Think suburb and images of green grass, kids on bicycles and in minivans may come to mind. But in some suburbs, an effort is underway to take some of the sub out of burb. MarketWatch reports on a number of such places, starting with the place that Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore once inhabited on a highly-rated 1960s TV sitcom:
For more than a generation, the suburb of New Rochelle, N.Y., has been struggling with a stagnant economy, closed storefronts and tax revenue that has fallen even as New York City has boomed just 15 miles to the south.
Now this bedroom community is forging ahead with a plan to remake its low-slung downtown into a landscape checkered with office towers, high-rise apartments and new retail. Over the past year and a half, it has changed its zoning and signed on a team of developers to start building some of the planned towers — all in a bid to attract new employers and residents and breathe life into the local economy.
In short, this suburb is trying to look urban. And it isn’t the only one. Urbanization efforts in New Rochelle, a city of 79,000, offer a glimpse of changes taking shape in suburbs around the country. While the approaches vary, what they share is a general desire for urban-style development meant to appeal to youth and attract employers who might otherwise gravitate to cities.