Denver’s retail market has strong fundamentals INSIDE The single-tenant retail vacancy rate closed out 2023 around 4.4%, near record low Net-lease Retail’s resiliency has allowed it to remain an attractive asset class Lender confidence PAGE 12 May 2024 PAGE 3 T he metro Denver retail mar- ket experienced strong fun- damentals in the first quar- ter, recording over 356,000 square feet of positive net absorption. This reflects a 52,000-sf uptick from fourth-quarter 2023 and an increase of 3.6% year over year. The Aurora submarket stood out with the highest total for the quar- ter with nearly 98,000 sf, largely attributed to the opening of the 100,000-sf La Plaza Marketplace. Notable absorptions this quar- ter included the opening of the 111,000-sf Life Time Fitness at Clear Creek Drive in Golden and Epic Pickleball’s estab- lishment at the Plaza at Highlands Ranch, exemplify- ing the dominance of health and wellness-oriented companies in the market. While Colorado has long been a national leader in this realm, the expan- sion of fitness, wellness and spa concepts, in particular, reflects the ever-growing emphasis on an active, self-care-focused lifestyle. Many of these companies are fran- chise driven, opening new locations as their concepts flourish. There is also continued interest in the market from retailers specializing in outdoor apparel and gear, cater- ing to residents’ strong inclination toward outdoor activities. Retail deliveries in the metro were up quarter over quarter, increas- ing from 16,000 sf in fourth-quarter 2023 to 134,000 sf in the first quar- ter. This is due in part to the Life Time Fitness Center delivery and Downtown Superior’s Origin proj- ect. There is just under 400,000 sf of space under construction at this time. The driving factor behind this activity is the presence of precom- mitted retail projects, including a 103,000-sf King Soopers in Erie and a 74,000-sf Furniture Row in Little- ton underway. Of the four largest retail projects currently under construction as of the first quarter, three are located in Boulder County. A thriving tech, life sciences and startup hub for the past decade, Boulder is attract- ing more retail and first-to-market concepts, prompted in large part Please see Bayer, Page 22 Molly Bayer Senior associate, Retail Advisory & Transaction Services, CBRE A sale-leaseback can help unlock equity and acquire the capital it is seeking Sale-leasebacks PAGE 6 Carmel Partners The rendering depicts Origin in Downtown Superior.