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Economy

Has the Renaissance of Downtowns Been Overhyped?

Detroit's central business district is making a comeback, but nationally, the trend is less clear
relates to Has the Renaissance of Downtowns Been Overhyped?
REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

When governments or companies fire workers, they reduce their need for office space; no one wants to pay for space they’re not using. It's unsurprising then that the recession and the massive drop in employment that accompanied it brought significant office vacancies across the country.

The relative resiliency of many downtowns in face of these problems encouraged some in the national media to announce an unprecedented shift back into central business districts following decades of the suburbanization of employment. After losing a significant share of the market to suburban office parks, could downtowns finally be hitting their stride?