Would more people live in the ‘burbs if they found the right housing?

Would more people live in the ‘burbs if they found the right housing?

We all know the stories.  Millennials who move from their parents’ large suburban basements into tiny city apartments. Milennialls who struggle to find houses to purchase when they start having kids. Both groups desire an urban life — an interesting, amenity-filled neighborhood that doesn’t require a car to enjoy.

We can agree that many  folks want a version of urban housing that works throughout their lives. Unfortunately, even in the Pike District, suburban housing options either 1) don’t offer a walkable, transit-oriented lifestyle or 2) are unaffordable except for those who bought Apple and Google stock way back when.

A Denver developer saw an opportunity to solve this dilemma. Instead of pushing luxury condos, the property owner began work on a development in a disused, riverside industrial park to turn it into an ideal urban village. One of the latest additions to the collection of mixed-use housing, commercial buildings, and office space known as Taxi features affordable rental housing and townhomes meant for families.  This development contains a child care center, maker’s studio, and community garden.

Lachman Associates, a real estate consulting firm, discovered that only 13 percent of millennials live downtown and only about a third of the entire age group even identify themselves as urban. The other two-thirds of millennials, or some of them, may be suburb-bound. But they need places to live that are urban in nature and affordable. In survey after survey, the percentage of young adults today who expect and want to own a home has been comparable to that of previous generations.

If the Pike District builds the right housing, it could become a millennial mecca … for those with and without kids.


Amy Ginsburg


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