There has been a tremendous amount of discussion around the death of the suburban office park over the past few years. Central business districts have become the “hot” places to work as both traditional companies and start ups have moved from the suburbs into downtown areas. The big justification is because that’s where millennials want to live and work. This has been particularly acute in New Jersey, where the aging office market has maintained high vacancy rates while New York City has seen occupancy climb steadily.
Two articles over the last few days suggest that this trend will change in the coming years.
First, 2015 will mark the date when millennials finally outnumber boomers. “75 is the approximate number, in millions, of millennials that the United States will have this year. The total of millennials — those born from 1981 to 1997 — will reach 75.3 million, overtaking baby boomers (1946 to 1964) as the United States’ largest living generation.” These are younger people that are starting their careers later and having families when they are older.
Second, a recent survey shows that they really do want a suburban home rather than a condo in the long-term. “The survey, based on responses from 1,506 people born since 1977, found that most want to live in single-family homes outside of the urban center, even if they now reside in the city.”
A growing population of millennials and their eventual move to the suburbs will fill the homes that are being sold by empty-next boomers. Will they keep commuting into the city centers? Or will they insist that better transportation alternatives be developed so they can work close to home in the suburbs?