Market Analysis

Fostering Resiliency: Helping Your Downtown Rebound after COVID

Over the past decade, downtowns have enjoyed a revival not seen since the middle of the 20th century. And then COVID-19 hit. Now that consumers are clamoring for a return to normal activity, it’s time to reevaluate your downtown. To do that, it’s important to understand who your visitors are. 


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Understanding U.S. Consumer Behavior

COVID has become the single biggest shock to downtowns and retail destinations since WWII, and the changes in consumer behavior it has wrought could influence downtown performance for decades to come. But will it? Springboard is delivering insights on changes in consumer behavior across the U.S. as we emerge from the pandemic, using data derived from a monthly consumer survey combined with the Springboard Downtown Index.

Advancing Places: Developing, Reporting and Communicating Annual Progress

Communicating the progress occurring in your district annually can come in many forms. Join this session and learn from three UPMO leaders who are gathering data and creating a benchmark for tracking development, investment, housing, and other areas of importance. These reports are used to better understand the current state of their downtowns and to help determine priorities and action steps. Learn how sharing the results can elevate your credibility and attract new investment.

Advancing Places: Understanding Your Place in Economic Development

Knowing where your organization fits into the overall economic development strategy of your community and knowing your role is important. Join us as this experienced panel of place management and commercial real estate professionals share insights and tips on how to navigate your community as well as the real estate development community to create a win-win in bringing business to your district.

Advancing Places: The Future of the Office

The pandemic-induced work-from-home experiment has altered perspectives on work, flexibility and the office. When COVID-19 is no longer a lingering health concern, workers will not be expected to come into the office for tasks that can be done from anywhere. What purpose does the office serve in the future and how will that purpose impact the way occupiers think about their portfolio footprints, location strategy and office layouts?

Advancing Places: Capital Market Insights, Real Estate and Economic Forecast

The pandemic-induced work-from-home experiment has altered perspectives on work, flexibility and the office. When COVID-19 is no longer a lingering health concern, workers will not be expected to come into the office for tasks that can be done from anywhere. What purpose does the office serve in the future and how will that purpose impact the way occupiers think about their portfolio footprints, location strategy and office layouts?

Advancing Places: Economic Development Foundations

Successful economic development approaches can sustain a healthy, diverse and prosperous district economy. This session will explore major trends in economic development and see which approaches local leaders and officials are utilizing in their organizations. Panelists will explore the various stages of the economic development process and explore the myriad of practices associated with successful district economies. Regardless of your experience, walk away with an updated toolbox of financing tools and economic programs to strengthen your district through development agreements, tax credit programs, revolving loan programs and redevelopment initiatives.

Advancing Places: Consumer Insights for Planning & Policy

Knowing the opinions and priorities of your residents and stakeholders on reopening your district will be critically important for the recovery of urban districts. This past summer, IDA partnered with RRC Associates, a national leader in market research, to develop a consumer survey tool for member districts. The research focused on how residents and customers felt about policies on reopening, safety protocols and their comfort level returning to downtown businesses and gathering places. Join us to hear panelists’ insights into what districts, cities and businesses can do to increase confidence and sales from visitors, along with learning how to sign up to be part of the fall round of research.

Project Spotlight: Activating Retail and Real Estate in Your Community

Project Downtown, the master plan for Wichita, is a 15-year community vision and blueprint for development. The plan was founded on market economics with industry experts providing sound economic forecast information for development. The second project in this presentation is the Open on Main pop-up retail initiative which seeks to increase activity on Main Street, encourage more permanent tenants in the downtown core, and allow shop owners to test retail concepts and strategies.

Authority in Data: Building out your Research Program

Learn how to build out your research program beginning with the basic State of Downtown to more advanced reports such as a Development Activity Report and COVID response report. With a strong research program, UPMOs will become the go-to expert in their downtown. This expert status with help shape your brand and serve your members. Come away with a realistic plan to build a robust research program given budget, staff and time constraints.

The Post-Pandemic Boom for Main Street Commerce

As we anticipate the economic recovery that will come after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, all signs point to the re-emergence of main streets as the place people will turn to for retail shopping and dining. A new generation of entrepreneurs will be eager to start a fresh chapter in their lives. This timely presentation will illustrate how well-managed and attractive downtowns offering the type of safe, experiential, and social interaction sought by all.

COVID Spending Insights from Mastercard (FKA Mastercard SpendingPulse™)

Mastercard SpendingPulse™ has become a leading economic and industry research service to monitor and forecast consumer spending across multiple industries and markets. Reports use advanced models to calculate total and sector-level retail sales based on aggregate sales activity in the Mastercard payments network, survey-based estimates for other payment types (including cash), and tune for macroeconomic factors.

Small Business Recovery

As a small business lender for more than 25 years and as a provider of economic development advisory services for more than 50 years, the National Development Council will provide a hands-on small business tutorial in two parts: what can cities do right now to get low-cost, patient capital to its small business community; and how cities can lay the groundwork for a robust small business community moving forward.

