By Joyce Jay
While it’s the people who generally make a community A+, regional and national real estate trends also have a significant impact on our city. Creating an awareness of those trends is the key to embracing change and successfully evolving as a city. A document called “Emerging Trends In Real Estate 2017” from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) illustrates some of those trends that apply to Wheat Ridge. I find it interesting that the City of Wheat Ridge is moving in the very direction guided by market demand that is outlined in the ULI document.
Trend: Women now earn 58 percent of all college degrees in the United States and earn more than their spouses 38 percent of the time. This may indicate an increased need for childcare and preschool options in our community as well as the need for professional job opportunities requiring a higher level of education.
Trend: 18-27 year olds will be forming the new sets of households that every city needs. These individuals will need places to live and interact as well as cultural and recreational activities and could draw employers to base businesses in Wheat Ridge.
Trend: Rental units will be more in demand as both the younger and the newly retired want that easier lifestyle. Home ownership is predicted to go down to 60 percent. Wheat Ridge could offer a nice blend of ownership and multi-family rentals, especially if the units are well managed.
Trend: Living styles will want more convenient, car-free locations for shopping and eateries. Retail stores will be transformed into places that sell experiences rather than goods. New development in Wheat Ridge is already focused on place-making and multi-use residential to include entertainment, retail, restaurants and access to trails and parks.
Trend: New housing will attempt to combine live, work and play situations for maximum land conservation, travel reduction and higher return on construction cost. The Corners at 38th and Wadsworth Boulevard, the Transit Oriented Development at our Wheat Ridge Ward Station, and the plans for Clear Creek Crossing are all focused on blending opportunities to live, work and play.
While the real estate landscape is definitely changing, I believe Wheat Ridge is creating an attractive environment to entice younger professionals and families as well as maintaining that sense of community and belonging for seniors downsizing into residences that require less yard work and maintenance.
This is an exciting time for our city as we see long-term plans become reality with projects including The Corners at 38th, Fruitdale Lofts, and the West End at 38, which will all open new residential housing this fall or next year. With all we have to offer as a city including our parks, trails, open space, quality schools, retail, restaurants, and places to gather as a community like the Ridge at 38, we will continue to see more people wanting to live and work in Sweet Ridge. The future looks bright indeed.