Previous Page  7 / 68 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 7 / 68 Next Page
Page Background

Starting around 1999, Williamsburg began

to see an influx of new residents priced out

of Manhattan. This initial wave consisted of

a mix of creatives, artists, musicians,

hipsters and the LGBT community willing to

take their chances in a neighborhood that

could best be described at that time as

“edgy.” They brought with them a

counterculture philosophy that infused

Williamsburg’s commercial corridors. New

bars, music venues, art galleries and

boutiques catering to their tastes sprang up

in the area. The Cool Street cycle was set in

motion, and Williamsburg’s appeal grew

— as did its rents. Within just a few years,

residential rents in Williamsburg were on

par with top Manhattan apartment rates.

National chain retailers engaged in bidding

wars over prime corner shop space while

quirky independents were priced out.

Hipsters began fleeing to all other points

Brooklyn bemoaning that “Williamsburg

was over.” For the record, we disagree with

that statement. Though it may now be quite

pricey, Williamsburg is still a Cool Street.

But has it gone mainstream? Absolutely.

Cool Street = Millennial Street

Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as

the largest single age demographic in both

the United States (85 million) and Canada

(10 million). While other key demographic

shifts will continue to play out in both

countries, this single factor will do more to

shape the retail landscape over the next few

years than any other trend. The rise of the

Cool Streets is just one of the ways that this

is playing out.

Millennials Are Urban...

At the heart of the Cool Streets trend is the

fact that Millennials consistently

demonstrate a preference for urban living.

According to the Urban Land Institute (ULI),

46% of Millennials would prefer to live in an

urban setting, compared to 24% for

suburban and 30% for rural environments.

Millennials prefer cities, but affordability

is increasingly becoming an issue.

Source: Urban Land Institute: America in 2015: A ULI Survey of Views on Housing, Transportation, and Community, 2015.



Cool Streets Report