Denver, CO

Metro Denver office market starts recovery

Margaret Jackson

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By Margaret Jackson / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) For the first time since the start of the pandemic, more office space in metro Denver was occupied than vacant, according to real estate firm CBRE’s first-quarter office report.

Metro Denver posted 232,000 square feet of direct positive net absorption during the quarter. Leasing momentum continued with 1.3 million square feet of deals closed — a 67.4$ annual increase.

The office construction pipeline also increased, with 1.4 million square feet under construction at the end of the first quarter.

“Activity is picking up — the numbers show that,” said Ryan Link, senior vice president at CBRE. “Tenants are touring and actually transacting. They’re trying to figure out the best path forward for their culture, their people and their business.”

Total vacancy is still high at 19.3%, and sublease availability increased 4% to 4.5 million square feet, but the average asking lease rate for direct space was flat, increasing less than 1% to $31.82 per square foot.

Investment sales also are trending upward, totaling $659.7 million during the first quarter. That’s up 59.4% from the fourth quarter last year.

“The market has rebounded much quicker than many thought it would,” Link said. “We’re still shy of the pre-COVID level of activity and transaction volume, but it’s very robust from a touring perspective. Tenants are being more proactive than ever. It just takes longer to get deals done.”

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I'm a Denver-based business writer with expertise in commercial and residential real estate as well as general business news.

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