ROCHESTER, Mich. – Oct. 12, 2010Downtown Rochester is nearing full occupancy.  The city’s retail locations are 96.5% full, leaving a vacancy rate of only 3.5%.  This is well below the national average of 10.2% vacancy for downtown business districts. 

Rochester’s retail occupancy has increased significantly since Aug. 2008 when it was 90.5% full.  Aug. 2009 saw the district increase to 92.7% occupancy, but the current 96.5% occupancy rate is the most significant jump; the continued increase in occupancy in spite of the Michigan recession demonstrates that Rochester is a viable and vibrant place to do business.

 The Rochester DDA offers the businesses within its district many opportunities to help achieve or increase success.  Programs range from façade and sign grants, to monthly merchant meetings and business assistance teams.  Additionally, the Rochester DDA executes a nationally recognized downtown marketing program to promote the district. 

“Downtown Rochester has always enjoyed a reputation of being a great place to do business.  Not only have we gathered the most original retail, but with our office environment, the ability to court clients in the best restaurants – just outside the door – is priceless.  While our green areas and trails give a place to unwind, the support of a lively merchant community inspires,” says Sheila Harris, business development assistant for the DDA.

Harris, a former downtown Rochester business owner, is familiar with the business climate.  She works at attracting new businesses to downtown Rochester as well as retaining established businesses and maintaining consistent landlord relations.  Since Harris joined the DDA as business development assistant in 2008, she has worked with net 40 new businesses opening in downtown Rochester.

A perfect mix of historic and hip, downtown Rochester attracts both local residents and visitors from across the state of Mich.  Downtown Rochester is home to more than 400 shops, salons, restaurants and service businesses, 85% of which are independent merchants.

For more information on the Rochester DDA, including a complete schedule of events, please visit or call 248/656.0060.

About Tom and Ann Gendich

Founders of Rochester Media. Looking to provide great local news to all people in and around Rochester and Rochester Hills. Send them a note at