Gary Rappaport Reveals Biggest Deterrent to Reviving Downtown

A recent headline in The Washington Post — “Homicides are falling in many big cities. In D.C., they’re rising” — struck a chord with Gary Rappaport.

The commercial real estate veteran and D.C.-area transplant didn’t dispute the facts citied by the newspaper, but still, Rappaport wondered: How do you convince prospective retailers and investors to commit to opening a new store in a place plagued by such problems?

“It was a really very negative article for people that are trying to decide should they should invest money and open a retail store in Washington, D.C., right now?” he said.

That cycle of closings and openings — the latest closures caused by Covid-induced work-from-home trends and concerns about crime — is nothing new for Rappaport, who has has navigated plenty of ebbs and flows in Greater Washington’s retail real estate market over the past five decades.

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