Downtown Santa Monica generated over a billion dollars in taxable sales last year, but overall sales declined by about 1.3 percent.

The economic figures were part of the annual meeting held by Downtown Santa Monica Inc. this week. DTSM is a non-profit business improvement district that funds a variety of services in the area through fees paid by local businesses.

According to the report, total sales for 2017 were $1,154,021,700 down from $1,169,125,200 the year before.

Sales were divided among four regions of downtown: The Promenade, Santa Monica Place, Lincoln Blvd. and everywhere else. Santa Monica place saw its sales decline by 4.5 percent from $218,458,800 in 2016 to $209,060,800. Sales on the Promenade declined by 2.9 percent from $485,877,500 in 2016 to $472,112,800. Sales along Lincoln Blvd. increased by 2 percent to $80,951,100 and the remainder of Downtown saw a bump of 1.7 percent to $391,897,000.

Restaurants account for 31 percent of Downtown spending followed by apparel (20 percent), department stores (15 percent), hotels (11 percent), specialty (7 percent), sports (6 percent), computers (5 percent) and fast food (4 percent).

According to the consumer profile, 41 percent of total spending came from individuals that live outside Los Angeles. Los Angeles residents account for 45 percent and Santa Monicans are 14 percent.

Customers from outside of Los Angeles came from San Francisco (3.4 percent), New York (2.9 percent) and Seattle (2 percent).

The average retail occupancy rate for all of Downtown was steady at 94.3 percent, a drop of less than one percent from 2016. At the same time, average rent per square foot declined by 7.84 percent to $7.22. The Promenade had an occupancy rate of 93 percent but that was actually a 4.39 percent decrease from the previous year. Rents increased on the street by 7.17 percent to $11.64 per square foot.

Rents also increased for office and residential. The occupancy rate for office space increased by .67 percent to 93.7 percent and rents increased by 0.17 percent to $5.31 per square foot.

Residential rents increased by 1.75 percent to $4.72 per square foot while the occupancy rate increased by 1.5 percent to 92.8 percent.

Downtown has 1,405 hotel rooms that averaged an 84.4 percent occupancy rate at an average nightly room rate of $330.62. The hotels are part of the 181 businesses in the accommodation and food service industry downtown. The 4,943 individuals in the sector make an average annual wage of $31,314. The retail sector has 202 businesses employing 4,058 individuals who make an average annual salary of $39,595. The professional/scientific/technical services field includes 367 firms employing 3,976 people with an average salary of $109,233. The information services sector has 195 firms employing 2,735 individuals at an average salary of $153,585.

Pedestrian access over the three-block area drops dramatically traveling to the north. According to the report, 14.2 million people used the 1400 block of the Promenade (between Santa Monica and Broadway) annually. The 1300 block (between Arizona and Santa Monica) draws 10,761,036 and the 1200 block (between Wilshire and Arizona) has 6,403,258 visitors.

For more information, visit www.downtownsm.com.

editor@smdp.com