Our goal is to invest in real estate assets that are critical to Urban Nodes. Urban Nodes are neighborhoods that are directly connected to their city’s Downtown and have their own unique identity and mini-downtown. Criteria of an Urban Node:
- Must be able to easily get Downtown
- Public transportation that takes less than 30 minutes
- Drive in less than 30 minutes assuming parking is not a hassle
- Must have its own identity, meaning that there is plenty to do within walking distance. Residents should be able to walk to basic amenities such as coffee shops and convenience stores and get to the grocery store within a short drive. This should be a place you want to wake up on a Saturday/Sunday morning.
Downtowns used to be dirty, polluted, and unsafe, prompting baby boomers to flee to the suburbs. Over the past 20-30 years, this has shifted, and 10’s of millions of people have moved to Downtowns across America. Many Gen X and Millennials have and will rent apartments in Downtowns through their 20’s and into their 30’s; many empty nesters have ditched the suburban lifestyle for an urban one. Developers, urban planners, and local governments have filled this demand by building new mixed-use projects that incorporate entertainment, shopping, apartments, condos, offices, and outdoor space. As a result, real estate prices have skyrocketed in areas that no one would have dared touch 30 years ago.
Gen X and Millennials who have created this Downtown boom will eventually move on. They will want more space, affordability, and a small-town feel. However, unlike baby boomers in the 1950’s-80’s, it will not be a “flight” from their city. Most have enjoyed the city where they spent their young-adult lives and will want to stay connected. The Downtown boom has created offices, amenities and things to do that no one wants to be too far away from. These people will move to areas called Urban Nodes.
To be an Urban Node, the neighborhood must be connected to the Downtown via public transportation that takes less than 30 minutes. 30 minutes is the maximum commute people are willing to do without starting to look unfavorably on a location. 30 minutes is also about the threshold people are willing to tolerate when traveling for a fun daytime or nighttime activity without considering the place “too far away.” If there is no public transportation, then it must be feasible to drive Downtown without unreasonable traffic or parking rates.
To be an Urban Node, the neighborhood must have its own identity and mini-downtown. People living in these areas will want to have similar experiences to what they were used to Downtown. This means there should be coffee shops and convenience stores within walking distance. The grocery store should be walking distance or a short drive away. People should not feel like they need to leave the neighborhood on weekends to have an enjoyable night out. These people will go Downtown 3-5 times per month, but will stay in their neighborhood most of the time not because going Downtown is a hassle, but because their neighborhood is fun, “happening,” and has its own identity.
Over the next 20-30 years, real estate investments in Urban Nodes will enjoy outsized returns. Investments that predict an Urban Node forming will have higher risk, but will generate even better returns. Our goal is to invest in existing Urban Nodes and predict where new ones will form. The real estate that we buy must be critical to the success of that Urban Node meaning it is a place where the people of the neighborhood live, work, shop or go for entertainment.
Examples of Urban Nodes:
- Brooklyn, NY – connected to Manhattan
- Bethesda, MD – connected to D.C.
- Oakland, CA – connected to SF
- Somerville, MA – connected to Boston
- Seaport, MA – connected to Boston
- Shirlington, VA – connected to D.C.
- Mt. Lebanon, PA – connected to Pittsburgh
- Lawrenceville, PA – connected to Pittsburgh
- West Adams, CA – connected to Downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica
- Westlake, CA – connected to Downtown Los Angeles
- Glassell Park, CA – connected to Downtown Los Angeles, Glendale & Pasadena
- Inglewood, CA – connected to Santa Monica and the Beach Cities
- Location suggestions? Contact Us to discuss.