Tuesday, 1 April 2014

15 minutes from the city

Go to any train or tram stop fifteen minutes from any of Australia’s major cities at peak hour and you will find fifty somethings with designer clothes and shoes and smart phones alongside twenty somethings with piercings, tattoos and smartphones. Suburbs which once housed the warehouses and industries which drove the cities have been gentrified.  Old depots become trendy apartments, warehouses display  wooden beams above Italian marble kitchen benches and the terrace houses where merchants used to live are share houses with bikes along the corridors and surfboards out the back. The world has changed and the baby boomers want to taste that edgy, vibrant energy in bustling cafes and eclectic fashion boutiques without giving away too many of their creature comforts. Yet, by moving into the new apartment blocks and townhouses, often paying over the odds for the accommodation, they are squeezing out the twenty somethings who created the hipster culture they crave! Where are the twenty somethings going: back to the suburbs they grew up in at the end of the train line!

Relocation consultants who have been assisting corporates to find rental  homes in their new destination city are reporting that for older executives whose families are grown up there is much more demand for hugging the city fringes and abandoning the backyard and extra bedrooms in favour of cutting edge apartments, converted industrial buildings and renovated workers cottages. This demand pushes rental prices up and makes it tough on up and coming youngsters who don’t want huge taxi fares getting back from nightclubs at the weekend.

Part of this obsession with being close to the city is that Australian cities have reinvented themselves and are now a hive of activity at weekends with festivals, parades, markets and sporting events which carry the collective enthusiasm of the community. Events are for everyone so it is no surprise that baby boomers want to be close at hand. The cafes and restaurants and yogurt and ice cream parlours set up for a different  demographic are just as seductive places for young and older to hang out and watch the world go by ….with their smartphone close at hand! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.