Timing is everything in real estate and all signs indicate that the decades long pursuit of increased demand for downtown condos has finally found fertile ground. Over a $Billion in public and private investments have resulted in an urban revival on a grand scale, growing richer daily in amenities and quality of life.
Long attractive to young professionals and creative types, downtowns nationwide are now attracting seniors and empty nesters. There are various reasons for it, including job growth and overall affordability, but basically, it’s a lifestyle choice. The lock-and-leave convenience of an attached dwelling combined with urban energy and walkability is an attractive option for anyone, from just-out-of-college Millennials to empty-nester Boomers.
The increased demand for downtown housing is partially attributable to a parallel inflow of high-tech companies and start-ups that are choosing downtowns for the street life, urban amenities and the architectural diversity that supports a sophisticated entrepreneurial environment. It is part of a shifting focus from downtowns being primarily centers of commerce to being multi-dimensional cultural hubs, with things to enjoy, people to watch, and a sense of place that attracts people in numbers.
Further illustrating the basis for this revived demand was the recent announcement of a new $173 million VA Hospital to be built a few blocks west of Central Park’s campus. Officials said they hope moving comprehensive medical care to Tulsa and associating with a medical school will help solve a long-standing problem at the Muskogee VA — an inability to recruit and retain specialty physicians. Some reports speculate that the hospital which will be associated with Oklahoma State University Medical Center, will be staffed by as many as 1,000 new doctors and other skilled health care workers who will be searching for housing.
It is hard to imagine how the momentum of downtown’s growth will not only continue but expand. As new businesses and rooftops are created, once empty or underperforming properties are once again in demand, the proverbial rising tide that lifts all boats. This is the perfect time to own real estate at Central Park.