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DENVER-The Denver-area industrial market vacancy rose to 8.5% from 8.2%, according to a first-quarter report by the Trammell Crow Co. And perhaps more telling, the market showed 37,185 sf of negative absorption in the first quarter, after positive net absorption of 160,000 sf in the fourth quarter.

Some areas did however show market improvements.

The Northwest submarket of Westminster, Broomfield and Louisville saw its vacancy rate drop sharply to 10.8% from 12.3%. However, Boulder was not so lucky, as its vacancy rate jumped 3.5 percentage points to 13.2%.

The Montbello/I-70 submarket, which contains about 28% of the industrial space, experienced a modest two tenths of a percentage point decrease to 7.6%.

The South Central submarket boasts the lowest vacancy rate at 3.5%, while the Southeast submarket has the highest, at 16.4%. That is down from 17.4% in the fourth quarter.

Overall, the industrial market is stronger than the office market, but not as in as good of shape as the retail market.

“While (a) 8.5% vacancy is still relatively healthy, any improvement in the region’s industrial vacancy will be linked to job creation,” Trammell Crow notes in its report. “Given that employment is expected to grow very slightly in 2003, if at all, vacancy will likely not decline this year.”

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