Small Town California Sees Urban Revitalization

May 15, 2019
small town
Photo: Unsplash/Thought Catalog

The small town of Bakersfield, Calif., is seeing a revitalization of its downtown due to the return and investment of its Millennial residents.

Curbed tells the story of Austin Smith, a Bakersfield native whose development company recently completed a townhome project in the city core. The three-story, 44-unit project represents the first market-rate housing built in the city’s core in decades, and is already fully leased despite it’s (comparatively) high rent—between $1,630 and $1,830 for a two-bedroom.

Smith’s bet on Bakersfield represents a new era of development, however small, for this Central Valley city. A recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found Bakersfield to have one of the highest rates of millennial movers and homeowners, setting off a series of stories written with a tone of “wait, that Bakersfield?” as if it were a shock that somebody might find the city was both a good value and a good opportunity.

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