Before we get to that, a couple of caveats. When I use the word “store,” I’m including all retail stores and restaurants, as well as just about any commercial operation that accepts walk-ins. So I include real estate agents, but not lawyers. A children’s arts classroom but not the elementary schools. It’s not a scientific distinction, but I had to draw the line somewhere.
With that said, to the numbers!
There are an overall 496 shops in Georgetown as of February 2013. This continues a steady decline since 2011, when I counted 527 shops and last year when I tallied 510. Part of this decline can surely be attributed to the recession and anemic recovery, but the bulk of the reduction can be attributed to the mall closing. In 2011 there were nearly 100 shops in the mall, now there is only the Washington Sports Club. In fact, if you set the mall aside completely, Georgetown has been adding more stores than it’s lost over the last couple years.
Looking just at the openings and closing, this dynamic plays out. Overall there were 56 closings and 43 openings. But if you take out the mall from consideration, there were only 43 closings and still 43 openings. Not gangbusters, but enough. (Although, for what it’s worth, there were only 40 non-mall closures in 2011.)
The 43 openings matches exactly the number of openings in 2011. And that is higher than the 2010 number: 22.
On a more troubling note, the vacancy rate increased a good deal last year, even after ignoring the mall. There were 44 non-mall vacancies in 2011, there are 60 right now. It’s worth noting, however, that a bunch of these vacant spaces already have future tenants in place, but most don’t.
[Continue reading Topher Mathews’s post here at The Georgetown Metropolitan.]
Topher Mathews blogs at The Georgetown Metropolitan . The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.