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City-center projects reflect rising interest by investors

Public and private investment in downtowns is on the upswing, according to a report sponsored by the International Downtown Executives Association (IDEA). Twenty-nine of the 41 cities surveyed reported a total of $504 million in completed downtown projects during 1979. Another $2.7 billion worth of projects was reported under construction in 32 of these cities.

This shows a considerable increase in construction activity from 1978, when $ 329 million worth of construction was reported to have been completed.

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Of 19 cities that provided figures on both private and public investment, the report shows that $2.12 in private investment went into the downtown areas for every $1 of public funds spent there.

Among the downtown areas included in the report, 319 new stores opened in 1979, while 150 closed. Twelve out of 13 cities that provided estimates of downtown retail sales for 1978 and 1979 reported increases, for a total rise of 16 percent -- almost $40 million per city.

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