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“Fort Collins is a small market,” Mokler said. “Where Denver’s average user is 30,000 to 50,000, ours are more in the 10,000 square feet. But some of our larger stuff is getting shown, he said, including the original HP building in Loveland that he is showing Thursday.
Dan Bernth of Doberstein Lemburg Commercial in Fort Collins is less optimistic than his counterparts at Sperry Van Ness and Realtec.
“It’s not getting worse,” he said. “But I’ve not seen an incredible amount of improvement. There’s very little net absorption. That being said, there’s not a lot of vacancy, especially in the 2,000-square-foot-and- under range.”
Bernth said he’s getting more inquiries from people looking for 1,500 square feet and under, mostly from people starting their own businesses or looking to grow out of their homes and garages.
And the churn in space is slowing, he said.
From Jan. 1, 2008, through Dec. 31, 2009, properties lost at least one tenant a month for 24 consecutive months, Bernth said. Since January 2010, it slowed to one every two months. “And, hopefully we’re getting to the point where it’s one every three months.”
Right now, tenants and buyers are still driving the deal, negotiating better terms than they have been able to in past years, said Realtec’s Mokler.
“Sometimes landlords have a hard time swallowing that pill. But if you want to make a deal as a landlord, you have to be pretty aggressive,” he said. “There is more vacancy than tenants moving around. The landlords who are being aggressive are the ones that are getting deals done.”
Justin Morrison, president and owner of Mountain-n-Plains, Inc., a property management company, which manages the Denver Avenue Business Park and Mulberry Commercial Park, said units are filling back up but rates remain low.
“Without a doubt, as in any other facility, office or retail, landlords have had to work with tenants to keep their spaces full. It’s a tenants’ market, but receiving some
amount of rent is obviously better than none.
“The smart landlords; the ones who truly care about keeping their buildings full have maintained or improved their facilities which is difficult when there’s not a lot of income coming in, and have really tried to work with tenants. Those buildings are staying full. It comes down to taking care of your tenants.”
The Interchange Business Park developed 10 years ago by Mokler and partners east of I-25 and Mulberry Street is just about full.
It has one empty building and three remaining lots.
“It’s been going well in spite of the rest of the market sitting around plodding along,” he said.
Envirotest opened an emissions testing station there last year, OtterBox is expanding its warehouse space by 50,000 square feet and Marathon Oil has signed on. The only empty building: Interstate Honda, which closed earlier this year.
“The park started 10 years ago, and we keep chipping away out there. We’re right in the midst of a tough market and we’re cruising along.”
Article source: http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20110320/BUSINESS/103200310