If you’re a young urbanite looking for a trendy place to live, you might want to try … the ‘burbs?
That’s right. With city rents climbing higher and higher — and spaces getting smaller and smaller —young couples are flocking to such far-flung locales such as Natick, a suburb about 10 miles west of Boston.
Now, a new 150-unit complex, called the Modera Natick Center, is hoping to attract more young people to this quaint New England town. The development boasts 12 townhouses and 138 apartment units, including 28 reserved for affordable housing.
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“We have a range of folks renting here: from young professionals and young families moving upwards in terms of space, to older people moving downwards,” says Jim Lambert, vice president of Mill Creek Residential, a national developer with several projects in Massachusetts, including Modera.
“It is very attractive to young couples who want to start their lives in the suburbs. That still happens,” he insists. “My wife and I did it. People thought suburban living was dead, but folks, it’s alive and well.”
But, these aren’t your parents’ ‘burbs. While suburban living may have risen in tandem with America’s reliance on cars, the next generation of suburbanites wants to walk, or hop on a bike, instead of spending all weekend driving to get to places you want or need to be.
Natick has that walkability factor — the Modera is within walking distance from the train — as well as charming brick sidewalks and aesthetic appeal. “It’s very quaint,” says Lambert. “It’s different to that suburban lifestyle of just driving to the mall.” (Though there’s one of those, too.)
Adding to its urban bonafides: the Modera Natick Center is built on reclaimed, cleaned-up land previously contaminated by its long-gone industrial tenants.
Apartments range from 779-square-foot one-bedrooms priced from $2100, to spacious two-bedroom townhouses spanning approximately 1575 square feet and priced at $4100 for the most expensive. Building amenities include a bar, billiards room, gym and yoga room. The outdoor living area includes seating, a pool and a grilling area.
“Another thing is that this provides suburban access to renters,” says Lambert. “With the housing market so hot, we provide an alternative to buying, and an alternative to renting in the city.”