This corresponds with U.S. Census Bureau
statistics that reflect the increasing
urbanization of America; between 2000 and
2010, the U.S. urban population grew by
12.1% compared to an overall growth rate of
9.7% for this same period. The most recent
Census estimates indicate that urban growth
outpaced suburban growth in 33 of the 51
largest U.S. cities last year.
Millennials are at the center of this trend.
In its poll, the ULI found that Millennials
consistently ranked a number of typically
urban community attributes as preferences
—and did so at numbers that far outpaced
averages for other age groups or all age
groups together. Walkability ranked as
important for 54% of Millennials, compared
to 50% for all adults. Convenient public
transportation ranked high for 39% of
Millennials, while only 32% of the overall
population saw this as critical. Meanwhile,
44% of Millennials ranked access to shopping
and entertainment as one of their top
priorities compared to just 36% of
Generation X-ers and 43% of Baby Boomers.
But there is evidence that the trend of
urbanization is starting to slow. The Census
Bureau estimates that this trend peaked in
2011 when 26.7% of U.S. population growth
was focused in urban areas. Last year,
estimates put this number at 20.0%.
Affordability is the likely culprit of this
decline. Our tracking of apartment rents for
Downtown or Prime CBD markets across 16
top U.S. markets between 2010 and 2015
indicates an average increase of 33.2%.
On the surface the issue of affordability
might seem to contradict the strength that
we are reporting in these emerging new
Cool Street markets. But the issue of
affordability has actually been one of the
driving forces behind this movement. With
few exceptions, the Cool Street districts
springing up are not in tonier, long-
established neighborhoods areas where
rents and housing costs are increasingly
prohibitive. Nearly all of the Cool Streets in
our survey are transitional neighborhoods
where more affordable rents have served as
an initial catalyst for growth.
Cool Street Experiential
In May 2016, Whole Foods opened the first
of its Whole Foods 365 stores in Los
Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood.
The Whole Foods 365 concept appears
Their success has come from
the fact that they engage
their consumers on the most
basic experiential level—they
keep their stores interesting.
THE COOL STREETS OF NORTH AMERICA
CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD