U District Retail Market Outlook

The U District Partnership (UDP) utilizes a data-driven approach to improve the district-wide business landscape by supporting existing businesses and attracting new business for the purpose of further building and sustaining a vibrant, diverse and healthy U District. This includes pursuing an optimal business mix, ie increasing recruitment of businesses that complement existing U District businesses. The UDP commissioned Land Econ Group to determine retail store sector demand and growth in the U District from 2018-2028. The resulting research is valuable data for property owners, developers, real-estate agents, and business operators currently operating or evaluating reasons to locate in the U District. For more information about the market outlook, business mix, or opportunities in the U District, please visit the online Business Resource Center or contact economicdevelopment@udistrictpartnership.org.


72,300 Square Feet of Retail Demand Growth

Between 2018 and 2028, the growth in retail demand will sustain an additional 72,300 square feet of retail space. As expected, the increase in square footage isn’t the same across all retail categories. To the right is a graph summarizing the demand growth in terms of retail square feet. The largest increases in sustainable demand are:

  • 22,300 square feet of grocery stores;

  • 11,300 of restaurants; and

  • 10,700 of general merchandise.


Computation of Retail Demand 2018-2028

Over the next decade, changing demographics, accessibility and a multitude of other factors will impact retail demand in the U District. Analyzing these factors generated the model on the right. The farthest right column, ‘Demand Growth 2018-28’ shows how the supportable square footage will grow across the different retail store sectors. In the case of Apparel and Accessories, the supportable square footage is projected to decrease. The column ‘Estimated Local Supportable Square Feet: 2028’, forecasts the retail demand in terms of square footage. This demand also represents the optimal mix of retail square footage for the purpose of further building and sustaining a vibrant, diverse and healthy U District


The Retail Saturation Study

The Retail Saturation Study includes much more information than the data above. Download your own copy of the report.

For more information about the market outlook, business mix, or opportunities in the U District, please visit the online Business Resource Center or contact economicdevelopment@udistrictpartnership.org.


Communication Builds Community: If you are a business operator or property owner in the U District and haven’t sent us your contact information in 2018-19, please update it today.