Consumer Housing Preferences Have Changed Dramatically

As the economy continues to recover, one thing is certain: The “old normal” will not return, because consumer preferences are changing.

In the Urban Land Institute’s “Residential Futures” report, industry professionals discussed trends in the home building marketplace, touching on up-and-coming design concepts as well as trends that are no longer in vogue. Here’s a sampling:
WHAT’S IN
Walkability
Access to mass transit
Energy efficiency
Proximity to health care
A sense of community
30-minute-or-less commutes
Multigenerational housing
Lower operating costs
Suburban infill developments
Well-designed smaller floor plans
Spaces that can be transformed for different kinds of use throughout the day
Manufactured housing
Affordable, sustainable touches
Amenities that provide value, save time, or make life easier
WHAT’S OUT
Long commutes
Outer-ring suburbs
Golf-course communities
Vague “greenwash fluff” marketing language
Wasteful floor plans and square footage
Home designs from the early 2000s
High maintenance costs
Read further how consumer-housing preferences have changed dramatically since the recession.
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ULI Presents Recommendations to Vitalize Downtown Tampa

Coordinated by the City of Tampa and the Tampa Downtown Partnership, experts from the Urban Land Institute’s Advisory Services Panel examined the central business district and all or parts of Tampa Heights, Encore, Ybor City, Channel District, West Tampa, West Riverfront, Old West Tampa and North Hyde Park, last week.

According to ULI (per St Pete Times), to create a downtown with a soul, Tampa needs more urban housing, more pedestrians, better transit and less parking.

Recommendations include:

  • Put in better landscaping, especially at entry ways to downtown. Got an ugly, empty lot? Get creative. Bring in a farmers market.
  • Finish the Riverwalk, and allow food carts and restaurants near the Hillsborough River.
  • Steer new housing toward three areas: Tampa Heights, the area around the Marion Street Transit Station and a redevelopment of the North Boulevard Homes public housing complex.
  • Re-engineer roads like Ashley Drive to be less daunting to pedestrians. Think fewer lanes, more trees and lower speed limits.
  • Ban new private parking lots as well as parking lots on street corners, convert some existing lots to parks or housing and increase on-street parking.
  • Improve transit. Look at expanding the TECO trolley up to Tampa Heights and west of the Hillsborough River. Consider changes, like a fare-free zone, to make bus transit more attractive.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the report gives the city a “road map” for its next step: using a $1.18 million federal grant to create a master plan for downtown and areas like Ybor City, the Channel District and Tampa Heights.

Tampa’s future presented in less than a week… It appears Mayor Buckhorn is all in.

The slogan for Tampa 20 years ago was, America’s Next Great City.  Is now the time???   What do you think???

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