Carol Schatz Carol Schatz is the president and CEO of the DCBID.

The retail sector lead the growth in the Downtown Los Angeles market in the first quarter of the year. The retail vacancy rate fell a whopping 2.3% to 4.5% and rental rates climbed an even more impressive 6.6% to $3.55 per square foot, according to the first quarter report from the Downtown Central Improvement District. Residential activity—which has also been strong—has been crucial in driving the retail market. In total, the market saw 51,822 square feet of net absorption, a year-over-year increase of 137,913 square feet, with some wins including Uniqlo’s 15,000-squre-foot lease at the Bloc.