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asonj23

Florida's Downtown Revivals

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I can't hep but ponder the idea that a major player in the widespread revivals of our state's downtown cores is mother nature herself. With all of the natural events in recent years its no wonder people are now flocking to city centers and abandoning their suburban lifestyles. With hurricanes consistantly pummeling oil supplies forcing up gas prices, and increasing storm related utility outages and flooding it almost looks like Mother Nature is driving the point home for us to resort to urban living conserving as much natural landscape as possible.

What other factors does everyone else think are playing a role? Politics? Popular ideas?

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I can't hep but ponder the idea that a major player in the widespread revivals of our state's downtown cores is mother nature herself. With all of the natural events in recent years its no wonder people are now flocking to city centers and abandoning their suburban lifestyles. With hurricanes consistantly pummeling oil supplies forcing up gas prices, and increasing storm related utility outages and flooding it almost looks like Mother Nature is driving the point home for us to resort to urban living conserving as much natural landscape as possible.

What other factors does everyone else think are playing a role? Politics? Popular ideas?

I would say this - there is far, far more residential development in Florida's downtowns than elsewhere in the country. Part of this is the beach and part just the Florida urban lifestyle which differs from other places. Residential development (condo towers) fills downtown streets with affluent pedestrians that like to shop and eat and it's partly why WPB and Ft Lauderdale are booming so crazily. There is office development there but it's really a secondary consideration.

This is in direct opposition to the place I'm living right now, Dallas, where there must be a million SF of office space for every resident, though that is slowly starting to change. Still, there aren't a dozen people walking all of downtown at night.

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Another reason for urbanization in Florida may have something to do with transients. The bulk of new residents come from more urban places (the Northeast, Britain, South America, wherever really) than other parts of the South, so an urban lifestyle is more important or valued. On top of this, of course oil prices are a key factor.

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I think alot of these downtown projects were underway or proposed before the gas prices spiked to the levels that we are paying today. I think much of it has to do with the fact that downtowns and many urban areas were originally built on the most desirable areas ie. Waterfront, Beachfront or Lakefront. Even despite all the flooding and hurricanes people still want to live in these places.

The cost of gas at these high prices will definetly now help contribute to better urban development.

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I agree with TampaTKE ... most of these condos were being planned when gas was $1.20 a gallon. It's not oil prices, or anything of that nature.

Part of it is a mild cultural backlash against the suburb. However, for Florida, much of it might be sheer population pressure. Florida's population has gained millions of people in the veritable "blink of an eye." Unlike some other states, our "enlightened" traffic engineers can't expand the freeways fast enough for this influx, so some of the new housing demand is naturally trickling into the downtown markets as well as the sprawl.

But remember, the growth of our downtowns is almost nothing compared to the growth of our exurbs. Of course, we can also look at that in a possitive light ... think of how much more downtown growth is still possible in the future!

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Well I personally don't think we can say its because of any one thing in particular. There are several factors at play here. Considering Florida's desirable quality of life, our no state income tax, our great weather overall, our good schools, hospitals, and infrastructure... among other things.

Its just our time.

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I would say this - there is far, far more residential development in Florida's downtowns than elsewhere in the country. Part of this is the beach and part just the Florida urban lifestyle which differs from other places. Residential development (condo towers) fills downtown streets with affluent pedestrians that like to shop and eat and it's partly why WPB and Ft Lauderdale are booming so crazily. There is office development there but it's really a secondary consideration.

This is in direct opposition to the place I'm living right now, Dallas, where there must be a million SF of office space for every resident, though that is slowly starting to change. Still, there aren't a dozen people walking all of downtown at night.

Part of this is the beach? Hardly, Miami's Downtown which is at the forefront of this development is not near the beach. The beach is still a bus ride or a car ride away. A recent Miami Herald report said tht kids who grew up in Kendall or West Miami-Dade are the ones leading the

"Eastward Ho charge" because we are all tired of seeing our parents drive back and fourth from downtown. A second reaosn is Gas Prices, and a third reason is The transient community.

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I think there is a cyclical nature to man's behavior. The grandparents move to the city from the farm in say 1920. Their children react against the city and move to the suburbs in the 1960s. And, in the 2000s, the grandkids react against the suburbs by moving back to the city. I think it is an interesting theory at least. :)

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awsome thought there... i like the way u said that gator.

