The vacancy rate in downtown Aspen is hovering between 7-8 percent, as it was last fall.With the exception of the downturn after the 2001 terrorist attacks and the current recession, Aspen has always enjoyed less than a 2 percent vacancy rate, according to brokers.
As a result, lease rates are plummeting — by as much as 30 to 40 percent, observers say. High-profile spaces used to command $150 a square foot, now they are being leased at $80 a square foot.
DOWNTOWN ASPEN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE – The annual “off-season shuffle” that downtown retailers typically engage in by moving locations may look different this year, according to commercial real estate brokers.“It’s going to be real interesting to see what town looks like on July 1,” said Bob Langley, a downtown broker.As leases near their end, retailers are re-negotiating the terms and the price. They also are looking for smaller spaces at lower prices. But it appears too early to tell which retailers will dig in their heels and stay in their current locations — or move because they found a better deal.
By Carolyn Sackariason, April 25, 2010 Aspen Daily News