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Downtown Ann Arbor may be starting a comeback from pandemic business woes

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Destination Ann Arbor
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Downtown Ann Arbor

Despite a string of business closures along Ann Arbor’s downtown streets as a result of pandemic pressures, there are signs that the city’s downtown may have started a rebound.

Officials with Ann Arbor’s Downtown Development Authority say they understand the crisis has taken its toll on many downtown businesses that were forced to close shop over the two-year long COVID crisis.

But Jeff Watson, executive director of the local DDA, says there are some positive signs in terms of recent parking revenues. He says those parking numbers had dropped 50% during the height of the pandemic are now showing gains of 50% from year-ago levels.          

“It’s not where it was pre-pandemic, but we are seeing an improvement in parking revenue which is an indication that more people are coming into the downtown and parking."

He’s hoping there will be renewed interest in the empty downtown retail space as foot traffic continues to increase.

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Cathy Shafran is WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
Cathy Shafran is WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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