According to figures provided by the city's assessing office, there are 524,885 square feet of commercial and industrial space within the central business district commonly known as "downtown."

For tax purposes, that space is worth $29.3 million. How much of that space is vacant was not immediately available for this report.

The numbers are in records kept by the city planner's office, but they have to be extracted from numerous documents, a time-consuming process.

There are 225 parcels in the central business district. Some are partly residential and partly retail.

A Sun Chronicle count of vacant store fronts came up with 28. Another 40 or so appeared to be full. How they compare in square feet could not be determined immediately, but Chief Assessor Stan Nacewicz estimated more than half the commercial square footage is empty.

Large spaces on the ground floors of the Bronson Building on North Main Street, the Bates Building on Park Street and the old Briggs Hotel on South Main Street are empty.

The former Salvation Army store on Union Street is also empty, as is the former Norm's Emporium on Park Street.

Most store fronts on Bank Street are empty, as well. Meanwhile, residential spaces are full or nearly full, Nacewicz said.

He estimated an occupancy rate of 90 percent or higher, indicating a strong market for housing in downtown.

All told, there are 410,410 square feet of residential space in the central business district. For tax purposes, it's worth $40.2 million.

Another 335,721 square feet of building space in downtown is exempt from taxation. Those buildings include churches and government buildings. That property is worth $26.3 million.

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