By Mark Hite
President, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®
One of the hottest trends in the real estate industry across the country is the merger of suburban and urban areas to create a living style now known as “surban”.
Urban planners have historically used the term “mixed use” areas as the descriptor word for a community that offers greater walkability to retail and restaurants from a home or apartment, but in a suburban area. Thus, a blend of both suburbia and city life is accomplished.
These areas generally feature highly rated schools, low crime rates, and shopping areas within walking distance. Surban areas offer multiple housing options including: single-family residences, condos and townhomes according to Len Elder, an instructor at McKissock Learning and Superior School of Real Estate in a recently published article. The Urban Land Institute estimates that surban areas will attract 80% of new households over the next decade.
“For the most part, housing areas have historically been categorized based on single-family residences, townhomes, condominiums or multifamily buildings,” Elder noted. “The development and advancement of surban living have already begun blending housing options in a selected area. It will not be uncommon to find townhomes and condos mixed in with single-family residences. Ownership and rentals will exist in closer proximity to widen the retail base of the homes and provide an array of options for millennials.”
To bring the example home to the Chattanooga, one only needs to look at the community known as the “southside”. Here you have new single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and rental apartments all being constructed in a harmonious fashion. A new restaurant, salon, retail store or professional office seems to open every week in this hot area of town. Battle Academy was constructed in advance of the coming building boom.
As you consider housing options for your next move, ask you Realtor about surban options available today and developing in the near future.