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Carol Schatz Carol Schatz is the president and CEO of the DCBID.

The retail sector lead the growth in the Downtown Los Angeles market in the first quarter of the year. The retail vacancy rate fell a whopping 2.3% to 4.5% and rental rates climbed an even more impressive 6.6% to $3.55 per square foot, according to the first quarter report from the Downtown Central Improvement District. Residential activity—which has also been strong—has been crucial in driving the retail market. In total, the market saw 51,822 square feet of net absorption, a year-over-year increase of 137,913 square feet, with some wins including Uniqlo’s 15,000-squre-foot lease at the Bloc.

“One truism about retailers is they don’t enter markets if the numbers and demographics aren’t there,” Carol Schatz, president and CEO of the DCBID, tells GlobeSt.com. “Today, in downtown, they are here. There is a growing residential population of roughly 70,000; a weekday population near 500,000; and a thriving hospitality and tourism industry. This dynamic critical mass is now garnering the attention of retailers from across the country. Uniqlo’s 15,000 square foot lease at the Bloc is a real feather in the cap for that project, which is strategically important for the CBD retail market, and a clear indication that national brand retailers are increasingly confident in the future of DTLA.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on GlobeSt.com and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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