The closing of the Sweet Briar bookstore in the G Street strip of shops draws attention to the wider phenomenon of business closings there.
For years--if not decades--almost all of the nine shop-spaces were occupied most all the time.
But the occupancy rate has been declining in recent years. More ominously, the fall-off seems to have started several years before the bubble burst.
When the Sweet Briar closes, five of the nine spaces will be empty.
Oddly, I read claims that in the Downtown overall the commercial property vacancy rate is relatively low. My own casual observation is in accord with that claim.
Compounding the puzzle, the favorite culprit of business failure--lack of parking--cannot be invoked here.
What other factor or factors might be at work? Landlord policies or rents? Distance from the “heart” of the Downtown? Other?