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'State of Downtown' report captures remarkable growth

Posted June 13, 2018

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two women shop together along Sundance Square
Retail activity remains strong in downtown Fort Worth. (Photo courtesy of Visit Fort Worth).

Downtown Fort Worth has maintained a 97 percent retail occupancy rate and recorded hotel occupancy well above the national average. That’s according to the just-released 2017 State of Downtown report, an annual publication that offers in-depth analysis of downtown’s primary real estate performance indicators and economic, social and education data.

According to data from the report, downtown hotel occupancy averaged 74.4 percent, well above the national average of 65.9 percent. Strong occupancy and revenue led to growth in the hospitality market with 359 rooms added in 2017 and another 752 either under construction or planned.

Findings from the report also indicate a growing demand for downtown living. Apartment occupancy remained above 97 percent for the year.

Investment in downtown housing is expanding. In 2017, 1,516 residential units were under construction or completed — a 35.8 percent increase in downtown housing inventory.

Retail continues to strengthen with a 97.1 percent occupancy rate.

The office market continues to rebound from the oil and gas collapse, with nearly 100,000 square feet of positive absorption in 2017 and a net 677,000 square feet absorbed over the past three years.

“All the growth we are seeing will have a substantial effect on the downtown economy. With a 35.8 percent increase in housing units and 27.8 percent increase in hotel rooms, the economic impact on downtown from just hotel revenue and resident spending should exceed $33 million,” said DFWI researcher Arrie Mitchell.

“This downtown growth benefits the entire city and county,” said Rick Baumeister, Fort Worth managing principal at CliftonLarsonAllen and DFWI chairman. “The construction boom in downtown will add about $290 million in property value, and that translates to an $8 million annual annuity to our taxing jurisdictions, without the need for new roads, fire stations or other costly infrastructure.”

The State of Downtown is produced by Downtown Fort Worth Inc. (DFI) and Fort Worth Public Improvement District No. 1 to help communicate the underlying economic trends shaping the center city.

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