“Hipsturbia” is one of the emerging trends in real estate, according to a report by the Urban Land Institute. The term refers to the trend of suburbs that are creating their own versions of downtowns featuring vibrant “live/work/play” districts. More suburbs are taking a chance on these mixed-use, walkable developments, researchers note in the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” report.
“Many of these ‘cool’ suburbs are associated with metro areas having vibrant downtowns, illustrating the falsity of a dichotomy that pits central cities against ring communities,” the researchers note.
In Omaha, it’s not the suburbs, but neighborhood districts that are seeing the trend – NoDo, Benson, the Blackstone district, the Old Market and Aksarben Village are examples. Another such area is just being built just west of Boys Town.
The communities around Silicon Valley between San Francisco and San Jose are evolving into hipsturbia centers. The report calls out Santa Clara, Calif., that is developing 240 acres with offices, hotels, serviced apartments and residences, along with open space for recreation. “The presence of Stanford University is a massive contributor to a hipsturbia environment,” researchers note. “A constant supply of young adults is the lifeblood of hipsturbias.”
The trend can also be seen playing out in Tempe, Ariz., near Arizona State University. Its transit access and cluster of coffee shops, sit-down restaurants, brewpubs, retail and entertainment are reinventing the area. Other areas, like Evanston, Ill. – just outside of Chicago and home to Northwestern University – as well as Atlanta suburbs of Decatur and Alpharetta, are also vying to become a “cool suburb,” researchers note.
“As more and more suburbs – not all, but those with the right recipe – attract a critical mass of ‘hip’ residents, their success will become increasingly visible,” researchers note. “This will multiple the number of imitators, keeping the trend going.” The live/work/play model could revive suburbs and make them an attractive place for millennials and younger adults to settle down, researchers say.