‘Ask ACI’ is a bi-weekly editorial that asks brokers and agents at Apartment Consultants Inc. about current multifamily and economic trends. This week’s topic considers where the next generation of renters may end up living.

The Massachusetts state senate recently proposed building “Millennial Villages”, neighborhoods within the city with an emphasis on walk-ability, recreation, sustainability, and cultural diversity. The hope with this project is to draw millennials out of properties traditionally designed to be multi-family and minimize housing shortages in the city of Boston. This strategy to appeal to an age groups interests has the potential to shape where renters will be going in the next few years and determine amenities that can be invested in now that would be considered desirable.

So let’s Ask ACI…

If a similar plan was to be proposed for the San Diego area, what part of the city could you see a “millennial village” occupying and why? Would the city use existing neighborhood infrastructure or try building something new altogether?


Chuck Hoffman, President and Broker of Record at ACI Says:

It would seem that in spite of high land prices downtown is ideal in order to satisfy the needs and desires of millennials. Most of the infrastructure is in place and living without a car is possible.  Restaurants, shopping, bars and recreational activities are nearby.







Keith Courtney, Principal at ACI Says:

San Diego County is landlocked with Camp Pendleton to the North, the ocean to the west, the border with Mexico to the south and difficult to build on mountains to the east.  Therefore, San Diego County has limited opportunity for horizontal growth, which means with our ever increasing population we have to grow vertically and that means higher density development projects.  Millennials (ages 18 to 34) are the generation that has and will continue to embrace higher density, walk-able communities with smaller apartment floor plans with amenities they are willing to share with fellow millennials.  It is very difficult to impossible to get high density projects approved unless the area has already been zoned and designated as an area where high density is wanted.  Areas in San Diego that embrace higher density are Downtown San Diego, UTC area, North Park, Bankers Hill, Hillcrest and an area I think is prime for these types of projects is Mission Valley.




Mark Morgan, Senior Associate at ACI Says:

The Massachusetts State Senate proposed “Millennial Villages” concept is an interesting one indeed.  San Diego should follow suit by developing a Millennial Village in the North Park neighborhood along El Cajon Blvd. between Park Blvd. and 30th Street.  While North Park has seen a revitalization over the past 5 years, most of the improvements have happened on University Ave. and 30th Street leaving El Cajon Blvd. behind.  The El Cajon Blvd. corridor would be the ideal location for mixed-use Millennial Village type developments due to the following factors:  ideal central San Diego location, high walk-ability,  the public transportation route runs along El Cajon Blvd., and the abundance of restaurants/bars/shops that millennials frequent.





Terry Moore, Senior Vice President at ACI Says:

North Park west is going through the process of up-zoning. The density could allow up to 73 units per acre. Think low scale Vancouver.







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