$643 a Square Foot: A Look at Downtown DC’s Numbers

by Nena Perry-Brown

$643 a Square Foot: A Look at Downtown DC's Numbers: Figure 1
Development sites within the Downtown BID

Twenty years ago, when the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID) was formed, there were 111 surface parking lots and redevelopment sites within the district’s boundaries. Now, only ten of those surface lots remain, indicating the abundance of new construction within the 138-block area.

The BID recently released a report on the status of demographics and development in that area of the city; below are some of the data points the report revealed.

  • The downtown BID is DC’s largest center of employment, containing 24 percent of the city’s jobs. However, at least 1.5 million square feet of office space is expected to be vacated within the next few years.

  • The office market within the BID has experienced negative absorption between 2015 and 2016, with the vacancy rate increasing from 12 to 13 percent. Despite this, office space continues to be developed and rents per square foot continue to increase within the BID. In fact, the majority of large-scale development that has broken ground in the area since CityCenterDC has been office, retail and hotel.

$643 a Square Foot: A Look at Downtown DC's Numbers: Figure 2
Rendering of the planned MLK Library revitalization

  • Class A high-rise apartment rents reached a new record last year, increasing two percent annually to hit an average of $3.29 per square foot. “No new residential units were delivered in 2016 for the second consecutive year,” the report notes.

$643 a Square Foot: A Look at Downtown DC's Numbers: Figure 3
Class A effective rents per square foot

  • The apartment vacancy rate also decreased to 2.9 percent, with 9,831 residents in the BID occupying roughly 7,100 units (1.5 people per unit).

$643 a Square Foot: A Look at Downtown DC's Numbers: Figure 4
New condo prices per square foot

  • The prices of resale condominiums also hit a record last year, at $643 per square foot; resales at the newer CityCenter development average $950-$1,100 per square foot.
  • About 35 percent of residents were 30 years old or younger and the average annual household income was $131,730 in 2016.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/643_a_square_foot_a_look_at_downtown_dcs_numbers/12485

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