The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities Report – Now Available!

February 20, 2019

 

Second Edition of The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities Report Released by IDA
Downtown Tucson included in economic and community impact analysis of 24 downtowns across the nation

DOWNTOWN TUCSON, AZ, February 20, 2019 –The International Downtown Association (IDA) has released the Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities: Second Edition report. The report updates The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities study released one year ago, with data and analysis that expands the scope to a total of 24 downtowns with urban place management organizations across the United States.

Downtown Tucson Partnership (DTP) was honored to be selected to participate. This groundbreaking report articulates the inherent value a downtown provides to the greater city and highlights downtown’s unique and impactful contributions while accounting for over 100 key data points based on economy, inclusion, vibrancy, identity, and resilience.

While small in physical size, downtowns are immensely valuable, diverse, efficient, inclusive and resilient on multiple levels. From driving tax revenue and business activity to spurring smart development and innovative workplaces, downtowns play a pivotal role in the long-term health of a region as shown in this report.

Key trends identified in this year’s expanded report are that downtown populations continue to grow and that their economic prosperity increases as they mature towards established downtowns. Additional key findings in the Tucson report include:

• Downtown Tucson recorded a 5% increase in residential population from 2010 to 2018 with more than 15,000 residents. During the same period, the city and region experienced slight growth, increasing by 2% and 4% respectively.
• The number of downtown residential units increased at a similar rate of 5.3%, during this period to reach more than 7,000 units downtown in 2018.
• Downtown generates more than $26 million in property, hotel and sales tax. Compared to its land area, downtown outperforms other areas in tax contribution to the city.
• Sales tax revenue downtown has increased by 66% from $3.1 million in 2010 to $5.6 million in 2017.
• The number of residents downtown with a bachelor’s degree or higher is almost 40%, significantly higher than 25% citywide and 30% across the region.
• Downtown has a higher Walk Score (65 vs 42), Transit Score (60 vs 34) and Bike Score (94 vs 64) than the entire city. 13% of downtown residents bike to work, compared to 3% of city residents and 2% regionally.

“The report articulates the inherent value of Downtown Tucson, not only as an economic driver but also as the centralized hub of the city and region in terms of sense of place, employment, civic engagement, diversity, arts and culture, historic importance, local identity, and financial impact. Though relatively small in total land mass, Downtown Tucson provides a significant economic and community impact,” stated Kathleen Eriksen, President and CEO of the DTP.

The report highlights the mutual benefits downtown investment has on a broad range of relevant stakeholders and shows the impact downtown has on the city and region. The research in this report is designed to empower local leaders to work with the public and private sectors on multiple levels and support the continued evolution of downtown.

“This report quantifies what we have been witnessing first hand in the remarkable revitalization of our downtown – that downtowns in general, and Downtown Tucson specifically, have significant impact on the entire region. Downtowns bring people together to interact and share ideas, help stabilize the economy, foster diversity and put sustainable density in the core where it belongs,” said Randi Dorman, Chairwoman of the DTP.

The Value of U.S. Downtowns report is now available as a free download HERE. Special thanks to Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC) and Rio Nuevo, whose valuable contributions made this report possible.

About Downtown Tucson Partnership
The Downtown Tucson Partnership is a 501(c)(6) corporation created to implement enhanced services for the Downtown Business Improvement District. As the primary advocate for Downtown Tucson, DTP plays an integral role in creating an environment where new businesses and developments can thrive. Its mission is to be the catalyst for making Downtown Tucson the place people want to live, work and play; where new ideas happen; and that is the economic development and cultural epicenter of the region.

About International Downtown Association
The International Downtown Association is the premier organization for urban place professionals who are shaping and activating dynamic city center districts. Its members are downtown champions who bring urban centers to life, bridging the gap between the public and private sectors. IDA represents an industry of more than 2,500 place management organizations, employing 100,000 people throughout North America and growing rapidly around the world. Founded in 1954, IDA is a resource center for ideas and innovative best practices in urban place management. For more information, visit Downtown.org.

 

View the Press Release, Tucson Report and Compendium Report here.