A new wave of urban, experiential, and independent retail concepts catering to changing consumer demands has led to the rise of 100 “Cool Streets” across the United States and Canada, according to Cushman & Wakefield’s annual Cool Streets report. The firm surveyed hundreds of our real estate professionals across our offices in the U.S. and Canada, looking at livability, retail flavor, the neighborhood’s hip factor (via “The Hip-O-Meter”), residential and retail rents, and demographics.
Old Fourth Ward was chosen because of its proximity to the Atlanta BeltLine, which has spurred the repurposing of old, obsolete warehouses and manufacturing spaces into residential and retail sites. The trail traverses two of Atlanta’s coolest and most in-demand neighborhoods—the Old Fourth Ward (O4W) and Little Five Points (L5P).
The Eastside portion of the trail, which was completed in mid-2019, has become a walkable, bicycle-friendly dining district that connects Ponce City Market (in the north) to Krog Street Market (south) with a number of upscale housing and dining options along both sides of the trail.
Over 3,000 new housing units have come online since 2011, and O4W’s population has quadrupled since its low point in the early 1990s. With dozens of new projects in the works, as well as the potential redevelopment of a 70-acre deactivated train yard site at the south end of the BeltLine Trail (Hulsey Yard), we see the momentum of O4W accelerating.
The Cool Streets report outlines myriad changes that have played out across North America since Cushman & Wakefield’s inaugural Cool Streets guide was released in 2016. Chief among them: while the Cool Streets trend remains strong in primary markets and so-called 24-hour cities—as neighborhoods cycle through the “musical chairs of affordability and opportunity”—there has also been an explosion of overall growth in secondary or tertiary markets creating new opportunities for retailers, residents, and investors alike.
Value, convenience, and experience have long been the three basic tenets that draw consumers to a retail store or shopping destination, according to Garrick Brown, Vice President of Retail Intelligence, Americas at Cushman & Wakefield. But in the age of newCommerce, convenience and quick delivery of goods ordered online are paramount. These changes, coupled with shifting consumer preferences and pressures on legacy brick-and-mortar brands, provided the catalyst for the disruption of traditional retail – and led to the evolution of Cool Streets retail districts. Learn more by checking out the full report.