In the long-range, Lexington will eventually use all of its available land. When that happens I think we’ll start to see a huge price difference between Lexington and the surrounding towns. When the land becomes that valuable, we’ll see a lot of what are now cheap areas redeveloped.
That is what I said 7 years ago yesterday and it is happening. I know this thanks to Facebook’s “On this Day” feature. Besides being reminded that I had sushi for lunch with my wife on February 4th in 2013, I found an old blog post that was mainly about downtown.
All this is happening because there practically is no affordable housing in Lexington. Builders have given up on the first time buyer market because the land costs them so much. Why would they use their expensive land to build small/plain houses when there is so much money to be made building expensive/upscale houses?
We have practically built out to the urban service area……..aka the city limits. There are few big tracts of land for the big builders to obtain.
That has forced buyers and investors into areas that 10 years ago were undesirable. Downtown is a prime example because that is where the cheap land is….or was?
The Distillery District, between the time it was actually distilleries and trendy businesses, sat empty and was mostly industrial businesses and junkyards. There were probably more rats than people down there on any given day back then.
The Newtown Pike extension is connecting Main Street to South Broadway right through a really depressing area of Lexington that few people ever knew existed. Meanwhile, all the old tobacco warehouses along South Broadway are gone with apartments and businesses taking their place.
Then there is all the activity on the north end of downtown. Jefferson Street. NoLi. Midland Avenue. Cool restaurants, bars and old housing stock.
Heck, even Cardinal Valley and many north end neighborhoods are becoming an acceptable location to young first times buyers with a tight budget wanting to live in this expensive town.
Many people will think all this is happening because people want to return to the urban core. Lexington isn’t big enough to have true suburbs. Plus, you can get to downtown from any where in any traffic within 30 minutes. So I don’t think that is the main reason. I think the reason is because infill projects and fixing up cheap houses are the only options for a town that is always growing and has run out of space.