Back in business for retail and office properties

Foothills seeing a brisk market for retail, office space

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 2/17/21

Commercial space in the foothills is a hot commodity. The office and retail markets have kept pace with the residential housing market that has been crazy the last few years, real estate agents say. …

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Back in business for retail and office properties

Foothills seeing a brisk market for retail, office space

Posted

Commercial space in the foothills is a hot commodity.

The office and retail markets have kept pace with the residential housing market that has been crazy the last few years, real estate agents say.

“We are swamped right now,” said Bill Downes, owner broker at Evergreen Commercial Group. “There are a number of dynamics going on that have caused a significant increase in office and commercial property sales and leases.”

Compared with the 30% vacancy rate during 2008 and subsequent years thanks to the Great Recession, vacancy rates in Evergreen and along the 285 corridor are ranging from 3% to under 10%, and there are no available industrial properties in Evergreen.

Evergreen has an overabundance of office space, while Conifer has an overabundance of retail space, Downes said.

“The current office vacancy (in Evergreen) is more than in 2019, but it isn’t as if Evergreen had all the buildings full,” said Jamie Macbeth, president and managing broker at Genesee Commercial Group.

Downes said things have been going so well that he is concerned that retail and office space will follow the same track as residential, and there will be no inventory. Like residential, if space is priced correctly, it will lease.

Small spaces

People are interested in renting small office space — one to two offices — and Downes and Macbeth figure that has to do in large part with the pandemic.

“Frankly, some people don’t want to work from home,” Downes said. “There’s a huge demand for single offices. In fact, we have converted some large office space into executive suites.”

Macbeth agrees.

“I think that most of the tenants I have seen have been smaller tenants looking for single office space up to 1,000 square feet,” Macbeth said. “I haven’t seen much movement of tenants wanting larger space.”

Macbeth said he hasn’t seen a huge influx of a specific type of office tenant, as opposed to about a decade ago, when Evergreen saw several medical offices move in.

Needing internet

Much like residential sales, internet connectivity is a big issue, and many working from home without good internet must find another location to work, so they look for office space.

“A lot of decent-sized companies have figured out they can have employees work from home and be productive or in small office space, so why pay for large office space?” Macbeth added.

Other issues

• Macbeth said business owners are looking for shorter leases, especially due to COVID-19, which has forced landlords to change their requirements of a 3-year to 5-year lease.

• Macbeth and Downes agree that commercial buildings are being purchased as investments, especially since loan interest rates are so low.

• Downes said retail leasing was about average in part due to the unsteadiness for retail businesses thanks to COVID-19, “but I wouldn’t call it weak by any stretch.”

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