Lease rates for retail spaces are holding steady at about $125 to $130 per square foot at the top end of the market and about $45 per square foot for the lower end, according to brokers. Those numbers reflect a 30 to 40 percent reduction in lease rates from before the recession.

ASPEN REAL ESTATE – Available commercial retail spaces in the downtown commercial core are becoming few and far between, with lease rates showing signs of recovery since the market bottomed out two years ago after the Great Recession. “It’s a whole different picture than a year ago mainly because there’s hardly any spaces available,” said commercial real estate broker Karen Setterfield. In 2011, there was a consensus among commercial brokers that the retail vacancy rate was somewhere between 2 and 5 percent, which pales in comparison to 2010 when it hovered around 9 or 10 percent. At the beginning of 2008, less than 1 percent of restaurant, retail and office spaces were empty in the downtown core, according to brokers.Currently the overall vacancy rate in the core is around 5 percent while the occupancy rate for retail spaces is nearing 100 percent, said another commercial broker.
By Dorothy Atkins, May 24, 2012 ADN

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