Market Research

State of Cape Town Central City Report

This is the ninth, and largest, edition of the State of Cape Town Central City Report, produced at the height of South Africa’s various harsh lockdowns. Its mission is to illustrate in financial terms the investment opportunities of the most successful downtown in South Africa through meticulous research.

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. 


This free webinar was presented by Buxton. To learn more about them go to www.buxtonco.com. Click “Buy Now” to get your free access to this recording today. 

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.

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.

Project Downtown: Celebrating 10 Years of Implementation

The Master Plan for Wichita is a 15-year community vision and blueprint for development in downtown Wichita, KS. The plan was adopted in December 2010 and has served as the community’s north arrow since then. The plan was founded on market economics with industry experts providing sound economic forecast information for commercial and residential development. Since then, the market potential in each of the real estate sectors has been frequently updated for accuracy.

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.

Downtown Houston Market Research Summary: Attracting Residents

This sample research report was conducted to help The Houston Downtown Management District develop a “lifestyle profile” for downtown Houston. Through surveys of downtown workers and residents in downtown adjacent neighborhoods HDMD aimed to determine: 1. what was missing from downtown 2. which unique features of downtown are currently most important and 3. what would be most attractive to target audiences.

Developing a Retail Strategy

All downtowns are dealing with the changing world of retail and developing strategies for retention and attraction. Learn from Cherry Creek North, Downtown Memphis and Downtown OKC, three very distinct downtowns, as they discuss their respective approaches for filling vacant spaces and retaining and attracting retailers.   

Developing a Retail Strategy

All downtowns are dealing with the changing world of retail and developing strategies for retention and attraction. Learn from Cherry Creek North, Downtown Memphis and Downtown OKC, three very distinct downtowns, as they discuss their respective approaches for filling vacant spaces and retaining and attracting retailers.   

College Town Summit 2019 Master Talk Slides

Slides from the master talks sessions featuring Downtown Durham Inc.’s Nichole Thompson, David Dixon from Stantec, and Justine Hollingshead, Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice Chancellor / Packapalooza Planning Team Co-Chair, NC State University Division of Academic and Student Affairs.

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.

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.

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.

Gabe Metcalf Master Talk

Gabriel Metcalf is the President & CEO of SPUR. Under his leadership, SPUR has grown dramatically in influence and membership. Before becoming head of SPUR 2005, Gabe headed up SPUR’s policy and advocacy work for five years. A prolific writer and speaker, Gabriel earned his Master’s degree in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.

Simon O’Byrne Master Talk

Simon O’Byrne is an award-winning urban designer/planner with Stantec’s Urban Places who has been frequently quoted in European and North America media and spoken at many international conferences. Simon has led multi-disciplinary design teams in the planning and delivery of complex and politically charged projects. His experience ranges from intensive urban revitalization redevelopments, to the Ice District in Edmonton, to creating resiliency in Hull, UK, to the Alberta Legislature Grounds.

Holding Back the Tides of Time: How We Deal With Changing Retail Mixes

There is an ever-widening array of policy tools that cities in California and beyond have already implemented or are considering in an effort to regulate retail mixes and slow tenant displacement in rapidly-gentrifying or already-gentrified business districts. With some of these, enough time has even elapsed that we can now start to analyze outcomes.

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.

Downtown Rebirth Report

Downtowns, once shunned as empty, unsafe places at night, are now being redeveloped at higher density and are thriving after dark. Patrons of downtown regional destinations mingle with office workers and resident young professionals, empty-nesters, and, in many cities, an expanding number of families with children. The trends of diversification, densification, and adjacent residential revival are also occurring on and around urban colleges, universities, medical centers, and research parks.

Top Issues Council: Achieving and Maintaining a Diverse Retail Mix

IDA’s Diverse Retail Council is publishing this report to help urban district managers understand where and how revitalization is happening and how to encourage retail diversity in their work. Urban place management organizations are uniquely suited to champion the diversity of their district’s retail offerings, while both affirming the authenticity of the place and focusing the market demand.

Downtown and the Green Rush Economy

Since legalization in 2013, marijuana dispenaries exploded onto the retail scene in Boulder. CEO of the Downtown Boulder Partnership, Sean Maher, walks through the impacts of legalization and shares successful legislation strategies for allowing them to integrate into the market without significant disruption.

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership Advisory Panel: Strategy for Housing Growth

IDA’s Advisory Panels are a time-tested way to explore new ideas, solve difficult problems, and rally the board, staff and community around priority projects or topics. This panel was asked to identify the challenges and obstacles for building new housing in downtown, as well as identify resources and tools available for creating new housing. The report details the panel’s findings and recommendations.

Thinking Outside the (Big) Box: New and Better Approaches to Retail Market Analysis

Urban place management organizations are nimble in navigating transportation issues. The session will discuss trends and how UMPOs play an essential role in planning and implementing projects that improve connectivity in city centers including public transportation, bike infrastructure, transportation network companies and autonomous vehicles. UPMOs assist transportation projects at every level working with the community, government, and transportation agencies through every stage.

Calculating the Value of U.S. Downtown and Center Cities

This year, IDA partnered with 13 downtown place management organizations to conduct the first-ever project to calculate the value of American downtowns, putting center cities into their unique economic and geographical context as compared to the city and the region, examining key metrics based on the principles of economy, inclusion, vibrancy, identity and resilience. The downtowns served as pilots to craft IDA’s new data standard that will be used year-over-year.