Suburban cities like Dublin, New Albany and Hilliard are developing walkable amenity-filled urban centers in hopes of enticing more millennials and empty nesters. The goal is to move away from endless single-family homes and focus on creating spaces that feel more like the Short North, Arena District or the area around the Columbus Commons.
The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission predicts that the population of Franklin County and the six outlying counties (Delaware, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway, Madison and Union) will grow from 1.8 million to 2.3 million by 2050. Terry Foegler, Dublin’s director of special initiatives for the Bridge Street District noted that the 80 percent growth will come from households with one or two people and no children. A fierce competition is heating up for cities trying to entice the two groups, and the stakes are very high. Cities that manage to pull millennials and empty nesters away from downtown and into suburbia will gain a slew of new residents, their property and payroll taxes as well as the businesses that carter to younger demographics.
Most of these projects are still underway and it will take some time to see if the newest batch of YP’s will be willing to make the move the edges of central Ohio.