NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – There were less vacant storefronts in the City of Northampton in 2016 than the year before. Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz released the city’s Downtown Economic Indicators on Friday.
The report shows that 14 storefronts were vacant at the end of 2016 which translates to a 6.4% vacancy rate; there was a 7% vacancy rate in 2015.
A significant number of downtown businesses transferred ownership in 2016, more than the previous three years.
Below are highlights and excerpts from the indicators, which was provided by the Northampton Mayor’s office:
- 6.4 % Retail Vacancy Rate for Downtown – There were 14 vacant storefronts at the close of 2016 that translates to a 6.4% vacancy rate. This represents a slight decrease from the 7% rate reported last year.
- Meals Tax Revenues Remain Stable – Analyzing our meals tax data provides one measurement of direct consumer spending. Annual meals tax revenues have averaged $680,478 since 2012 with a 6% increase in 2015 and a 1% increase in 2016. Meals tax revenue collected in Northampton reflects an annual total meals spending of approximately $94.6 million.
- Hotel Tax Revenues Remain Strong – After four relatively stable years of annual hotel tax revenues averaging $519,822 from 2011-2014, there was a sizable increase to $667,090 in 2015 that we attributed to the opening of the 106-room Fairfield Inn. Though we anticipated hotel tax revenues to drop back down to 2011-2014 levels following the closure of the 100-room Clarion Hotel at the end of 2015, they remained very strong for 2016 at $636,895.
- Building Sales Increase – A significant number of downtown properties transferred ownership in 2016, notably more than the previous three years. Most properties sold at or above assessed value.