February 21, 2018
A recent update to an urban housing study found that the number of lofts in downtown Springfield has grown by more than 700 units since 2002. The study, sponsored by the Springfield Finance and Development Corporation (SFDC) was prepared by Springfield-based real estate valuation firm Southwest Valuation. The executive summary of the study is available here.
The urban housing study surveyed the residential loft market and found that the total number of units in downtown Springfield has grown to 772. That total is staggering compared with the mere 45 units found in an initial study in 2002. Additionally, occupancy has remained solid at 96 percent, dipping just one percent from the 97 percent occupancy rate found in in 2012. This confirms that demand for urban housing has kept pace with the steady increase in supply.
“I know a lot of apartment owners who would love to have a 96% occupancy rate,” says Derek Fraley, president of SFDC. “Now, extrapolate that to an entire community. The impact to the downtown economy is easily seen. Downtown has some of the best dining options; retail is present where it wasn’t before; overall, there is an amazing sense of community.”
In addition to the 15-year analysis of lofts, the study added a summary of student housing to document the 2,400 beds added over the past eight years. Occupancy for student housing was 93 percent, notably stable when considering the hundreds of beds recently added by nearby developments like Bear Village, Aspen Heights and multiple Vecino Group projects.
“The rapid expansion of urban housing options and residents has played a major role in increasing downtown Springfield’s vibrancy,” says DSA Executive Director Rusty Worley. “Lofts are an important amenity for attracting and retaining young professionals and empty nesters alike. We look forward to working with developers and residents to shape the next 15 years of new urban housing.”
About the Downtown Springfield Association:
The Downtown Springfield Association’s (DSA) mission is to cultivate and sustain a vibrant business community represented by a balance of retail, professional, service, dining and entertainment entrepreneurs.
About the Springfield Finance and Development Corporation:
The mission of the Springfield Finance and Development Corporation is to proactively assess in the continued revitalization of Springfield’s Center City by providing creative financing to stimulate small business growth in the defined target area.