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What's 6.94% Mean to College Park?

What do you think this number represents?

Just about every weekend, Patch readers succeed at guessing where in College Park various pictures were shot. Your stellar performances at "" have put Patch to shame, and pushed us to find a new challenge.

Here it is: What do you think the number 6.94 percent means in College Park?

Stumped? Here's a clue: This number is low, compared to the national average of 9 to 10 percent, according to information put out by city staff.

Type your guesses in the comments section below. Patch will reveal the answer Thursday.

Chris kujawa February 08, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Unemployment number
Clay Gump February 08, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Vacancy rate of local businesses.
Marcus Afzali February 08, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Cheater!
Shannon Hoffman February 08, 2012 at 03:01 PM
You are correct!
Clay Gump February 08, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Marcus is right I cheated. This number was discussed at last night work session. It is interesting however that the number for CP is lower than the national average. I think it is so easy to just focus on the vacancies and blighted properties that we can lose sight that on average CP is doing ok.
Shannon Hoffman February 08, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I don't consider it cheating if you knew it through your civic involvement. That's the best way to know it! The economic development coordinator also noted that the number might be below the national average because of the larger retailers in College Park, like Ikea. (P.S. I've seen your name on ReThink College Park. What a great resource for CP! Thanks for what you do.)
Pamela Torro February 08, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Ha - yeah I read the answer in the council agenda on Monday!
Fazlul Kabir February 08, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I’m not sure we should sit back… The 6.94% rate is based on the vacant spaces. In terms of number of vacant businesses, the rate would be 11.5% (31 / 270). Also, we need to keep in mind the tenants with very large floor space, such as Ikea, Home Depot, Shoppers Food Warehouse, AMF College Park Lanes, and Best Buy, which account for 43.49% of all retail space. Without these properties, the retail vacancy rate increases to 12.28%.
Rick Hudson February 09, 2012 at 04:58 PM
You can make a statistic to prove anything, I suspect that governments often fiddle with the stats to make us come around to their way of thinking. Conspiracy theories aside, I am left with 2 questions: 1. What is the real number 6.94% or 11.5% or 12.28%? 2. What is the National average?
Fazlul Kabir February 09, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Rick, commercial vacancy rates are traditionally measured in terms of floor space. Thus, in that sense, we should go with 6.94% for College Park and 9-10% nationally. City's economic coordinator gave us the other numbers for an in-depth look at the situation.

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