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Trend to Urbanization According to Maria Sicola, Head of Research, Americas, Cushman & Wakefield


urbanizationMaria discusses, among other things:

  • How the central business districts, (“CBD’s”) are seeing strong activity and weakening in the suburbs;
    • Leasing is up in the CBD’s as well as absorption;
    • “This urban phenomena is now beginning to take shape”;
    •  CBD’s is where the workers are telling their companies, this is where they want to be.  The workers are forcing the shift;
    • Demographics, in general, are effecting a lot of the trends towards urbanization;
    • This looks like a sustainable trend
  • We are now seeing a growth in individual income, which we haven’t seen over the last few years
  • It’s quality of life that the millennials are seeking as part of the trend to urbanization, not necessarily transportation cost savings.
  • How is transportation effecting the CBD’s even though not every city has great transportation
    • Transportation will be critical to urban growth
  • Technology and energy is driving the recovery;
    • The recovery is beginning to expand more broadly beyond tech and energy and now includes a mix professional services, including:
      • Media
      • Advertising
      • Information
    • We are beginning to move away from a service oriented economy and more to a technology driven economy
  • How is the home worker going to effect office consumption
  • Trends in the design of office space
    • Open & collaborative
  • Move toward efficiency of space
    • Technology is decreasing space requirements, per employee
    • Mobility is there where it wasn’t a few years ago.
  • We are in the midst of a full economic recovery.

Photo by star5112 on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Something to Add?

  • Lowell Peabody

    The discussion in Boston is turning to suburban locations which can offer similarities to the CBD. Getting too expensive in Downtown Boston. Circles, circles, circles…

  • hfklaw

    Lowell: That’s economics. People want to move to the CBD’s so the prices start going up until it is cost prohibitive. Then people will move to the suburbs due to price pressures. Then of course, as people start moving to the suburbs, the prices in the suburbs start going up, making the urban markets more attractive. The only thing I question is how long is the cycle? Also, keep in mind that transportation costs are ever increasing and mitigate the rising costs of rents in the CBD’s.