DowntownDC BID Conducts 14th Annual Retail Survey

Friday, July 7, 2017

By Andrew Axthelm

A catalog of DowntownDC’s retail openings and closings is coming your way as the DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) conducts its 14th annual retail survey of every available retail space in the BID’s 138-block area.

Members of the BID’s Economic Development team are out on the streets this summer collecting data on square footage, retail trends and more and will release findings in August.

When the BID’s first survey was completed in the early 2000s, DowntownDC’s retail vacancy rate was at a high of 14 percent. That retail vacancy rate fell to a low of 3 percent in 2008, but has since risen— to 9.3 in 2015 and 7.7 percent in 2016.

Early indications suggest the vacancy rate this year remains relatively close to last year’s rate as the market waits for new retail projects to come online and increase the offerings in DowntownDC. 

DowntownDC’s vibrant retail offerings today create a unique and diverse shopping environment in the heart of Washington DC. The number of destination restaurants continues to grow, with 164 destination restaurants as of April 2017. 

DowntownDC next year will increase the amount of retail space available by over 70,000 square feet (SF) as the Conrad Washington, DC hotel at CityCenterDC, 200 Massachusetts Avenue at Capitol Crossing and Carr Properties’ Midtown Center, the future headquarters for Fannie Mae. 

The BID’s annual retail survey will be selectively updated and included in the BID’s annual State of Downtown Report, the definitive analysis of DowntownDC’s economy.

[Click here to download the 2016 report].

For the fourth year in a row, the BID’s primary researcher for the annual retail survey is Ronella Williams, a Ward 7 resident and a participant in the D.C. government’s Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) under the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES).  

Stay tuned for the release of the BID’s retail survey this August!