A booming real estate trend, especially in Boston, is mixed-use developments. These developments often include residential, retail, and office space. These spaces seem like a great “next step” living arrangement for recent graduates and young professionals who still desire the amenities of a college dormitory: fitness center, security, and dining options in the building. However, Boston’s housing options leave young professionals with unattainable price tags.
Boston is going through a demographic revolution. The millennial generation is fond of the urban lifestyle, unlike previous generations who yearned for the American dream of a suburbia. Home prices, rents, and vacancy rates have all continued to rise throughout Greater Boston. In addition, Greater Boston has the third highest metro-area-wide rents in the nation. It’s time Boston pairs with developers to establish a plan for the city. Buildings are popping up throughout Boston that are failing to meet Bostonian’s needs. It seems odd that in a city like ours, often referred to as a big town full of college students, fails to meet the needs of the city’s demographics.
Many people claim that college was the best time of their lives. A big reason for this is the sense of community that living in a dormitory provides. Who says that this community feel has to end once an individual graduates from college? Mixed-use developments could be the answer to young graduates who still crave a busy, lively, and social environment that includes communal spaces.
The population of undergraduates, graduates, and young professionals requires housing developments that fit the needs of the newer generations. Millennials value convenience, making housing next to public transportation a necessity. Convenience also circumferences other needs of today’s youth: food, entertainment, and exercise. College campuses have made all of these amenities available within one building. The 2015 Greater Boston Housing Report Card , developed by the Boston Foundation and The Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy suggests that developers should create a continuation of the convenient college campus lifestyle by creating millennial villages as a next step housing arrangement for young professionals. The millennial villages could be mixed-use, with shared communal spaces and ground floor amenities. In some cases, the presence of a large retail tenant can help decrease the rents for the residential spaces above. A tenant such as a food court or gym would be a terrific option, fulfilling amenities that residents desire without extra fees for the residents. Out of convenience, residents would supply ground floor retail tenants with business.
Boston should put more of a focus on multi-unit mixed-used housing to accommodate its growing population of young professionals. Instead, they are being driven out of the city in an effort to seek budget-friendly housing, leading them to eventually seek work in the suburbs as well. Keeping young minds in Boston is essential to the advancement of the city; therefore the city of Boston needs to emphasize strategically planned housing developments such as the millennial village.