Charleston West Virginia Economic Development

Discussions on Economic and Community Development in West Virginia and the Charleston MSA as well as issues of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The story below aired Sunday on WSAZ-TV.

Housing Results In: Good News for Charleston

The results are in, and it turns out there are quite a few people ready to make the move to downtown Charleston.

The city, Generation Charleston and the Charleston Area Alliance conducted the survey to see if housing could be developed for students, young professionals and others interested in living in downtown Charleston.

Serving as an intern for the city, Jonathan White headed up the survey project. It’s also part of his MBA program at the University of Charleston. White says the results are promising.

“According to the survey there looks like there are people that are interested. I think it possibly could happen.”

The online survey was open for a week and 168 interested renters and prospective property owners were polled. Only 12 of them said they were not at all interested in moving to the downtown area.

“On the renting side, there are 44 individuals that we know are willing to move downtown in a period of 6 to 18 months. Owning there are 55,” White said.

Questions on the survey included how much they pay for rent now, how big of a place they’d be looking for and how much they’d be willing to pay.

When it comes to rent, most people were willing to pay $650 or less for a 2-bedroom, 2-bath space. For potential owners, they’d pay up to $150,000.

One question that got a lot of attention was about parking. Some understood that parking is an issue in cities while others said they’d be happy as long as they had access to a secure parking garage. There were 61 people who said they would not live somewhere that did not have on site parking.

Rod Blackstone, Deputy Mayor of Charleston, says the survey results are ones the city can defiantly work with.

“Now, we've got to see if we can connect the potential market with the developers who've got to roll the dice in this economy to say yeah we're going to try to make this happen here,” Blackstone said. “It's not necessarily definite, but we’ve got some good information to move forward.”

The city has already been looking at properties that could potentially be developed.

White will present his findings to the city council’s finance committee on Monday.


At 5:57 PM, Blogger Angie said...

I am interested in finding out if any projects suggested would be done with sustainable building. I think that if new developments are planned, the more sustainable products and resources that are incorporated, the higher the interest would be.


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