If you are interested in the health of commercial real estate, then you should spend some time in downtown New Haven. There are new stores and restaurants opening all the time, and it's hard to find a place to park almost anywhere. In fact, the meters now take credit cards, and must be fed until 9 PM. Gateway Community College has begun operations at its new campus, right below the Green, and has brought traffic and activity to the area already. Yale has negotiated new leases with the Shake Shack, out of NYC, and with a national Mexican restaurant chain, both on the Green. Last Friday evening, it was "First Friday" in the Ninth Square, with music, crowds, and exhibits for all to enjoy, and the joint was jumping.
Existing businesses will be watching with interest. Some will follow the activity, and move into empty spaces still available. Others will move out, citing issues of traffic and parking, and will relocate to the suburbs, or away from the central business district. In either case, change will bring more change, and that's always good for the real estate industry!