Love thy neighbor as thy self.
Great calling for the Millennials… a generational group hooked on me-isms.
I know. I know.
Millennials are the we generation. Social media and all that stuff. They thrive in groups and seek self-confirmation through friends online and onsite.
Ahhhh… yes, but they quickly transform the we’s into the me.
I live in the midst of one of the Millennial neighborhoods located “ITP” (inside the perimeter) in ATL-land (Atlanta).
Atlanta INtown is one of the neighborhood newspapers that both reports and crafts the Millennial neighborhoods here in-town.
Skimming through it, there are real estate listings found on nearly every page. Most are priced at $850K+. Most are built where the older home became a “tear-down” and many fit the “McMansion” stereotype.
Shoot…even ads for apartment “loft” communities are advertising 500 square feet one-bedroom units starting at $1,900 per month.
I am not making this up. And for those in NYC, LA, Chicago and DC… realize that this is Atlanta and not your city where costs are well-known to be “up there.”
Many of the Atlanta ad agencies are located in the in-town neighborhoods. Many of their day-to-day staff are Millennials. Many live in the pre-Columbus world of thinking that the globe is actually flat and once one journeys out of the core base of in-town Atlanta, the world simply ends.
But that perception might be changing as they desire to find their own fountain of youth!
In today’s Wall Street Journal, there’s a very interesting section devoted to city growth and development. It highlights top cities to watch along with some very interesting articles about neighborhood culture.
One of the assumptions I will make is that the journalist writing the articles is also a Millennial. He or she probably has little knowledge of geo-demographics and systems like PRIZM, ACORN or ClusterPlus.
The article that caught my attention is titled, “Suburbs Hope To Be The New Cities” with the subtitle, “Some Places Think It’s The Way To Attract Young Workers.”
The article talks about how not-too-far out second-tier city centers and smaller bedroom-communities that faced years of decline as folks flocked back to live intown, are now seeing upturns in migration growth as intown real estate is breaking credit lines.
A few Millennial couples can afford that $1.4 Million three-bedroom-two-bath bungalow now... but as soon as the baby comes into the family with the $1 million conception-to-college graduation price tag, that home might no longer qualify for the new budget plan!
Authenticity of the intown ‘hoods is quickly getting lost too. Architectural landmarks or soon-to-be-landmarks (mid-century!) are being torn down and replaced by the “new,” eco-green, Dwell Magazine new builds.
According to a study completed by researchers at University of California Berkley and University of Pennsylvania, the population of college-educated 25-34 year olds in downtown and intown neighborhoods grew more than 44%... three times as fast as in the suburban metro.
Historic mom & pops are replaced with indy, high-end retail. Starbucks replaces the local cafes. Whole Foods replaces the Saturday “farmer’s markets” and mom & pop grocery stores.
I share this because the stage set of temporary, high-end culture quickly becomes apparent and is replaced by the desire for a more “real” experience.
Millennials are known to quick “click” from websites where they fail to connect. They will ultimately do the same thing with aspects of where they live and what they identify with as home.
The Nielsen-PRIZM system that we have in-house at EXPERIENCE has a whole host of over 20 neighborhood lifestyle groups that reside in what Nielsen calls “second city” ‘hoods.
No question about it, here in Atlanta we have Downtown Atlanta, but also the second cities of Midtown, Buckhead, Sandy Springs and Decatur – each with their clusters of high-rises and local transit systems.
New Rochelle, NY is featured in the Wall Street Journal article.
When I watch Bravo’s Million Dollar Listings LA, those boys shift from Beverley Hills to Anaheim to Santa Monica to Long Beach.
And Georgetown is nice, but there’s also Bethesda where Discovery Networks is based and Alexandria where some cool pubs are found.
Love they neighbor as thy self. Better yet… Root they self in a real neighborhood vs. a lovely, but way too perfect stage-set.
No question that the high costs of intown ‘hoods are going to shift what many think is the unstoppable future.
As many readers know, in addition to living smack in the heart of the trendy in-town Atlanta scene… in about 750 “affordable” square feet… I also own a “farm house” about an hour’s drive east from Atlanta in a smaller college town.
I write a lot about shopping at the WalMart located near that “farm house.” Shopping there is always a “grounding” experience for EXPERIENCE!
Just as the Boomers drove the shift from the “rust-belt” to the “sun belt,” I do not think that shift from the “burbs” to “Intown” is the Millennial signature population change yet.
“Mom and Pop” is coming back… and reality TV is transitioning to reality ‘hoods as I write this.
Now… hand me that popcorn and organic salt!