The Rise of “Urb-Suburbs”

We tend to think of urban and suburban areas as completely different from one another. One is filled with skyscrapers and crowds, and the other is filled with picket fences and barbeques. However, 2020 has seen the boundaries between these two areas blur. This grey area has created new neighborhoods called “urban suburbs”, or “urb-suburbs” for short, which have become extremely popular amongst younger Americans due to their ability to mix affordability with convenience. This trend is popular in major cities like Pittsburgh, New York, Boston, and Indianapolis.

What are “Urb-Suburbs”?

Urb-suburbs are exactly what they sound like: a mixture of urban and suburban living. They therefore feature a mixture of the more relaxed atmosphere of a suburb with the convenient amenities of urban cities. John McGurk, Vice President of Development of Milhaus in Indianapolis, defines urb-suburbs as “communities surrounding a metropolitan area that provide desirable downtown amenities such as walkability, shopping, and restaurants.” They are particularly attractive to young adults who want to invest in stable housing markets while not compromising on the amenities of urban living.

A perfect example of an urban suburb is Mount Lebanon, a neighborhood just south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It has a median home value in the low $200,000’s, a credible school system, and a rail system providing transportation to downtown. It also features a thriving business district with shops, salons, and cafes.

As more urb-suburbs pop up throughout the nation, it will be important for both residential and commercial real estate firms to take advantage of the opportunity that this trends presents to invest in and revitalize their own suburbs.

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