Wonder Years vs Weeds
Yesterday at Lee & Associates' office, we snapped L&A NY prez Jim Wacht and Fortune's Leigh Gallagher, who also happens to be a keynote speaker on Monday for our two-day Bisnow Multifamily Annual Conference in DC (you can still sign up). Despite the title of her new book, The End of the Suburbs, the 'burbs aren't dead. Nancy Botwin's sprawling exurb on the show Weeds may not be long for this world, but closer-in, older communities like Kevin Arnold's kingdom and urban suburbs (train stations always help) are doing A-OK.
Here's what Leigh says is different outside our city centers in this recovery: Home values didn't hold up as well, poverty is rising (through suburbanites hide it well), and there are fewer families as the birth rate declines. In fact, Leigh says more senior citizens and Baby Boomers live out there than do families. Meanwhile, suburban mainstays are city bound, such as big-box stores (think Target) and upscale homebuilder Toll Brothers (which just might sell a $40M unit at its 1110 Park Ave).