Downtown DC economy operating at 10% of pre-emergency level

As seen through glass, people walk past a coffee shop counter closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington. The District of Columbia has issued a stay-home order for all residents as the number of positive infections from the new coronavirus continue to rise. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The Downtown DC Business Improvement District has begun economy tracking during the COVID-19 emergency, and as of April 24, it estimates the downtown D.C. economy is operating at less than 10% of its pre-emergency levels.

While many restaurants are trying to get by with takeout and delivery only, the Downtown DC BiD reports 41% of restaurants in downtown D.C. are completely closed.

Those restaurants open with takeout and delivery are pulling in just 10% to 20% of prior sales, the BID estimates.

About two-thirds of the 31 hotels in downtown D.C. remain open, with 38% completely closed to guests for now. For those hotels that are open, occupancy rates are just 10% to 20%.

As for retail stores, the BID reports only 26% of stores are open, with almost all retail stores in Gallery Place, CityCenterDC and the F Street corridor closed.

The vast majority of downtown D.C. is office tenant space, about 76%, and office buildings are largely closed except for essential workers.

Downtown museums, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Capital One Arena and other theater and music venues are all closed.


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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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