Commercial and residential real estate prices in Maryland and around the country tend to reflect societal trends. Suburban areas were quite popular in the 1950s and 1960s as couples sought a quieter life and more space to raise their children, but urban centers have been becoming more popular in recent years among Millennials who enjoy the entertainment options and cultural amenities offered by big cities. Residential real estate prices in urban centers are now outpacing suburban values according to the real estate company Zillow.
This trend has led to a shift in commercial real estate development away from suburban strip malls and office parks and toward mixed use developments in city centers. However, developers should be aware that the character of a neighborhood can have a significant impact on the type of commercial tenants that it will attract. While big box retailers may thrive in suburban areas, stores and restaurants in bohemian neighborhoods tend to be more eclectic and cosmopolitan.
Town planners have also adapted to this move back to city living. Suburbs tend to be highly compartmentalized with clearly defined residential, retail and commercial areas, but most city residents like their apartments, workplaces and stores to be in close proximity. Transportation preferences are also changing, and commercial real estate developers should be aware that having options like Uber available to them has led many Millennials to choose not to buy or lease a personal vehicle.
Commercial real estate projects rarely reach completion without encountering some sort of legal issue. Attorneys with experience in this area may sometimes be able to anticipate such problems and provide property developers with advice that allows them to avoid many common pitfalls. Attorneys could also scrutinize important documents to identify potentially contentious provisions and provide assistance with land use or zoning issues.