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DENVER-The area retail market continues to outperform the office and industrial sectors, providing a stable anchor for the area’s rocky commercial market, according to Trammell Crow Co. The overall 44-million-sf retail market ended the first half of the year with an overall vacancy rate of 6.9%, up slightly from the first quarter’s 6.6% vacancy rate.

The retail market also posted modest positive absorption of 289,544 sf.

Significant pre-leasing of two grocery-anchored projects totaling 247,408 sf delivered in the Northwest and Southeast submarkets were driving forces in the net absorption.

Strong demand remains for grocery anchored centers, both from leasing and investors, Trammell Crow notes.

The southern portion of the metro area emerged as the strongest submarket in the area, based on direct vacancy and weighted average rental rates, Trammell Crow reports.

The south’s vacancy rate was a mere 1.8% with an average rental rate of $20.90 per sf, triple net. That submarket includes Douglas County, the fastest growing county during the 1990s.

Despite the good news, overbuilding remains a concern, Trammell Crow warns.With more than 3.4 million sf still under development and a slow economic recovery, it is likely at least submarkets will reach saturation this year, Trammell Crow says.

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