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Well, actually, I'm not --- but as each week passes, the number of people who can make that statement is growing as Urban Exchange residents move in.
More on that in a moment, but first, some very interesting historical context....
I referred to the Citywide Housing Analysis for Harrisonburg, Virginia a few weeks ago, and here are some additional excerpts from that 2005 report, related to downtown housing....
"Harrisonburg's Plan for Downtown (2002) targets professional households for an emergent downtown housing market, particularly young singles and couples without children that would find condominium and luxury rental apartments amenable in a high amenity/high access environment."
The growing number of people leasing apartments at Urban Exchange is showing that there is indeed an emergent (emerged?) downtown housing market.
"Demand at the luxury scale will remain latent until the downtown reaches a critical mass of new attractive but more modest units plus commercial and arts amenities."
Given the number of people leasing at the Urban Exchange (which are luxury apartments), I don't think we can describe the demand as latent anymore. So....does that mean that downtown Harrisonburg has reached a critical mass of commercial and arts amenities??
"With a modest beginning, and implementation of other downtown projects, the downtown should support 10 to 15 new upscale multi-family units annually over the next five years."
Admittedly, Urban Exchange is being developed at the tail end of the 2005-2010 time frame referenced here, but certainly the demand for downtown living was grossly underestimated in this 2005 report.
Urban Exchange is comprised of 96 apartments in the East Wing (roughly 90% leased to date), and 98 apartments in the West Wing (roughly 45% leased to date).
"According to the 2000 census, and documented in the Plan For Downtown, the downtown area contained 260 households with 590 residents."
Even aside from other recent downtown developments, Urban Exchange will contribute 194 households (75% increase), and the potential for 375 new residents (64% increase). So, your next question might be....
Who are all of these people deciding to live in downtown Harrisonburg??
We'll be working to answer that more thoroughly in the weeks to come, but here are some examples of the Urban Exchange tenants that we have met over the past week:
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