In the past five years, nine national retailers -- including H&M, Jos. A. Bank, Barnes & Noble, and Borders -- have opened stores downtown, more than twice the number in the preceding five years, records show.Developers and brokers credit the surge to pent-up demand for downtown shopping, a growing population of private-sector employees and an aggressive effort by city leaders to court retailers. "The retail tide is coming back in," said John Asadoorian, a retail broker in the city.City leaders say there is still much work to be done, but the retail growth has begun to chip away at the perception of downtown as a sterile home for law firms and federal agencies that closes for business at 5 p.m. Gradually, Washington area residents are beginning to regard it as a worthwhile place to shop.
Thanks to David Garber