Retail vacancy for the Denver metro area fell to the lowest level since 2008 in Q3, accelerated by growing fitness businesses and fast-causal restaurants. Direct vacancy rate for Q3 stood at 7%, down 23 basis points from Q2 and down 43 basis points from Q3 2012. Average lease rates for Q3 came in at $15.60 per square foot, down 11 cents from Q2’s, but still up slightly from last year.  There is a total of 190,986 million square feet of retail in the Denver metro area and year to date 1.56 million square feet have been rented. Third quarter net absorption was 380,477 square feet, largely because of the opening of Cabela’s outdoor gear stores in Lone Tree and Thornton and the Target at Tamarac Square. The Colorado Blvd./Midtown submarket (including Cherry Creek) continues to have the lowest vacancy rate in the Denver metro area, at 3.2% and an average lease rate of $19.83 per square foot. Aurora posted the lowest lease rate at $13.63 per square foot while the northwest submarket showed highest vacancy rate at 11.4%. Even though with the decrease in average lease rate in Q3, high quality space still saw an increase. Q3 also saw some strong sales activity which helped push the average retail sale price to $253 per square foot.