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Market Report

Denver Retail Investment Forecast

2022 Outlook

Suburban Shops Thrive on Population Growth and Rising Incomes;
Office-Heavy Areas Turn Corner

Return of foot traffic mitigates past losses in hard-hit locales. Retail properties in the Mile High City took substantial vacancy and rent hits at the onset of the health crisis. Since capacity restrictions were lifted in late spring of last year, positive absorption has returned to the metro and asking rents have climbed in most suburban areas. The southeastern and northeastern portions of the market have led the recovery, supported by strong population gains stemming from high-income job growth. Elsewhere, areas including Cherry Creek and the CBD have yet to exhibit notable improvement, pulling down the overall performance of the retail sector. These submarkets have seen rents drop by more than 10 percent and vacancy rise by more than 100 basis points since the start of 2020. Still, reasons for optimism exist in these locales, as both corridors are major office nodes. The expected return of in-person activities this year, both professional and leisurely, will positively impact these submarkets and improve overall market averages.
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