The report shows parts of downtown at or above pre-pandemic levels. It lists ten new downtown storefront openings and expansions with three storefront closings for a net gain of five new storefront businesses. The report also lists seventeen downtown development projects under construction or in site preparation.
“That’s a very large number. It’s the highest number we’ve had in a number of years of storefronts and new businesses that opened in the last quarter,” explained Will Gaskins, Director of Economic Development and Planning at Alliance of Downtown Raleigh.
“Food and beverage sales, foot traffic all continue to recover. Parts of downtown or above pre-pandemic and other parts are moving there from a monthly basis of recovery to levels pre-pandemic on the hotel occupancy side of things. Again, seeing a pretty steady month-over-month recovery in downtown revenue. And on the apartment side, or the multi-family side of the Continued high occupancy as well as new projects,” Gaskins added.
New downtown business owner Irine Lavigne, who opened 9 Rounds Fitness on East Davie Street in April, is encouraged by what she has seen happen since it opened.
“I opened in April, but it took a long time to set it up,” Lavigne explained. “So it took almost six months and I remember we came here looking for a vacation and then the town was like a ghost town. All the windows were blocked. There was no one there. And during that six months I was building it I could see the difference I could see more cars going by and more people on the street I could see how the festivals were coming and stuff all the movement I can see the difference now. It’s a huge difference between six months ago and now. It’s a great place. I believe in downtown. I like the atmosphere here. I like that people are starting to feel more comfortable. And I love helping people achieve their goals and change their lives every day. And that’s why I opened this business here and we have more people coming every day. So that’s fine,” she added.
The report lists residential occupancy at over 95%, with over 2,400 residential units under construction or in preparation. Foot traffic is also listed up 42% from the same period last year and food and beverage sales are up 29%.
The DRA’s second quarter market report also shows more than $52 million in downtown commercial real estate sales.
Read the full report here.
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