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DENVER-No one is cracking out the bubbly yet, but the metro area office market is showing a glimmer of hope. For the first time in two years, the office market overall vacancy rate has dropped from the previous quarter. That’s the word from the third-quarter report by The Trammell Crow Co.

Trammell Crow’s figures shows the overall vacancy rate, which includes sublease space, fell to 21.8% from 22.5% in second quarter 2003. “This is the first time in the last eight quarters since we’ve seen the vacancy rate improve from the previous quarter,” Mark LaRocque, who heads research for Trammell Crow, tells GlobeSt.com.

While the vacancy rate is still high, a one-point drop from a quarter is significant, he notes. However, one quarter doesn’t necessarily make a trend, so he is carefully watching the next few quarters to see if a pattern of improvement is emerging.

Veteran Trammell Crow broker Joe Serieno notes the market is still “bumping around the bottom,” rather than mending. Serieno, however, is heartened by leasing activity around the northern Denver Tech Center area, which a number of people had written off as dead a couple of years ago.

Indeed, the overall vacancy rate is still slightly higher than it was in third quarter 2002. A year ago, the overall vacancy rate was 21.8%.

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