Dana Telsey Master Talk and Q & A Session

Dana Telsey, a thought leader and influencer in the world of consumer and retail, blends her Wall Street acumen with real-time insights into the trends shaping consumers’ purchasing decisions. In 2006, Dana founded Telsey Advisory Group (TAG), the leading consumer-focused research, banking, and consulting firm on Wall Street. As the rapidly changing consumer landscape forces companies, Boards of Directors, investors, governments and other stakeholders to rethink the consumer paradigm.

Bruce Katz Master Talk

Bruce Katz is the Founding Director of the Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Previously he served as inaugural Centennial Scholar at Brookings Institution and as VP and director of Brooking’s Metropolitan Policy Program for 20 years. He is a Visiting Professor in Practice at London School of Economics, and previously served as chief of staff to the secretary of Housing and Urban Development and staff director of the Senate Subcommittee on Housing and Urban Affairs.

Downtown St. Pete Development Guide

Not only a economic benchmark report, this documents delves into topics such as the adjacent residential neighborhoods and education. It was designed to memorialize our progress as an urban center and provide a road map to our community leaders for thoughtful growth into the future. Through our research in this project, we were able to forecast public and private investments approaching $8 billion will be spent in our city center.

Downtown 2.0, Livingston County Commercial District Assessment

The Downtown 2.0 Commercial District Assessment, a comprehensive plan for the County and its nine downtowns, identified shared downtown challenges and established a set of clear strategies and tactics for the County to collectively address business attraction and sales growth, capital investment, and redevelopment.

Then and Now: An Analysis of Downtown Retail – Parts 1 & 2

The Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association’s (DVBIA) two-part series, “Then and Now: An Analysis of Downtown Retail”, quantifies and benchmarks retail in the DVBIA’s 90-block catchment between 2012 and 2018. Part 1 examines non-edible goods and services, while Part 2 examines the food and beverage sector. The reports identify retail mix, average annual growth rates, business openings and closings and the percentage of businesses operating for 10 years or more.

The State of Cape Town Central City Report 2018: A Year in Review

The Report is intended to provide an accurate and comprehensive overview of the downtown economy, to encourage local, national and global investment in downtown Cape Town. The Report’s unique approach is that it not only gives a detailed breakdown (in numbers) of the main economies of the Cape Town Central Business District (CBD), as it is a year in review, it also identifies key themes that emerged and how the city and Big Business responded to them.

The Changing Face of Economic Development: Land Use, Sustainability, and Housing

Millennial demographics, internet-fueled lifestyles, and a sharing economy (rides, workplace) alter land use and tax generation priorities for cities. Retail is no longer just about retail, with “place,” authenticity, and “trips,” becoming the defining components of a successful town center. Concurrently, the state is driving cities to change land use processes based on climate control and affordable housing mandates, while providing development incentives through new incentives and districts.

Driving Retail Growth with Holiday Pop Up Shops

With over 50,000 square feet of retail space available in a six-block radius, the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs, CO stepped in to attract new temporary, pop-up businesses during the holiday season as a means not only filling vacancies, but attracting customers to help preserve the retailers that still remained.

Responding to Retail Disruption

We hear about it every day. We are living in a period of “Retail Disruption” and its impact on our downtowns is being felt in ways big and small. This session will cover a wide variety of ways in which businesses are finding creative ways to survive and thrive considering changing shopper preferences and the growth in on-line shopping. We will hear from both downtown practitioners and retail experts who will share their research and hard lessons learned during implementation, including on-line/omni-channel shopping platforms and the creation of local makerspaces aimed at both supporting entrepreneurs and offering shopping “experiences” that rival what can be found on-line.

Retail Apocalypse: Fact or Fiction

A presentation on the future of downtowns as retail and business centers in a post-online shopping world. Is the retail apocalypse coming or has the report of the demise of brick and mortar been greatly exaggerated? This presentation walks through the common myths and misconceptions around the changing retail landscape in an increasingly digital world.

Economic Development 101 for Downtown Organizations

A presentation on the fundamentals of downtown economic development, its importance, and the difficulties a downtown organization might face in planning for economic development. This presentation is meant for districts looking to get started with economic development programs.

Economic Development 101 Tale of Three Cities – Cleveland, Milwaukee, New Haven

The urban place management organizations in New Haven, Milwaukee, and Cleveland all developed unique strategies to enhance economic development in their downtowns. They took different approaches (board retreat, organizational strategic plan, BID renewal and satisfaction survey) to identify their new economic development focus. New Haven focused on retail and storefronts, Milwaukee on office and new businesses, and Cleveland on business recruitment and retention.

