Living downtown is becoming increasingly appealing to college-educated 20- and 30-somethings. In two-thirds of the country’s 51 largest cities, the college-educated population in the past decade has grown twice as fast within 3 miles of urban centers when compared to the rest of the metro area, the USA Today reports. That is a jump of 26 percent, on average, compared with 13 percent in other parts. Young adults with higher education, in particular, seem to be showing a preference for urban living. Young adults with a four-year degree are about 94 percent more likely to live near urban neighborhoods than less-educated young professionals. (In 2000, that number was about 61 percent.) Even floundering downtowns are attracting more young people. For example, Detroit, which has faced a 25 percent drop in its population since 2000, has added 59 percent (or 2,000) young and educated residents during that time, according to Impresa Inc., an economic consulting firm. Looking to keep the young vibe going strong, Detroit even has recently launched a campaign — ”15 by 15” — to bring 15,000 young, educated professionals to live in the downtown by 2015. To do that, they are offering cash incentives: A $25,000 forgivable loan to buy a home in downtown and stay there for at least five years or $3,500 on a two-year lease. Source: USA Today
This story reminds me of a client (and friend) who moved to downtown Charlotte in 2005 from Boston. As part of our tour of properties, I touted the growing number of options downtown for young professionals. His comment recently to me was that when he moved here, it was Fox and Hound and Rock Bottom and that was really all the night life. Now with Epicentre in full swing, the options are significant.