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Are Walkable Urban Places (WalkUPS) the Future for Renters?

by | Oct 10, 2016 | Real Estate Law


Are “walkups” he hot rental of the future? Some experts indicate that the trends seem to be leading us in this general direction. In fact, recent reports from The George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, in partnership with LOCUS: Responsible Real Estate Developers and Investors and ULI Washington, show walkable urban places and projects in this type of area as the driving force behind the real estate industry’s future and the overall economy of the United States. It’s a lot of pressure for a walkup.

Big Influencers Leading the Real Estate Market Towards Walkups Include:

  • Changing Demographics
  • New Demand Among Consumers
  • Emerging Economic Factors

These, and other market trends, influence the market in general as they shape how developers think about the built environment as well as economic development. There is an estimate of 619 significant, walkable, urban places in the nation (WalkUps). They are spread out amongst the nation’s 30 largest metropolitan areas. All were considered in a report titled, “Foot Traffic Ahead 2016” by LOCUS in conjunction with the Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis at the George Washington University School of Business. The nation’s 30 largest metro areas were ranked based on the number of commercial and multi-family rental development WalkUps. The report also used a series of metrics to project stats on future walkable development. In understanding the relationship between WalkUps and social equity, the researchers considered housing costs, transportation costs, access to the job market, etc.

Not surprisingly, San Francisco was one of the metropolitan areas that ranked at the top of the current areas for walkable urbanism. And since, research concluded that the walkable urban market share growth in both office and multi-family rental experienced an increase between 2010-2015 while drivable sub-urban locations lost market share, developers are considering this trend as particularly noteworthy. Also of note for southern California developers is the fact that research also pointed towards Los Angeles as California’s next hot spot for WalkUps. It’s well positioned for future growth of walkability due to current efforts already in motion.

For additional information on WalkUps or the walkable urban rental market, please get in touch with one of the experienced southern California real estate attorneys at The Law Office of the Law Office of Ernesto Aldover today.