In Philly, millennials rule. A recent article in INSIGHT, published by Colliers International, examines the effect the generation has on commercial real estate. The story features observations from FirstBase co-founder Jerre Riggs, who’s also the Director of Real Estate at Benjamin’s Desk.
Why so much focus on millennials? According to the article, they make up the biggest demographic in Philadelphia, making up 26 percent of the workforce. The millennial population in the city continues to increase. The story notes that, between 2006 and 2012, the number of 20 to 34-year-olds in the city grew by 100,000. College students find themselves more likely to stay in the city rather than leave after graduation.
Philadelphia has changed to accommodate the younger crowd, with many of those changes visible in the commercial real estate sector. Elizabeth Morrow, the author of the article, puts it succinctly by stating that “nerdy is the new cool.” Young twenty and thirty-somethings ride their bikes to work, shop at small, local businesses, and drink complicated coffee-based beverages.
Millennials’ taste for the artisanal and vintage combined with their need for up-to-date technology makes the change in the traditional office setting more appealing. The INSIGHT article highlights several recent building conversions, such as the renovated spaces along N3RD street (AKA North 3rd street, between Market and Girard) or in-process conversions, such as the redevelopment of Bok Technical High School into a mixed-use makerspace. New or redesigned buildings make the city’s workspaces more attractive to a younger crowd. The article also calls attention to the rise in coworking spaces in Philly over the past decade and in the years to come, stressing the importance of flexibility and features that support smaller companies.
Although millennials might make up a significant portion of the city’s workforce and population, it remains to be seen whether many of them will remain in the central business district or move out to the suburbs to raise kids.
Check out the entire story to find out more about the effect of millennials and what Philly can do to attract and keep them in the city center.