The 2010 Census confirmed that over the past 10 years, populations in many downtowns nationwide have increased. This statistic is largely attributed to preferences of two of the largest generations in American history, Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and Millennials (born 1981-2000). Together these generations are reducing the percentage of total households with children, traditionally the demographic most interested in suburban homes with sizeable lots for kids to play in.
According to USA Today, “In 2000, young adults with a four-year degree were about 61% more likely to live in close-in urban neighborhoods than their less-educated counterparts. Now, they are about 94% more likely.” College-educated Millennials put more and more value on the convenience and excitement of living in an urban center, and capturing this demographic is a real competitive advantage for any city.
While it’s not a lifestyle for everyone, calling Downtown home often means:
- Living close to work, close to friends and close to local services
- Easy access to public transit, and a healthy walking and biking lifestyle
- Proximity to a concentration of entertainment and cultural venues
- Freedom from yard maintenance, allowing for a more on-the-go lifestyle
Downtown Jacksonville is making strides in expanding the amount of available Downtown housing. The recent groundbreaking of 220 Riverside and the Downtown Investment Authority’s signoff on a second major residential community in Brooklyn will contribute greatly to residential landscape. Moving forward, DVI hopes to see more residential added to the walkable core, preferably through the conversion of existing derelict structures to satisfy the increasing demand for Downtown housing.