If two online trade publications are any indication, then Lubbock has started a new housing trend for young people commonly referred to as Generation Y or "Echo Boomers."
Austin-based consultant Tim Smith was interviewed by Multifamily Executive Magazine for his expertise in Echo Boomers, which is often defined as people born in the 1980's and 90's. His comments about Lubbock are reaching apartment owners, managers and developers nationwide. The interview was also picked up by the online version of Builder Magazine, which caters to home builders.
Smith's advice to housing developers is to follow the example of Lubbock, particularly new housing in the Overton area near Texas Tech.
Smith says, "Build apartments and housing near social businesses, like coffee shops, restaurants, etc. These areas attract many young people, and some of them even work in these locations."
The major developer of Overton is the McDougal Companies. McDougal Real Estate President Marc McDougal says, "I agree with what he's saying. That is the right idea."
But McDougal says the development had to start out differently than what Smith is suggesting to other cities nationwide. The housing had to come first, then the social businesses like coffee shops. "Overton was on the leading edge of that idea. It's just we put the housing in first. We did it the other way around."
Smith says by putting apartments near the same businesses where Echo Boomers work and play, a developer is doing two things: "save young people money in terms of transportation, and save them time."
Echo Boomers have the desire for nice housing but often don't have the money. So, putting them within walking distance of everything they need is a huge draw, Smith says. Overton just happens to fit that mold.
"We did it that way in Overton because we had to. There's no parking at [that part of] Tech," McDougal says.
And McDougal agrees with Smith that Lubbock may have started something. "You're seeing some colleges now have developments like that." McDougal cites one such example at A&M.
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