When city leaders and business representatives sat down together at the Fairmont Miramar on Aug. 17 for the annual report breakfast hosted by Downtown Santa Monica Inc., they were entertained by the speeches but informed by the wealth of data.

The annual report encapsulates many of Downtowns’ accomplishments over the past year and is accompanied by financial data. Downtown Santa Monica continues to keep its focus on making improvements to the services it offers for the residents, businesses and visitors.

Agency CEO Kathleen Rawson delivered a 15-minute speech describing how progressive Downtown has become and how it is one of the best downtowns in California. She revealed key facts and figures and said, “This report was created to inform city government, downtown officials, and businesses about trends and demographics within Downtown Santa Monica.”

According to the DTSM data, Santa Monica is an iconic place to be and has become a popular spot for tourism. Downtown hosts 36 percent of hotel room’s available citywide. It generates 30.6 percent of hotel room revenues citywide. The average Downtown hotel peak average daily rate is $391.

At times it seems as if Downtown is swarming with people. It has an estimated population of 4,352, an increase of 8 percent from 2015. In Downtown the median age is 37 years old and in Santa Monica City it is 47 years.

An estimated 73.1 percent of the population classifies themselves as white, 12.9 percent Asian, 10 percent Hispanic, 5.8 percent two or more, 4.4 percent Black, 3.2 percent other, 0.4 percent American Indian, 0.1 percent Pacific Islander. More than 52 percent of the Downtown population is male.

Nearly half of Downtown residents have never been married, while 29.4 percent are hitched, 18.3 percent are divorced and 3.7 percent are widowed. In Downtown 64.5 percent of people have a bachelor’s degree or higher and in Santa Monica city 66 percent of people have a bachelor’s.

Downtown is an economic hub and generated 37.7 percent of total sales tax revenues for Santa Monica in 2015. The estimated Downtown taxable sales plus the estimated Downtown lodging revenues comes out to be $1.31 billion. That number is the estimated total economic contribution of Downtown.

Residents living Downtown have increased since last year, according to U.S. Census projections. There are 2,677 housing units in Downtown; 92.8 percent are rented, 5.1 percent are owned and 2.1 percent are vacant. The median household income in Downtown is $48,086. In Santa Monica city the median income is $77,276. More than 37 percent of Downtown households make $24,999 or less, while 28.4 percent of Downtown households make $100,000 or more.

The average household size in Downtown is 1.39 people, while in Santa Monica City it is 1.88. The median rent in 2015 was $1,518 and went up 11.5 percent, making average rent now in Downtown about $1,692.

 

In January the city Human Services Division partnered with DTSM Inc. and conducted a count of unsheltered homeless people and families, including those in vehicles and encampments. There were 102 homeless individuals living in Downtown, with two encampments and 15 vehicles, during the Jan. 27 count. Many are very long-term homeless, and most are new arrivals in Santa Monica and single male adults.

In Downtown there are many ways to get around. There are an estimated 4.05 million annual bus boardings leading to downtown.

Employees of Downtown have different commute methods, with 60 percent driving alone, 10.5 percent carpooling or vanpooling, 18 percent taking the bus and 1 percent using the rail, while 5 percent walk, 5 percent bike and 5 percent telecommute.

The Downtown resident commute methods vary as well. Nearly 59 percent drive alone, 20.7 percent walk, 10.8 percent telecommute, 5.9 percent carpool, 2.7 percent take the bus and 0.1 percent bike. About 50.9 percent of Downtown residents travel less than 20 minutes to work. Only 26.2 percent of Downtown residents do not own a vehicle. There were an estimated 48,723 bikeshare trips beginning and ending in Downtown from Jan. 1 to June 30.

The Downtown core employment was at 21,530 for 2015-16 and the estimated annual payroll is $2.24 billion. The top three sectors of employment in Downtown are accommodation and food services (19.5 percent), retail trade (19.2 percent) and professional, scientific, and tech services (11.6 percent). The top five largest Downtown employers are Fairmont Miramar Hotel with 405 employees, Santa Monica Amusements LLC (312), Cheesecake Factory restaurant (300), TrueCar (286), and Macerich Co. (276).

Santa Monica is known for the beautiful beach, as well as the high prices in real estate. The average monthly office rent per square foot is $5.02 in Downtown, while the average office size is 3,208 square feet. The average monthly retail rate per square foot is $7.49 and the average size is 2,654 square feet.

 

marina@www.smdp.com