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Developers Turn To Rough Neighborhoods For New Projects

Rather than shy away from rough, underdeveloped sections of a city, developers are increasingly turning to these areas to build new, multiuse neighborhoods sought by younger buyers.

Hudson Yards
Rendering of Phase 1 of Hudson Yards

Presuming there are amenities, culture, services, transit and jobs nearby, Gen X and millennials have a higher tolerance for crime, according to the Wall Street Journal. Developers have therefore been able to leverage the authenticity and urban experience one can gain from being in a less-developed area. It also provides buyers the chance to invest early and be part of an up-and-coming area.

Hudson Yards in New York City is one example of developers building "on the wrong side of the tracks." The 28-acre project is literally being built over a rail yard and will include 4,000 residential units, as well as retail and commercial space, the WSJ reports.

Related Cos. took the influx of companies moving into the area as a sign that housing would also perform well there, and decided to build condos because younger people increasingly want the live-work-play environment.

EchelonSeaport, which is in Boston's Seaport district, tells a similar story. The area was formerly home to surface parking lots, but will be transformed into a development that includes luxury condos, rental units and retail space. It will also be close to General Electric's new campus, which is slated to be completed by 2021.