Downtown Revitalization Trend
It’s happening in Jacksonville, Florida, that’s for sure. Downtown Revitalization isn’t necessarily a new trend, but the efforts over the past ten years to rejuvenate downtown areas are beginning to show the fruits of its labor. But, Jacksonville isn’t the only downtown where the idea to revitalize and reinvigorate living is occurring. It’s happening all over the country and the world.
This isn’t a new trend, but In Jacksonville, areas such as Springfield and Brooklyn neighborhoods have been coming along for some time and Parker Associates has been involved in discussions for plans to revitalize Arlington and LaVilla which are moving forward. These are just a few areas with plans to bring people to the urban core in the Jacksonville area.
Other towns have notable downtown revitalization such as Nashville and Chattanooga in Tennessee as well as Portland, Oregon, Toronto, Ontario and Cincinnati, Ohio among others. But, what’s driving this trend? Is it the developers or the consumers? For years, business owners and leaders were trying to interest people in their downtown areas to little or no avail. Building more business did not bring the kind of buzz that was needed to get things moving forward.
The consumers are the ones driving the wagon. They are demanding more to do in their downtowns and the Millennials are beginning to speak their mind. Millennials don’t want to drive cars everywhere. They like to live, work, eat, and play where they can walk to everything. With that ever increasing outspokenness and growing population of consumers, the city leaders are beginning to understand.
Offer incentives to developers and plan for the new consumers. It’s that simple and some cities are getting the idea. Understanding the consumer is something often overlooked in the business community. Putting a product out there and hoping the consumer wants it, the “build it and they will come” attitude is not going to work with the savvy Millennials. They are smart and have smart phones. It’s going to be the consumer who drives the market and trending on Facebook is going to mean trending in the real world.
Parker Associates is has worked on many projects to revitalize and reinvigorate areas. Let us hear from you and your projects and keep in mind that the consumer is driving.