Downtown foot traffic is still well below pre-pandemic levels
Downtown Miami foot traffic is at just 63.1% of pre-pandemic 2019 levels.
- That's based on anonymized mobile phone activity analyzed by the School of Cities at the University of Toronto (read their methodology here.)
Why it matters: After languishing for decades, Miami's downtown is in a building boom.
- The $4 billion, 27-acre Miami Worldcenter mixed-use project is more than halfway complete.
- Seven towers higher than 1,000 feet are proposed downtown, with one — a Waldorf Astoria — under construction.
- And developer Moishe Mana has spent nearly a decade and $500 million buying downtown property, with plans to develop it as a tech and international hub.
- Trendy restaurants like Julia & Henry's have also opened downtown in recent months.
The big picture: Several U.S. cities with diverse downtowns — or having a healthy mixture of office space, housing and attractions — have nearly returned to, or exceeded, their pre-pandemic foot traffic rates.
- Cities with downtowns that almost exclusively catered to office workers are struggling mightily to recover in the remote work era. New York is at 67% of pre-pandemic foot traffic, and San Francisco is at a measly 31.9%.
- One of the boldest post-pandemic downtown revival plans comes out of Boston, where officials are offering tax breaks of up to 75% to developers who transform office space into residential housing.
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