By John Gilderbloom and Matt Hanka
What’s going on in older urban neighborhoods near downtown is a historic reversal in past real estate trends. Our research shows that certain neighborhoods between 2000 and 2006 have experienced price increases of 100% and even 200%, while other neighborhoods farther way from downtown have declined or remain stagnant.
We show that 8 of the 10 highest property value increases are located within the Watterson Expressway, while the ten neighborhoods with the lowest increases lie outside the Watterson and even a few outside the Gene Snyder Freeway. Why are property values soaring in neighborhoods near the center of the city?
One reason is that
downtown older neighborhoods have become places of creating affordable home
ownership opportunities. In the mid 1990s, innovative and bold
partnerships with the
Another reason is consumers are paying twice as much at the pump for gasoline. Folks are tired of long commutes from home to work.
People want to do something about global warming by choosing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by driving less and reducing the greenhouse effect. People also desire for a more active lifestyle, where people have an opportunity to walk or ride a bike to work.
This “green” lifestyle choice is not only
better for the environment, but it has the added benefits of making people
healthier. For example, in
Not all downtown neighborhoods are experiencing an increase in property values. Race does not explain it, since the best performing neighborhoods are integrated or minority dominated neighborhoods.
While Russell has the second highest increase in property values, it was Sam Watkins, longtime head of the Louisville Central Community Center, who had the wisdom to embrace opportunities provided by the University of Louisville Center for Sustainable Urban Neighborhoods (SUN), local, state, and federal government, developers, foundations and banks wanting to make history. Also, key was the civil rights community who protested in front of “drug houses” that eventually shut them down. Downtown neighborhoods that are not performing well are without sound leadership, or so abrasive that it frightens away potential partners.
Many of these downtown neighborhoods are within
walking and biking distance of numerous
positive amenities such as Fourth Street
However, folks are
looking for amenities within their neighborhoods as well. Old
neighborhoods should continue to improve if they take the following
actions. First, convert the oppressive
and unnecessary one-way streets into two-way streets. Traffic calming makes neighborhoods more family friendly. It also means less crime, speeding, and
anonymity in the neighborhood. It also
will lead to higher property values. Second,
we need bike lanes in these neighborhoods for safer commutes from work to home.
Third, restaurants, pubs, antique stores, art
galleries, and other cultural activities need to be embraced, and not hindered,
by neighborhood “activists”. Fourth, stronger
historic preservation ordinances are needed, so that nine-foot hand carved
wooden front doors are not replaced by Home Depot artificial plastic bathroom
doors. Fifth, the
John I. Gilderbloom
and Matt Hanka
are at the