in check with only a handful of small projects on the horizon,” Ross notes.

The northwest corridor saw its vacancy rise to 36.01% from 35.23%. The addition of the Amber building contributed to the rising vacancy in the market with 178,000 sf of negative absorption.

However, brokers report increased levels of activity in this sector that is likely to register improvements in the months ahead.

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