Businesses Looking for Few Good Neighborhoods
In NAR’s 2011 Consumer Preference Survey, two-thirds of those surveyed cited walkability as a factor in choosing where they want to live. In fact, the survey found that many of the respondents would sacrifice other items on their wish list—size, yard space, etc.—in order to live where they could either walk or have access to multimodal transportation to shopping, schools, places of worship, and social/entertainment venues.
Well, if prospective homeowners are looking for proximity and walkability, businesses—especially in the retail and service sectors—may be looking for a few good neighborhoods themselves.
“It’s about demographics and numbers for business location,” said Ed Murray, President of NAI Talcor, a local commercial real estate brokerage. “When considering where they want to relocate, corporations are shopping income ranges, disposable income, and population mixes within a given area just like a prospective homeowner would shop for price ranges, school zones, and proximity to local commerce centers. This trend provides a unique opportunity for businesses and neighborhoods to add value to one another.”
Historically, commercial centers were established outside of existing neighborhoods, forming districts and shopping centers zoned exclusively for that purpose. Now, with the rising costs of fuel, this generation of environmentally conscious homebuyers doesn’t mind blurring the lines between residential and commercial. In local neighborhoods such as the All-Saints District and Midtown, residents and business owners have worked together for years to ensure that the mix is a sustainable and successful one. But is this phenomenon just relegated to areas close to urban centers with the built-in densities to sustain it?
“Corporations know the value of well planned, maintained, and connected communities,” said Henree Martin, broker/owner of Henree Martin Developers Realty. “They know where they want to be demographically; but it goes a long way when infrastructure such as sidewalks and streets are in place, and when the surrounding neighborhoods are attractive and well-maintained… that goes a long way in attracting new owners—whether corporate or residential—in any given area.”
As REALTORS®, it is important to understand the dynamics of this commercial/residential trend locally and their potential long-term impact on suburban and rural areas of our community. With the steady rise of local commercial districts, the looming question of the direction of the Tallahassee Mall, and commercial spaces “going dark” in the wake of this economic environment, establishing a residential market value footprint which includes a commercial sector proximity factor may be the key to future growth of property values.
Kingdom First Realty
Armor Realty of Tallahassee