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Downtown vacancy rate remains low

After reaching an eight-year low at the end of 2018, Prince George’s downtown vacancy rate increased only slightly in 2019 and remained at about the same level in 2020 – even during the months following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is among the key findings of the City’s 2020 Downtown Occupancy Study, which has just been published on the city website.

In fact, the downtown has seen 28 new business license applications and 16 development permit applications, which is an increase from the previous study that was completed in August 2019 and reported 13 development permits and 24 new business licenses. Also, commercial high-rise buildings (four or more floors) reported a 5.1 percent vacancy rate in 2020, which is roughly a 50 per cent decrease in vacancy from 2019. Historical data trends reflecting high-rise vacancies indicate rates have been on a steady decline since peaking in 2014.

The City of Prince George has been conducting annual surveys of downtown buildings since 1983. The information gained provides a valuable snapshot into the occupancy of central business district buildings for that calendar year. The findings assist in redevelopment and revitalization efforts to maintain a healthy downtown core.

The study examines key aspects of occupancy in Prince George’s downtown area, including:

  • floor area available to retail/service and office use
  • vacant and leasable space
  • commercial high-rise vacancy

The full report can be viewed on the city website.

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