For Millennials, The Most Important Amenity Is Being Around Other Millennials
Walkability is important to Millennials, but only if they can walk to meet other Millennials. Much of Midtown's success has centered around the fact that's where Millennials are, so that's where they want to be. But they're not just looking for fun; socialization has deeper impact than you may realize. To hear more about Midtown's ascension, grab a ticket to Bisnow's The Future of Midtown on June 8.
The glut of multifamily units across the city has owners and operators pushing a slew of new amenities. From bottomless pools to advanced package delivery systems, the efforts to attract young renters keep getting more creative. What Midtown is proving is that the best attraction for Millennials is the presence of others Millennials. Any night out in Midtown is sure to give you a sharp lesson in just how many young adults are living there.
Millennials socialize very differently than previous generations. Despite the advantages of social media, planned social occasions are becoming less frequent, instead favoring spontaneous or day-of meet-ups with friends and co-workers.
Although Millennials have grown up in the digital revolution, they place even greater value on their in-person interactions at work and after hours than their older, less digitally bred colleagues, according to research from Weber Shandwick and the Institute for Public Relations. That's related to Millennials' hyper-focus on their reputations at work—47% of Millennials report they think about it all or most of the time compared to 37% of Gen Xers and 26% of Baby Boomers.
Hanging out with colleagues after work might have been a nice way to kick back for a Gen Xer, but for Millennials it’s a critical component of building their "rep" or "brand" at work and they take it seriously. That's why a place chock full of great bars, restaurants and nightclubs situated between the city's major employment areas is perfect.
Work isn't the only component to Millennials' differing socialization habits. The median age at first marriage for both men and women is now six years older than the past two generations. Today, only 20% of adults age 18 to 29 are married, compared to 59% 50 years ago. All that dating has to happen somewhere. Midtown's unofficial Tinder bar seems like the perfect place.
The only major downside to Midtown is the lack of a supermarket. Camden's Bill Sengelmann doesn't even see that as a significant problem. He says if you look in a typical Millennial's fridge or freezer, you're not going to find much food. For Millennials, eating out is a priority. Millennials eat out at least once a week, 10% more than the general population. Midtown's fantastic restaurants are the perfect fit.
The concept of a young, hot neighborhood is not new, but what it means to be such a neighborhood is. Midtown's greatest achievement may be cultivating perception more so than development. Of course the flashy new multifamily complexes and beautifully designed retail spaces are a major draw, but at the end of the day, the best thing Midtown has going for it may be its demographic.