The Suburbs See a Rise of ‘Hipsturbia’

July 1, 2020 | Comments Off on The Suburbs See a Rise of ‘Hipsturbia’

“Hipsturbia” is one of 10 emerging trends in real estate to watch, according to a newly released report by the Urban Land Institute and PwC. The term refers to the trend of suburbs that are creating their own versions of downtowns featuring vibrant “live/work/play” districts. More suburbs are taking a chance on these mixed-use, walkable developments, researchers note in the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” report.

“Many of these ‘cool’ suburbs are associated with metro areas having vibrant downtowns, illustrating the falsity of a dichotomy that pits central cities against ring communities,” the researchers note in the report.

For example, the communities around Silicon Valley between San Francisco and San Jose are evolving into hipsturbia centers. The report calls out Santa Clara, Calif., that is developing 240 acres with offices, hotels, serviced apartments, and residences, along with open space for recreation. “The presence of Stanford University is a massive contributor to a hipsturbia environment,” researchers note. “A constant supply of young adults is the lifeblood of hipsturbias.”

The trend can also be seen playing out in Tempe, Ariz., near Arizona State University. Its transit access and cluster of coffee shops, sit-down restaurants, brewpubs, retail, and entertainment are reinventing the area. Other areas, like Evanston, Ill.—just outside of Chicago and home to Northwestern University—as well as Atlanta suburbs of Decatur and Alpharetta, are also vying to become a “cool suburb,” researchers note.

“As more and more suburbs—not all, but those with the right recipe—attract a critical mass of ‘hip’ residents, their success will become increasingly visible,” researchers note. “This will multiple the number of imitators, keeping the trend going.” The live/work/play model could revive suburbs and make them an attractive place for millennials and younger adults to settle down, researchers say.

Emerging Trends in Real Estate,” Urban Land Institute and PwC (September 2019)


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