Downtown Berkeley Is Still a Ghost Town

The number of empty retail storefronts remains high in downtown Berkeley. According to the Daily Planet, the retail occupancy rate was 15.1 percent for the first quarter of 2009, slightly better than the 16.2 percent a year ago, but still higher than the Fourth Street and North Shattuck shopping districts. In fact, downtown is even doing worse than Telegraph Avenue, which has been hard hit by the recession and still has yet to recover from the loss of Cody’s Books. Some of the big empty storefronts in downtown include the old Ross Store and the short-term Cody’s bookstore.

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