Surviving the Retail Apocalypse: Designing Storefronts that Sell

While retail retreat dominates the headlines, examples abound of innovation in storefront design, visual merchandising and unique experience for customers. This panel will demonstrate components of storefronts to help them sell – from doors and windows, to lighting, visual merchandising and more. Innovative approaches to design will be highlighted including activation of vacant storefronts and the public realm around them, and creative approaches to funding projects.

Pop-Up! Retail

As cities continue to grapple with storefront vacancies, short-term retail concepts are becoming essential to re-establishing the density of commercial districts and creating new, affordable business opportunities for local entrepreneurs. Find out how cities are supporting pop-up retail and dining by lowering barriers to entry for small businesses through regulatory incentives and comprehensive pop-up retail programs, with examples from California and Tennessee.

Making the Case: Market Analysis Scenario Workshop

Today, downtown and urban district professionals need clear and concise data to strategically inform management and investment decisions. This workshop begins with a baseline understanding of the data that can be useful for understanding the local market, including how to retrieve the data and how to supplement the data with local knowledge. Structured as a practicum, participants will then work in small groups to apply the methodologies and analyses to build a comprehensive district profile.

Flipping the Script: Using Housing as an Economic Development Tool

For decades, downtowns were built on the premise that office recruitment and expansion was the foundational element for long term success. Our panel believes that housing is now playing an outsized role in surging downtown success and that the attraction of housing is a necessary precursor to bring jobs back from the suburbs. Panelists will explore this idea with real-world market data and case studies from Charlotte, Denver, and elsewhere.

Event Planning, Advocacy and Economic Development Through Smart Data

We’ve all heard about smart data, but how does it play a role in public space activations? This panel of downtown experts will share how pedestrian data and engaging mobile surveys helped enable partners in San Francisco and Dallas advocate successfully to municipal partners, increase sponsorships in dramatic ways, enhance economic development programs and create special destinations.

Garment District Rezoning

The Garment District Alliance, which represents Midtown Manhattan, recently played a leading role in a plan that culminated in a New York City Council vote in December 2018 to remove a neighborhood zoning overlay, releasing millions of square feet of space from outdated, use-restricting regulations. The Alliance’s budget will be increased by $2.5 million for ten years to fund programming that improves quality of life and economic vitality for all in the area.

Downtown Tulsa Walkability Study

The team conducted a street-by-street analysis (20 miles total) of existing conditions including lane width, sidewalk width, on-street parking, traffic speeds, pedestrian traffic, and ground floor vacancy to gauge how existing conditions impact the efficiency and economic functionality of downtown. With fieldwork completed, the team engaged with city planning and traffic engineering staff to better understand the thought and efforts going into street reconstruction and striping efforts.

Milwaukee Public Market: An Economic Catalyst for Milwaukee and the Historic Third Ward

Determining the location for the Milwaukee Public Market was integral to the city’s revitalization. Being able to create a linkage between the different Milwaukee neighborhoods, specifically the third ward to downtown, could draw residents and tourists into the city in a way that had proven difficult for years. The Market has acted as a business incubator for local entrepreneurs who have since been able to grow and form community connections that provide opportunities for continued success.

The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities: Third Edition

A strong downtown is critical for a successful city and region. This groundbreaking study articulates the inherent value a downtown provides to the greater city, highlighting a downtown’s unique and impactful contributions while accounting for 100+ key data points based on economy, inclusion, vibrancy, identity, and resilience. With three years of data, IDA grouped each of the center cities into one of three downtown tiers: Emerging, Growing and Established. 

Neighborhood 360°: Planning for the Future of New York City Commercial Districts

In order to begin the deployment of what is now known as N360°, SBS developed a strategic public-private partnership with LISC NYC and Citi Community Development, aided by technical assistance from Larisa Ortiz Associates, to develop an assessment tool and analytical framework — a “Commercial District Needs Assessment” (CDNA) — that would help SBS to engage community partners in evaluating existing conditions and identifying needs of a commercial district.

It Might be All About the Experiences, But Experiences Do Not Pay the Rent

Retail expert Michael Berne, President of MJB Consulting, lays out the fundamentals of experiential retail, its do’s and don’ts, how it works, and how experiences tie in to successful retail. Make sure your downtown retailers are employing the age old strategy of experiential retail in a way that helps boost their business.

Open for Business

Open for Business is a project to increase awareness of the West End Business Improvement Zone as an ideal place for businesses to locate. The project was designed to provide a full picture of information on the area to help recruit new businesses to the zone. Extensive research was conducted to gather compelling information on the area specific to what brokers were looking for, and condensed into a format that was attractive, easy to use and understand.

Retail Strategic Plan

The City of Cambridge is experiencing rapid changes in consumer purchasing habits; in particular the growth in on-line shopping that impacts traditional downtown districts. The city realized that they needed to better understand these macro trends, and needed guidance to enable city staff and leaders, as well and the business community to develop best practice policy prescriptions that could be effectively implemented by the City and embraced by the community.