PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It means downtown is making a comeback as restrictions on businesses and people going back to the office mount.
Hopefully in the next few months we will see the places that have closed finally reopen, said Matthew King, who works downtown.
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King, like many others, is hopefully optimistic about seeing downtown life again this year.
“Not a lot of people go out at night, go into town and spend money. Hopefully that comes back,” King said.
But King’s question is when will that happen?
“We’re bringing our farmers markets back to the marketplace in May and Saturday night in June,” said Caitlin Fadgen of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.
The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership believes we’ll see more people and events in the coming months, but the organization is tracking the occupancy, transportation, and visiting districts for a better statistical answer.
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“We can look back at the estimated pre-pandemic visitor activity and compare it to what we are currently seeing to get a sense of activation,” said Fadgen.
These numbers are already showing an increase. The occupancy rate of the buildings in the city center is up to 9% compared to 8% in the last two months. The number of bus drivers has increased by 3%, while the parking garages are used to 33%.
“This information was especially important for our downtown restaurants and retail stores. It is helpful for them to know how many employees are in the city center during the day so that they can plan accordingly and keep employees busy, ”said Fadgen.
Reactivation can be a slow process, but it happens. The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is hoping for a sharp surge in numbers as restrictions are lifted, vaccinations increase, and the weather warms.
“Right now I can think of about 10 new companies in the pipeline, so there will be plenty of opportunities here to see people gradually reappear,” said Fadgen.
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