Leasing opportunities abound in Grand Valley

Grand Junction office rentals remain steady despite a downward national trend.

Vacancy rates for office space in the Grand Junction area range from 5 percent to 8 percent, according to the results of a survey conducted by the City of Grand Junction. Meanwhile, vacancy rates range from 10 percent to 15 percent in some major metropolitan areas.

Statewide, Colorado business leaders feel more confident about the economy despite an unemployment rate that remains stubbornly high.

The Leeds Business Confidence Index (LBCI) rose to 56.8 for the second quarter of 2011, the highest level since the second quarter of 2006. Business activity is expected to increase, but without a corresponding increase in hiring.

In Mesa County, the jobless rate remains higher than the statewide rate.

Many Grand Valley landlords offer concessions and incentives to lease vacant space. And some landlords struggle to maintain occupancy in older and less attractive buildings. Generally, though, the Grand Valley hasn’t experienced the same struggles as other parts of the country.

The leasing market, especially in the north area around the airport and downtown core area, has experienced more activity.

One example of this increased activity is the lease of an almost 8,000 square-foot building on North Crest Drive to a government entity.

The Downtown Uplift renovation project remains under way in the 400 to 600 blocks of Main Street, affecting nearby retail businesses. But downtown businesses and offices will benefit from the completion of this project in early summer.

Some North Avenue properties are suffering with the departure or closing of retail and service businesses, including City Market and StarTek. But with its great visibility, North Avenue will recover in time.

There’s a great range of office space available — from high-end, full-service leases in newer buildings to affordable, smaller spaces in established areas. This offers choices for everyone from large corporate clients to small startups. This is a great time to buy as well, with competitive pricing and a few bank-owned properties on the market.

As the economy improves locally and nationally, there will still be great opportunities to lease or purchase in the Grand Valley market.