Up With Suburbs

By Stephen L. Burger, CPM®, CRX, CSM

As a management firm that has a fair amount of properties in suburban locations, it was refreshing--though not at all surprising--to see that the 2017 edition of Emerging Trends, the annual, broad-sweeping report from PwC and the Urban Land Institute, provides clear insight to the contribution to the American culture and economy the outlying district make.

Over the years, various reports have emerged that attempt to put the nail in the coffin of the American suburb, reports of the death of the mall, the migration of major corporations either overseas or into our major CBDs and of course, the ever-popular Millennial taste for city life.

Two major points from Emerging Trends struck me as particularly significant: First was that, “suburbs account for 79% of the population, 78% of households, 32% of land area, and—despite popular and media perception—75% of 25- to 35-year-olds.”

Second, “As of 2014, 67.5% of employment in the 50 largest metro areas was in the suburbs. Between 2005 and 2010, employment in suburban areas remained stagnant with 0% growth, while it increased by 8.2% in urban areas. But between 2010 and 2014, jobs increased by 9% in suburbs versus 6% in urban areas.”

We at EBMC see on a daily basis the vibrant economic engine that the suburbs are. We see the populations--many of them young people--seeking homes in our properties and in interviews discover their focus on working in close proximity to where they live. In other words, on a daily basis, we see the American Dream being played out, by Millennials and Boomers alike, in places other than the hearts of the cities.

In other words we see the same allure of the suburbs that always was, namely a work/life balance that isn’t a struggle to achieve and maintain. And in that balance we see the economic contribution the suburbs make to the overall US economy--despite the headlines.

It is validation not only of the focus of firms like EBMC with the foresight to plant flags in rich soil but in the long-range stability and growth that also resides in suburban lifestyles. This translates directly to a vision for investors who might be growing tired of the capital congestion taking place in gateway cities and other major CBDs.

The rewards of suburban investment are not only many, they are largely untapped.

Steve Burger, President

As president and COO of Eugene Burger Management Co., Steve Burger is directly responsible for the overall quality, depth and consistency of management services provided in all 15 regions in the EBMC coverage map.

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