CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Downtown Cleveland Alliance, tasked with improving prospects for the city’s central business district, said in a report Thursday that the neighborhood was recovering well from the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
In what she calls its “recovery report,” the agency is focusing on several measures to try to show the city center is getting closer to what it was before the pandemic.
“After a busy summer, the recovery of downtown Cleveland is on track,” the report said.
The main mission of the agency is, among other things, to promote the city center as an attractive place to live, work and visit. In some ways, his work has never been more necessary as the pandemic has swept the streets for months in a city whose population continues to decline.
Even now, as more people venture out of their homes and attend sporting events, attend shows and eat out, foot traffic is not where it was before the pandemic, recognizes The report. However, the numbers are rising, even as many businesses determine if they need as much office space as they are currently renting.
Measures cited in the report include:
– The average number of downtown workers, residents and visitors on any given day was 129,210 in September, according to data cited by the Placer.ai company which measures consumer foot traffic. That’s below an estimated 153,000 in the region in January and February 2020. However, it’s much better than April 2020, when much of the city and state was closed, and better than the 82,139 estimated in September 2020.
– The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority reported an increase in passenger numbers, with around 1.4 million passengers on buses or the Rapid in August. Not close to the 2.4 million runners estimated for February 2020, but an improvement over previous lows.
– The agency surveyed downtown businesses this summer, which reported that 90% of them have had employees back in the office in one way or another. Michael Deemer, president and CEO of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, said about half of the companies surveyed used a hybrid model, with some workers in the office while others worked from home, while the rest had employees. at the office every day.
Additionally, 93% of companies surveyed said they plan to bring more employees back to the office in the coming months.
– Twenty-six stores and restaurants have closed since March 2020. However, 35 have opened, according to the report. He cites six new tenants at Tower City Center, which owner Bedrock said in June was moving from a “mall” to a “market.”
– During the pandemic, businesses with offices in the city listed approximately 110,000 square feet of market space for sublet. Of this number, more than 70,000 were filled this year.
– The number of hotel guests continues to increase.
The report says the increase in visitors has been supported by major events hosted by the city this year, including the NFL Draft, but also baseball and football games and the reopening of Playhouse Square. Cleveland State University’s decision to hold in-person classes this fall also boosted foot traffic, according to the report.
Deemer said of downtown pedestrian traffic “it’s getting better day by day.
âThe Delta variant (of the coronavirus) slowed things down a bit, but one of the reasons we released the report was to really fight perception with data,â he continued. “And I think the data validates what we see and perceive every day.”