One of the most visible faces of the passage of the pandemic in commercial activity in the City of Buenos Aires is the panorama it left in downtown Buenos Aires. There, where historically the incessant movement of people hierarchized the rental price of the premises, today is the highest level of vacancy.
According to the latest data released by the Buenos Aires statistical agency, in that commercial axis, 31.3% of the premises were unoccupied during the first four months of the year.
This result contrasts greatly with the historical records of this neuralgic area of the City, which showed an occupation of around 95% at the end of 2015 and is a direct consequence of the changes in the dynamics of work after the pandemic, when the home office distanced office workers from their physical jobs.
According to official data, the microcenter has a density of almost 10 premises per block, of which more than three (3.1) are unoccupied.
Other shopping centers that complete the payroll with high unemployment rate are Palermo Hollywood, Jujuy and Parque Avellaneda. Taking into account the indicator of empty stores per block, the highest value was registered in the traditional street of jewelers, Libertad, with 6.2 empty stores, followed by Sáenz and Florida, with more than 4 empty stores per block.
In contrast, the highest occupancy rates exceeded 95% in Avellaneda, Flores, Cabildo, Caballito, Cuenca, Santa Fe and Coronel Díaz, Córdoba Facultad and Santa Fe and Callao. In this last axis, the occupation was the maximum of the period and reached 96.7%.
The clothing and apparel mall located on Avellaneda Avenue in Flores grew with the crisis. Photo: Federico Imas
In Av. Avellaneda, the highest commercial density was computed – 46.3 premises surveyed per block (there are several galleries). Finally, employment grew more strongly in Puerto Madero (5.9%), Córdoba Facultad (5.3%) and Florida (4.3%), all axes located in the downtown area of the City.
Meanwhile, Avellaneda and Monte Castro showed the worst results in terms of evolution of premises in activity compared to the last quarter of 2022.
The Buenos Aires statistics counted in the first quarter of 2023, 15,344 premises in the 53 commercial axes surveyed. The general occupancy rate stood at 91.2%, which meant a minimal positive variation compared to the previous quarter (0.4%).
Vacant units, meanwhile, completed the remaining 8.8%. As for the composition of the vacant premises (1,346), 56.5% were vacant (with no observable destination), 3 out of 10 were for rent or sale and the lowest proportion was under construction or renovation.
Of the businesses in activity, more than 25% corresponded to the Clothing, textiles and footwear category, with a strong incidence in the West zone (1 in 3) due to the presence of streets dedicated almost exclusively to the sale of clothing, in axes such as Avellaneda and Villa Crespo.
Food and beverages was the second item in relevance (15.5%) with a percentage that exceeded the average in the axes of the South and North. In third place was Accommodation and food, with 1 in 10 premises occupied and an overrepresentation in the North and Central axes, due to the preponderance of restaurants, bars and pizzerias.