DowntownDC BID Releases 2016 Retail Data

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

By Andrew Axthelm

The DowntownDC Business Improvement District (BID) completed its annual retail survey for 2016, which was impacted by several significant retail openings in the BID-area this year.

As of November 2016, there were 3.8 million square feet (SF) of total possible retail space within the BID's 138-block area. Of that total, 76 percent or 2.9 million SF was occupied or announced to be occupied by a retailer by November of this year.

Retail vacancy in the BID was 9.3 percent and 93,000 SF (or 2.5 percent of possible retail space) was under construction.

Major openings included Saks OFF 5th and Nordstrom Rack (555 12th Street) in the space formerly occupied by the ESPN Zone and Barnes & Noble. Together, these two retail stores occupy 71,000 SF. 

In keeping with the recent retail trends in Downtown, food and beverages continued to rank highest in total occupied or announced space with 1.4 million SF or 50 percent of space. High-end restaurants made up nearly 20 percent of total occupied or announced space this year, bolstered by announcements such as Succotash (915 F Street), Umaga (733 10th Street), Smiths (901 F Street), Sushi Gakyu (1420 New York Ave.) and openings that include RPM Italian (650 K Street), and Ocean Prime (1321 G Street). 

Michelin released its first D.C. guide in 2016 and it included DowntownDC restaurants Minibar (which earned a 2-star ranking) and Fiola (which earned 1-star.)

Shoppers' goods retail made up 33 percent of occupied or announced retail space in the BID in 2016 and services such as banks, fitness centers, salons and dry cleaners, accounted for 16 percent of total occupied or announced space.

In the coming years, additional retail will become available as further developments are completed in Downtown including the headquarters for Fannie Mae at the Midtown Center (1100 15th Street - 15th and L Streets), Capitol Crossing and the Conrad Hotel at CityCenterDC. 

The information obtained by the BID’s annual retail survey will be presented and analyzed in the BID’s upcoming State of Downtown report, which is released each spring.

[Click here to download the 2015 State of Downtown Report.]

For more information on the BID's retail research, contact Andrew Axthelm at 202-626-1131 or