#5: Nashville: Music City matures
Across the street from the Ryman Auditorium—former home of the famous Grand Ole Opry and a link to Nashville’s past—a new development looks toward the city’s future.
The $430 million Fifth + Broad mixed-use project, set to open in 2019, is just one of the more obvious signals that Music City is becoming a bigger financial and business center. Observers counted more than 50 cranes hovering above Nashville last year.
Analysts have praised the city’s low cost of business, connectivity to the East Coast, and low cost of living—Zillow found median rent was $1,498, and the median home cost $228,900—as key factors driving job growth and resettlement.
One of Realtor.com’s hot homebuying markets for 2018, Nashville is also witnessing a commercial boom. Capitalizing on the growth of tourism, numerous hotels have broken or will soon break ground, including boutiques like the Joseph and the Printing House. New projects in the River North neighborhood are drawing tenants, and the gargantuan, billion-dollar Nashville Yards project has started taking shape.
#7: Raleigh-Durham: An affordable center for innovation
While they may not house the corporate headquarters of other growing cities, Raleigh and Durham have first-rate universities and booming economies that are vaulting the Research Triangle area to first-tier status.
Tech hubs like American Underground, part of the massive redevelopment of the American Tobacco historic district, have become centers of a resurgent tech scene, and the area’s median rent of $1,441 offers affordable living for budding entrepreneurs.
In addition to larger projects—like the Dillon, a mixed-use project opening in Raleigh’s Warehouse District this fall, and Mosaic, a large, $800 million mixed-use commercial and retail space—housing and suburban developments, especially in Apex, Cary, and Wake Forest, are rolling out at a breakneck pace. More than 600 new subdivisions have been built or greenlit in region in the past seven years, adding 40,000 new homes. Even with that new inventory, home prices have spiked: In Raleigh, the median home costs $314,900, according to Zillow, up 16.9 percent from 2016 to 2017.
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