Today’s post is courtesy of Stuart Karaffa. Stuart is a Washington transplant, millennial, and founder of the blog, Oh, hi DC, where he covers local events, urban trends, and Nationals baseball.
A few days ago I realized I had hit my four-year anniversary mark as a DC resident. Though it feels like only yesterday that I left the Midwest and moved into my first dirty apartment on Capitol Hill, the changes the city has undergone during my time here have been swift and tremendous.
The Millennial Growth Spurt
According to data from the U.S. Census, my observations are not just another Russia House-induced hallucination. From 2000 to 2010, the millennial population in DC grew 23%, and from 2010 to 2012, the DC region saw an average annual net gain of 12,583 of people age 25 to 34–the largest among cities in the United States. In the past 10 years, the region added 26,000 new apartments and condos. From 2001 to 2011, 709 new restaurants (a 50% increase) opened up in the area. The numbers don’t lie. Young people are flocking to DC, and they’re leaving profound change in their wake.
The entertainment and housing markets aren’t the only areas that have responded to this influx of young go-getters. More workplaces are embracing dynamic structures to meet millennial demands of flexibility on the job. For instance, the rise of co-working spaces in DC–like UberOffices–have made it possible for small businesses to rent workspace that provides a physical location without the constraints of a stuffy office culture. With small businesses such as PerformYard, Nice Laundry, and Veenome, UberOffices is making face-to-face collaboration possible, while maintaining the level of flexibility that all the new millennials in DC crave.
2014, Year of the What?
The DMV makeover isn’t by any means over. Real-estate authority Urban Turf has already dubbed 2014 the Year of the Renter at New Buildings. New restaurants, bars, and tech startups continue to pop up almost every day. However, with innovative companies like UberOffices laying down a foundation for flexibility and collaboration, change in the Washington area is continuing down the right track.
Companies of all sizes looking to improve their business in 2014 should consider these demographic shifts and adapt accordingly.
Look out for more millennial-run tech companies, startups, and small businesses. It’s the next frontier for DC.