Millennials, like historical American city dwellers before them, are migrating to locales where job opportunities are concentrated. Embracing a diverse urban lifestyle in large numbers, they are also directly affecting the revitalization of long-dormant urban areas in Detroit, downtown Los Angeles, Brooklyn, downtown Houston and Uptown Dallas – among other locales.
Millennials have also played a part in the rapid urbanization of smaller and less dense (but growing) metropolitan areas like Austin and Nashville. Additionally, resolutely urban cities, such as San Francisco and Boston, are seeing further densification and the resulting transformation of their urban-core neighborhoods.
This is according to a new study from the Canadian global commercial real estate services firm Avison Young, which is based in Toronto. The executive summary of the study, entitled "Millennials and Re-Urbanization of the City – Closer to the core: Millennials' preference for amenities and connections reshaping communities in the U.S," can be accessed here.
"Our research shows that millennials are transforming America's cities in unexpected ways," said Mike Kennedy, Avison Young principal and managing director of the firm's Austin office, who co-authored the report. "At the same time, millennials are creating challenges – and opportunities – for owners and occupiers of commercial real estate, including investors, landlords and tenants."
The report also finds that "urban-burbs" are effectively creating confluences where walkable amenities, efficient and accessible transit, high connectivity, and city-center conveniences intersect with lower-rise density and improved affordability. Furthermore, it is likely that companies will find their workforces and tenants to be largely millennials who wish to live, work and play in denser communities than the outlying neighborhoods preferred by their parents and grandparents.
"This report demonstrates that, by offering their talents and skills for the benefit of their communities and peers, millennials will continue to come together and, ultimately, reshape our urban and suburban neighborhoods," said Andrew Alizzi, an associate in Avison Young's Austin office and a co-author of the report. "Accordingly, employers of millennials and real estate developers would be wise to review the historical cycles, as well as economic and demographic drivers, of American cities – and strive to remain relevant with the diverging lifestyle choices of this highly innovative generation."