Also, the rising fuel cost is not a matter of current price rises, we have known, and do know that things are gonna get worst. We all want convienience and realestate is all about that locationary values.

I think it can be alot to do with the views... each of our cities has something different to provide a highrise resident. Even little tally has excitments to see!

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I think there is a cyclical nature to man's behavior. The grandparents move to the city from the farm in say 1920. Their children react against the city and move to the suburbs in the 1960s. And, in the 2000s, the grandkids react against the suburbs by moving back to the city. I think it is an interesting theory at least. :)

I agree with that cyclical theory.

That being said, what will happen in 2040? :unsure:

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^ My optimistic prediction: Florida will consit of numerous ultra-urban super cities surrounded by strict development boundaries litimiting/if not preventing growth too far away from the city cores, thus preserving as much of natural Florida as possible. The main Florida cities will then be the urban comparison to the world's cities (instead of NYC, Chicago, Tokyo, Sydney etc.). Nobody will want to leave, therefore, dismissing RiversideGator's cyclic theory (no offense ;)).

....I can dream can't I?

Another reason for urbanization in Florida may have something to do with transients. The bulk of new residents come from more urban places (the Northeast, Britain, South America, wherever really) than other parts of the South, so an urban lifestyle is more important or valued. On top of this, of course oil prices are a key factor.

That's a good point. But it seems that I have experienced the opposite. Most of the northerner's (no experience with forieners) I know are all looking to get out of the hustle and bustle and run away to a single home with a yard and separation from their neighbors.

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Obviously, no one factor is the sole cause of the sudden urban condo development we're seeing now. Many of Florida's downtowns, while urban-looking, have a "roll up the sidewalks at 5:00" mentality because they have been too focused on single purpose functionality (serving business needs, retiree needs, etc.) and lacked the variety needed in a downtown to remain vibrant around the clock. Many of Florida's cities have yearned for more density and more variety.

But conditions for development of the types of properties to give them what they want have not existed until now - over-development in suburbs has made the commute unbearable (transportation gridlock), many new baby-boomer retirees used to living in cities are willing to buy downtown condos with no lawn-care needed, low interest rates make all real estate development more affordable and values higher, values (sale prices) of condos are high enough to make downtown condos profitable, and now gas prices make urban living sensible. Just like conditions were right to make office tower development prevalent in the 80's and early 90's, it's all coming together for urban residential development now.

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TaureanJ,

As always, great topic.

All in all, I think many Floridian's are starting to realize how much of their lives are wasted commuting to work.

With graduation coming soon, I've been job searching. I know one thing, I'm going to avoid a 45-minute commute like the plague. I lived in Orlando for 8-months, and the commute killed me. It's just not healthy.

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I can't hep but ponder the idea that a major player in the widespread revivals of our state's downtown cores is mother nature herself. With all of the natural events in recent years its no wonder people are now flocking to city centers and abandoning their suburban lifestyles. With hurricanes consistantly pummeling oil supplies forcing up gas prices, and increasing storm related utility outages and flooding it almost looks like Mother Nature is driving the point home for us to resort to urban living conserving as much natural landscape as possible.

What other factors does everyone else think are playing a role? Politics? Popular ideas?

In Miami's case, besides the popularity of the beach and the water, simple geographic constraints and by extension, land prices, are the biggest factor for our dense development, and our recent epiphany of building dense urbanist development in areas that haven't seen that type of thing before has been a more recent phenomenon.

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Part of this is the beach? Hardly, Miami's Downtown which is at the forefront of this development is not near the beach. The beach is still a bus ride or a car ride away. A recent Miami Herald report said tht kids who grew up in Kendall or West Miami-Dade are the ones leading the

"Eastward Ho charge" because we are all tired of seeing our parents drive back and fourth from downtown. A second reaosn is Gas Prices, and a third reason is The transient community.

I mentioned WPB and Ft Lauderdale by name. Both downtowns aren't far from the beach, 5 min or less.

Miami's building downtown but it's at a brisk but more expected pace. The other two are building massive de novo downtowns from scratch.

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