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Page Background While not immune, Colo. adapts to retail shift



ost retail real estate own-

ers have been bracing

themselves for bad news.

With all of the news

of store closures and

e-commerce growth, it would seem

that retail vacancy rates would be

well over 20 percent and that retail

rents would have plummeted by

now. But the fact is, this doom-and-

gloom storyline is overblown. What

goes unmentioned is the expand-

ing retailers, including food stores,

gyms, restaurants and other service

or entertainment venues that do

not fit the usual

retailer profile.

In the Colorado

markets, the num-

bers have largely

stayed flat in

three of the larg-

est markets (Boul-

der, Denver and

Colorado Springs)

while Fort Collins

has seen vacancy

rates increase from

14.2 percent from

the end of 2016 to 15.7 percent at

midyear. Colorado Springs has seen

vacancy rate increase 0.2 percent to

13.6 percent at midyear; Boulder’s

vacancy rate has remained flat at

12.4 percent; and Denver’s vacancy

rate also stayed flat at 9.7 percent.

On a year-to-date basis through

June, asking rents have increased

2.6 percent in Denver, 0.2 percent

in Colorado Springs, 0.5 percent in

Boulder and 0.1 percent in Fort Col-


A more surprising yet reassuring

statistic is the growth in retail jobs

in the state. Looking at the growth

in average retail employment in the

first five months of 2017 compared

to the first five months of 2016

shows that retail has grown in line

with the overall economy. Retail

employment has grown 0.5 percent

in Boulder, 4.3 percent in Colorado

Springs, 1.2 percent in Denver and

3.4 percent in Fort Collins. In less

populated areas where there are

no retail real estate statistics, the

employment numbers are just as

buoyant: Pueblo has seen year-over-

Many Colorado malls are evolving to answer new consumer demands. The state of retail PAGE 12 Help ensure your next retail tenant improve- ment project is on time and on budget. Planning TI projects PAGE 24 Capital One is designing its new real estate locations to embrace the digital generation. Banking reimagined PAGE 18 Please see Page 25 August 2017

Barbara Byrne


Senior economist,

Reis Inc., New York

The State of Retail