Friday, September 21, 2007

Core Living

Online DID poll gauges interest in living downtown

"What do potential downtown Fort Wayne residents want?

A six-month-long online survey by the Downtown Improvement District, although unscientific by traditional polling standards, provides some answers to that question.

The majority of those who volunteered responses, 69 percent, were people in their 20s, “so we skewed a little younger than the average market,” said Dan Carmody, president of the Downtown Improvement District. Responses were evenly split between men and women and between those who already own and rent their current residences."

"The top four reasons respondents gave for not living downtown were:

• Haven’t found the right unit (50 percent);

• Haven’t found the right unit for my budget (30 percent);

• Waiting for downtown to become more revitalized (42 percent); and

• Inconvenient parking (21 percent)."

"Just 8 percent expressed concerns about safety and security, and only 2 percent were worried about noise. A total of 95 percent said they would live downtown if the right space were available."

"The desired monthly payment range — rent or mortgage — clustered in three primary areas: $400-$499, $600-$699 and $800-$899. Eleven percent of respondents said they would be willing to pay $1,000 a month or more.

A 54-percent majority said they would prefer to own their units, while 34 percent wanted rentals. Two-bedroom spaces were the choice of 42 percent, while 22 percent preferred one-bedroom units."

Home is where the heart of the city is
Harrison Square has boosted interest in downtown living

"Although the baseball stadium won’t open until 2009, the first phase of the condos — 62 units on three floors above a first-floor retail complex — should be finished and ready to occupy by fall/winter of 2008."

"Interest in the one- and two-bedroom condos, which will range from about 800 square feet to 1,300 square feet in size, is already high — even though the prices of the units still have not been determined."

"Interest also seems to be increasing in the 104 condominium units at Midtowne Crossing, a six-building complex that wraps around Calhoun Street from Wayne Street to Washington Boulevard.

“We’ve just had a boom in our sales,” said property manager Diane Enterline.

In a typical year, six or eight Midtowne residential units might change hands. In the last 13 months, with talk of Harrison Square and downtown redevelopment intensifying, 35 of the units have been sold — some more than once, Enterline said."

"Occupancy levels at Three Rivers, Fort Wayne’s only luxury high-rise apartment complex, are up to about 95 to 96 percent, said senior property manager Jammie Bandor. Interest appears to be growing, and there are waiting lists for some apartment sizes and floor plans.

“With the downtown improvements coming, I think people are coming back to the idea of living downtown,” Bandor said."

"Downtown Fort Wayne also has some older, smaller apartment buildings for those who prefer digs with a historical flair. One of those is Washington Manor, an 18-unit, three-story, red brick building that dates from the 1920s."

"“I think if we look around, we’ve got everything, although it seems to be further apart than the non-walking people would like,” she [Antil]. “I love the library and the Embassy (Theatre) and the community center and the courthouse. And there’s even a hospital. I’ve got it all.”"