There are many benefits to living in a dense city. The most obvious is that with so many people living in close proximity, their joint buying power and habits can support shops and restaurants within walking distance. It’s why a corner shop like Sara’s can survive in a totally residential neighborhood in a way that it couldn’t in a suburban subdivision (where it would probably be illegal in the first place).
But GM got to thinking about that density when he noticed that Sara’s instituted summer hours recently (on Sunday they don’t open till 1:00 and close at 7:00). It’s a reasonable easing of their normal hours, but GM believes it reflects one of the fundamental characteristics to Georgetown that will continue to seriously limit the amount Georgetowners will be able to support locally oriented businesses: not enough Georgetowners actually live here full time.
This was one factor that the owners of Griffin Market cited in their closing, namely that too many Georgetowners only live here part of the year. This was based on their own anecdotal evidence, but GM looked into the Census records and found some statistical evidence to support the observation. Continue reading