Over the past five years, hundreds of companies across the United States have moved to and invested in walkable downtowns. Why did companies choose these places? And what features did they look for when picking a new location?
Core Values: Why American Companies are Moving Downtown is brand new research released today from Smart Growth America in partnership with Cushman & Wakefield and the George Washington University School of Business’ Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis. Their report surveys nearly 500 companies that moved to or expanded in walkable downtowns between 2010 and 2015, and includes interviews with more than 40 senior-level staff at those companies. The results provide an overview of why these companies chose a walkable downtown and what they looked for when considering a new location. The report also provides ideas for cities about how they can create the kinds of places these companies seek.
Of particular interest to us Houstonians, fourteen companies either opening a new business or relocating to Downtown Houston were studied. All of the places that the relocating businesses chose to move had dramatically increased walking and transit scores, meaning they were more walkable and more easily reachable by transit. Almost all of them had better bike scores as well. What does this mean? Houston’s businesses are following a national trend of preferring locations that are less remote and easier to access by sustainable means. They want walkable neighborhoods, cleaner and safer streets, and convenient access by many transportation options.
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