Denver Retail Spaces Reach Lowest Vacancy Levels In A Decade

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
<p>A worker toils on a new home under construction in south Denver in a file photo.</p>

Lease rates for Denver businesses are at their highest level in nearly a decade, according to research from real estate firm CBRE. Vacancy rates have fallen below 5.9 percent for the first time since 2006.

Even the suburbs are filling up, says Dan Miller, senior vice president of retail tenant representation at CBRE.

"When the market tightens up you see people get creative and convert unique buildings and maybe step outside the main thoroughfares and try something a little one-off if you will, and sometimes those are very well received," Miller said.

But Miller also says contractors are having a tough time finding labor, which is a big drag on building any new space. Retail construction activity is just a fraction of its pre-recession level.