Blog

Raub Report- September 2017

September 19, 2017

 

“Home is where the heart is.” Housing is certainly a major component of our economy and our
homes are the central location for the living of our lives, raising our families, and the site of
most of our best times and our worst times. Our homes have evolved over time from caves to
mud huts to farm houses, from brownstones to subdivisions. However, our concept of housing
is changing more rapidly than ever before. Once the cul-de-sac community was the goal for
every new family. Now urban planners deride them as “urban sprawl” and encourage us all to
move back downtown into small apartments with walkable neighborhoods.

So old trends collide with new. Home ownership has been the American Dream but now we
are becoming the “Renter Nation.” This means Millennials will prefer to stay untethered to a
home and a mortgage, instead preferring to frequently move to new locations that they find
appealing. They want to keep a “small carbon footprint” which loosely translates into being
sensitive to the environment, recycling, being involved in the sharing economy, driving electric
cars or “ubering,” owning fewer things and instead spending money on experiences.

Another trend reversal is the strong, new downtown vibe with dozens of new projects, starting
with The Pearl ten years ago, and looking forward to the new Frost Tower and Hemisfair Park.
The Centro is no longer just for tourists on the River Walk, but is a magnet for 7,500 new
apartment units and many employers, even USAA.

So, an interesting opportunity comes up for new single family housing downtown where
nothing new has been developed in 50 years or more. Now, there are a few infill projects going
on sites where obsolete housing has been torn down. Mahncke Park is a great example of
gentrification, which is, recycling a great old neighborhood into the new age.

IRC is involved in one of these projects, “The Carriage Houses on Claremont.” These are single
family homes, with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a two car garage, built together on a single lot as
duplexes for lease. These appeal to the many who are looking for downtown living but want a
little more space and privacy than you get in an apartment. And apartments don’t usually
provide you a two car garage, a small yard and first floor access. These units appeal to what
we can affectionately call “DINKs”, that is, Double Income No Kids; urban professionals with
nice incomes to afford a nice rental property but with no interest just now in being tied to a
mortgage.

Then, “The Carriage Houses on Claremont” offer convenient access to the River Walk, new theaters,
like The Tobin, all of the great restaurants at The Pearl, all of the newly renovated museums, like the
DoSeum and the Witte, and a great park like Brackenridge, and so much more. You have all of the best experiences of San Antonio just around the corner. Home can be in the heart of San Antonio.