The Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) issued their 2008 State of Downtown report this week and found that - for an imploded real estate market - things aren't so bad. The BID, which represents the downtown core of Washington DC from Union Station to the White House below Massachusetts Avenue, reports a general trend of rising job rates, more residents, and fuller commercial buildings.
Among the statistics compiled for the report are the creation of 3,800 jobs during 2007 and 2008; 250 new residents during 2008, for a total 7,600; a "record year" for downtown hotels, which boasted a 75% occupancy rate; and a Class A commercial vacancy rate of only 9.6%. Though no new buildings have broken ground since the financial crisis began in September of 2008, commercial projects already under construction are expected to drag down both occupancy and lease rates.
A growth in both daily Metro ridership (108,000 on weekdays, 41,000 on weekends) and tourist attendance (10.1m visitors, give or take a few) helped fuel a rise in "destination restaurants" from 113 to 122.