- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The city and its downtown area sustained economic declines at the end of 2008 because of the global economic turmoil, according to the State of Downtown Report.

The report by the Downtown D.C. Business Improvement District said downtown retail development continues to be slow but steady. It also said recent additions in the 900 and 1000 blocks of F Street Northwest continued to move downtown toward becoming a regional shopping destination.

The report said construction and long-term financing diminished amid the economic crisis, making the fourth quarter of 2008 the first since 2001 to have no groundbreakings for privately owned office buildings.

Here are some highlights of the annual report:

The downtown area added jobs in 2007 and 2008.

$9.5 billion has been invested in area development since 1997.

250 more residents moved into the area in 2008 for a total of 7,600.

Downtown visitor attendance hit a high of 10.1 million.

Nine restaurants opened downtown in 2008.

Downtown’s office market is strong but faces two perils: increased competition from nearby jurisdictions and high business costs.

Collaboration and strategic partnerships with federal and local governments and other businesses are key to moving toward recovery.

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