18 Apr Move Over NYC, 18-Hour Cities Are The Next Big Thing

For years, metropolises like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco were top spots for every recent college graduate, new business or potential real estate investor. These 24-Hour Cities are classified as ‘top-tier’ for business, culture, and entertainment. But, that top-tier status means that rents and commercial pricing is sky high. Because of this, ‘second tier’ or 18-hour cities are seeing a surge in popularity that is projected to continue throughout 2016 and beyond.

These cities (think Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, or Portland) operate on a ‘9am to midnight’ basis, rather than the 9 to 5 atmosphere of the suburbs, or the 24-hour operations of a top tier city, leaving more time for work and entertainment. And, they offer the best of all worlds – lots of employment opportunities, a low cost of living, and a vibrant social/cultural scene. In short, the success of the 18-hour city lies in balance – offering more than a typical suburban city while maintaining a low cost of living and business – and their appeal is broad and varied, from millennials, to boomers, to businesses. 


A Starting Point for Millennials

Whether looking to start a family, a career, or both, the 18-hour city is an exciting and affordable option for millennials. This generation wants to be able to live the ever-popular ‘urban lifestyle’ without paying too much, or sacrificing a comfortable apartment or home. Plus, the draw of nightlife and employment opportunities with new or growing businesses sets the 18-hour city apart from the suburban ideals their parents looked for.


A Boon for Businesses and Investors

For investors, the draw of an 18-hour city is easy to understand. A lower property cost, and a high demand for office space allows for a higher profit margin. And businesses, especially new or smaller businesses, are drawn to the relatively low cost of business, strong workforce, and low cost of living. In turn, this influx of investment and business contributes to vibrant professional communities and a strong economy, only increasing the appeal of these cities.


A Change of Pace for Boomers

The draw of the 18-hour city doesn’t solely attract young professionals, businesses and investors. Even longtime residents of high-powered, fast-paced 24-hour cities are eschewing the metropolises in favor of the cheaper, calmer atmospheres found in smaller, 18-hour cities. For lifelong urban residents looking to retire but not necessarily move to the country or the suburbs, these second-tier cities offer a cheaper, somewhat slower lifestyle, without sacrificing the excitement of city life.


2016 is said to be the year of the 18-hour city, but from what we can tell, these smaller cities (including Atlanta!) have an appeal that will last long  after the new year!

Sibet B Freides