Business Brief: Millennials Driving Housing Trends In Urban Core, Suburbs Too

Aug 7, 2017

Those who enjoy the resurgence of historic neighborhoods around Jacksonville’s urban core might want to thank a young professional. Their affinity for walkable areas with quirky charm is contributing to development booms in places like Murray Hill — and transforming suburban areas as well.


Ennis Davis says the proof is in a recent national report called “Millennials and Historic Preservation” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express.

Its finding is that millennials — those born between about 1975 and 1990 — prefer authenticity and character when choosing places to live and vacation. A whopping 97 percent of them, the study found, value historic preservation as an ideal.

That attitude, combined with the generation’s increasing size and spending power, is fueling the rebirth of places like San Marco, St. Nicholas and areas of the Beaches.

And the influence doesn’t end there, Davis said. The millennial desire for old charm is also transforming the way suburbs are being developed in St. Johns County. Instead of endless cul-de-sacs, the newer developments now include millennial-geared grid layouts, offering walkable access to nearby shops, as well as front porches and homes built closer together — basically, more like the way neighborhoods were built 100 years ago. 

Ennis Davis is co-founder of Modern Cities

Contact Jessica Palombo at jpalombo@wjct.org, 904-358-6315 or on Twitter at @JessicaPubRadio