Friday, July 03, 2009

Downtown BID: State of the Downtown

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.


Anonymous said...

Although the downtown core of WDC is relatively healthy compared to the surrounding suburbs office market conditions, I would have to say things are not as rosey as they may appear. Owners are offering record concessions to attract renewals and new tenants, and the new areas of NoMa and the Riverfront will most likely compete to attract tenants away from the downtown core. Great time for tenants to look at their options, tough time for owners and there occupancy projections. 9.6% is very high compared to the sub 6.5% a year ago.

Scott said...

My observation of many of the new office buildings that have popped up in the downtown area is that their ground floor space is usually what remains vacant the longest. Most of these new buildings appear to have their ground floor space and entrances only geared at a retailer that requires a lot of square footage. I would imagine if these ground floors were divided into smaller spaces we would see a lot more small independent eateries, deli's and boutiques come into Downtown. Hopefully those in the development and planning positions will see this post and make it a consideration.

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