Carytown vacancy declines

carytowninsideVacancy in Carytown seems to be declining.

It’s been three months since we walked through Carytown to figure out how many unoccupied buildings lined the streets. At the time, we counted 22 empty buildings, or about 13% of the storefronts there. (Note, our figures are not calculated using square footage.)

There are currently 17 empty or otherwise unused buildings along Cary Street between Boulevard and Roseneath. That brings Carytown’s vacancy rate down to 10.3 percent.

And despite a noted consumer pull-back, some business owners say that they enjoyed a summer of increased sales and customer traffic.

“Most of this year has been better, in terms of sales. I had a really good summer. Our numbers in August were up in comparison to last year,” said Joe Starsja, manager at One-Eyed Jacques.

Starsja said that he has heard complaints from other shop owners, but the complaints seem to be limited mostly to last month.

One store manager, who asked that her name and the name of her store not be used, said that a lackluster September represents the only blip in an otherwise strong couple of months.

“We had an amazing summer as far as in-store traffic, but this month our numbers have been down slightly,” she said.

Starsja also has seen a dip in sales this month.

“September has been exceptionally slow, although it’s generally one of the slower months of the year.”

A slow month usually means changes in the retail landscape. And there are a number of changes going on in Carytown.

The gift shop Occasionally is in the midst of a 50% moving sale. The former home of Carytown Wine & Beer is currently under construction, signaling a new shop in the coming months.

Also on the way are stores like Fringehome, EmbroidMe, and a DC Shoes.

River City Cellars is expanding by taking the empty space next to their shop at 2931 West Cary Street.

And Board Paradise has taken over where Glass and Powder vacated.

We’ll check in again in the spring to see if the strong summer was an anomaly or a sign of progress.

Alec Depcrynski doesn’t shop all that much, but he covers retail, commercial real estate and technology for BizSense. Please send story ideas to [email protected]

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