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Downtown DC Confronts a Grim Prospect: A Return to the Dismal 1980s | Politico

March 01, 2024
  • D.C. Policy Center

On March 1, 2024, D.C. Policy Center Executive Director Yesim Sayin was quoted in Politico:

It’s not just government workers. Yesim Sayin, who pores through local data from her perch as executive director of the D.C. Policy Center, cited one particularly gobsmacking stat when we spoke this week: “Prior to the pandemic, 54 percent of lawyers in the metro area — and I’m not just talking about K Street bigwigs and lobbyists, I’m talking about probate lawyers and divorce lawyers and employment lawyers and all the lawyers in the area — worked in D.C. physically. That number is down to 32 percent right now.”

Commercial real estate, a crucial element in a municipality as office-focused as D.C., is in a rough spot. The vacancy rate has ticked up to 17 percent, but Sayin says the “availability rate” for buildings — which also measures places where the lease is about to expire — hovers around a dangerous 30 percent.

Read More: Downtown DC Confronts a Grim Prospect: A Return to the Dismal 1980s

Additional reading: The future of Downtown and the future of D.C. are inseparable


D.C. Policy Center

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