Homes for Millennials: Walkable Lifestyle, New Urban Communities

Homes for Millennials

While some young millennials opt to move to the suburbs for extra space, good schools and affordable housing, a contingent of these younger homebuyers gravitate to an urban lifestyle where they can walk to restaurants, bars, bookstores and coffee shops.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, 62 percent of millennials prefer to live in a walkable community with a short commute. In most cities, new developments skew towards high-end prices. Still, buyers can choose a smaller unit in an expensive condo or find an emerging neighborhood where prices are a little lower, yet residents can still walk or take public transit to favorite hangouts.

Three new developments with walkable urban appeal include:

Chapman Stables in Washington, D.C.

The building at 57 N St. NW, in Washington, D.C.’s Truxton Circle neighborhood has lived many lives. The Chapman Coal Co. and Stables, once home to horses used to deliver coal, later housed hot dog cars, antiques and art studios. Today, Four Points development has transformed the building into a 114-unit condo with a ground-floor restaurant, a clubroom, a courtyard, a rooftop pavilion with indoor entertainment space and a kitchen, plus a roof deck with views of the U.S. Capitol. A variety of stores, restaurants and coffee shops are nearby.

Chapman Stables offers a wide range of condos, including some in the historic building that incorporate original steel beams, pipes and exposed brick, as well others in an all-new modern section. While a three-bedroom penthouse unit is priced over $1 million, 450-square-foot studios start in the $300,000s and some junior one-bedrooms, one-bedroom and one-bathroom units and one-bedroom-and-den units are still available. Residents anticipate moving into their new homes in August 2018.

SoKo Commons in Philadelphia

The new brick condos and townhouses at SoKo Commons, located at 2004-20 N. 5th St. in Philadelphia in the South Kensington area, are within walking distance of St. Benjamin’s Brewing Company, Federal Distilling Co, Evil Genius Brewery, Taco Rienda and Buzz Cafe Philly. Commuters can reach Center City from the nearby Berks Station of the Market Frankford line or the Route 57 Bus to Market Street. The development is five blocks from Temple University’s main campus.

A wide variety of floor plans are available within the 32-unit development, including a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit with 600 square feet priced at $189,990 and a two-bedroom, two-and-one-half bathroom unit with 1,375 square feet and a price tag of $279,990.

Balconies, roof decks and patios are available on some homes and all residents will have access to a community garden. The development is anticipated to be complete in the spring of 2019.

"This South Kensington area is blossoming quickly as the Fishtown and Northern Liberties areas are skyrocketing in values," says Nigel Richards, an agent with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Philadelphia. "The Riverwards Group is a premier developer spear heading the movement into luxuriously finished homes at entry level prices."

1553 Wells in Chicago

Chicago’s Old Town neighborhood, where residents can walk to the beach on Lake Michigan, restaurants, shops, fitness centers and the famous Second City theatre, offers the walkable lifestyle that attracts people to urban life. Residents can walk to the Chicago Historical Society and Lincoln Park Zoo, along with Zanies Comedy Club, Equinox Fitness and Soul Cycle.

Adjacent to popular neighborhoods Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast, Old Town has a mix of multi-million-dollar single-family homes and mid-rise and high-rise condos. One of the few new developments in Old Town, located at 1553 Wells St., is a six-story, 23-unit condo building designed by SPACE Architects. Building amenities include a roof deck with a terrace, a lounge, grills and a dog walk. Parking is available for purchase at $35,000 per space and rental parking is available for $200 per space.

The base prices for the condos range from $329,000 to $950,000, but Lisa Asher an agent with Jameson | Sotheby’s International Realty says the one-bedroom condos, which have 600-square-feet, are already under contract. The available two-bedroom, two-bathroom condos, which have 1,100 to 1,400-square feet, are priced from $579,000 and up. The condos have private balconies, high ceilings, wide plank flooring and stainless-steel appliances and porcelain tile backsplashes in the kitchen. The building is anticipated to be complete in June 2019.