By Zachary Barnes
Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter
Old Town is subject to the population shift of millennials moving back into the urban core, after so many years of sprawl, because of its walkability and number of things to do.
“What we seem to be observing is that young millennials seem to have different interests and life style choices,” said Rex LaMore, a member of Michigan State University’s Urban and Regional Planning faculty. “They want to be in interesting places where there are a lot of opportunity and things to do. So they are moving back into central cities.”
Old Town offers an array of unique festivals, an assortment of different styles of restaurants, and many niche shops as well as shops for basic necessities. Tara Smith, the marketing lead at Gillespie Group developing, says these are the kinds of places recent college grads and younger people, specifically millennials, are looking for when they are searching for a place to live. Time magazine defined a millennial as someone born between the years of 1980 and 2000.
“Those little neighborhoods with the culture, and the walkability, and the lofts above the shops; they’re so eclectic and cute. We’re finding that these neighborhoods that are their own pocket of the city is something that is really popular right now, especially with millennials and recent grads from MSU,” said Smith.
Those now in the market to buy or rent are willing to sacrifice square footage or a grand kitchen if it means they can live in an accessible neighborhood with lots to do and a good community feel to it, like Old Town.
“We’re seeing that the focus used to be a lot on the inside of the units, but now it’s on the neighborhoods,” said Smith who has been involved with Gillespie Group for 12 years. “People choose now not so much on the inside, but where the community is located.”