The Future is Job Density

Christopher Leinberger says firms are moving out of suburban office parks back into walkable urban cores to attract Millenials:

In spite of the U.S. Census data for the past decade showing continued job de-centralization, there is now much anecdotal evidence for the just the opposite…

The reason in nearly every case? The millennial generation is demanding it. Highly-educated young workers, the life’s blood of many industries, have been flocking to center cities in recent years. Trying to recruit this talent to Stamford, Conn., or Hoffman Estates, Ill. is exceedingly difficult. They are voting with their feet for a hip, high-density walkable lifestyle and a reverse commute to the ‘burbs is not in the cards for most of them.

The companies moved out to the suburbs to attract their baby boomer parents, raising their kids in suburban isolation. The millenials are doing what many generations have done in the past; they have rejected how they were raised. This once again shows that building a high quality residential base will lead to the attraction of jobs…only this time it is back to the future.

I think this needs to be read in the context of mounting evidence that rents will continue rising, increasing demand for multifamily housing construction in the second half of the year. The correct policy response from the core cities is to get ahead of these trends by relaxing anti-density zoning regulations in the core business districts.

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