Younger people, the group that advertisers like to focus on, like to live close to where they work. They also value access to efficient public transportation. This is in part because they have little patience for traffic jams but also because many are interested in reducing the carbon footprint. Since people are working longer hours and harder, they also welcome the opportunity to live close to their places of business. They also prefer to live within walking distance of the shops and restaurants that they choose to frequent. Given that Mad Mothers Against Drunk Driving has made their inroads felt throughout the country, people also prefer to enjoy themselves on an evening out and be able to walk home or take public transportation without fear of incurring DWI infractions.
Tyson Corners, a regional shopping hub in Northern Virginia located 13 miles from downtown Washington D.C. will be welcoming an 11.7 mile extension of the regional Metro rail system called the Silver Line. The goal of developers is to transform what they have now named Tyson into an urban stand alone city. There are presently four new office towers under construction, 850 new apartment units which are scheduled for completion by the end of 2015, and considerably more in the planning stage. In addition, a consortium of developers and planners called Tysons Partnership aim to continue developing new housing and renovating older apartments in the area. What about some affordable housing in the mix? Nothing has been said about this to date but given the need for affordable housing in the beltway area, it certainly should be part of the mix.
The lesson to be learned here is the need for efficient public transportation combined with more easily accessible living arrangements that are close to the urban services that people use and frequent. The secondary advantage is to save many large scale malls around the country which are less frequented by consumers today and only accessible by car. These malls usually have large parking areas that could be developed for housing and office buildings by placing the parking underground.
Read the New York Times article about Tysons here.
Are there any malls in your city that would benefit from be transformed in this way?