Get Ready, Suburbia: Apartments Are Coming

From high-rises to townhouses, the suburban multi-family market is growing fast.

1 minute read

September 14, 2018, 7:00 AM PDT

By Elana Eden


Imagenet / Shutterstock

Half of apartments built in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area this year will be in the suburbs—a share that will rise to three-quarters in 2019. And the Twin Cities region isn't alone: Suburbs around the country are experiencing a boom in apartment development.

Alan Greenblatt reports in Governing that new apartments outside city centers are locating near freeways and light rail lines, often in converted office parks and retail centers. While high-rises are certainly part of the trend, much of the new construction is on the smaller end of multi-family, ranging from townhouses to five-story buildings.

Suburban communities have traditionally resisted apartment construction—and in many places, that still holds true. But the new development is also welcomed by a growing segment of the population looking for multi-family rental options outside of major cities.

Households are getting smaller, with single-member households growing fastest of all. At the same time, not everyone can afford to live in a center city, where costs have risen sharply over the past decade. Add these factors together and the result is lots of new apartments going up in suburbs.

Sunday, September 9, 2018 in Governing

Aerial view of snowy single-family homes in suburban Long Island, New York

New York Governor Advances Housing Plan Amid Stiff Suburban Opposition

Governor Kathy Hochul’s ambitious proposal to create more housing has once again run into a brick wall of opposition in New York’s enormous suburbs, especially on Long Island. This year, however, the wall may have some cracks.

March 20, 2023 - Mark H. McNulty

Empty parking garage at night with yellow lines marking spots and fluorescent lighting

Rethinking the Role of Parking in the American City

In cities big and small, the tide is turning against sprawling parking lots, car-centric development, and minimum parking mandates.

March 16, 2023 - The New York Times

A futuristic version of New York City, with plants growing neatly on top of modern skycrapers.

Friday Eye Candy: 20 AI-Generated Cityscapes

AI-generated images are creating new landscapes and cityscapes, capable of inspiring awe or fear.

March 17, 2023 - Chris Steins via Medium

Bike Light

People on Bikes Outnumber Drivers in the City of London

The City of London’s efforts to increase biking and reduce driving has finally achieved a long-term goal: a preference for biking over driving.

33 minutes ago - Forbes

Aerial view of farmers' market with white booths in downtown Boise, Idaho

Planners Look to ‘Activity Centers’ for Sustainable Development

Existing hubs of ‘hyperlocal’ economic activity provide a model for urban density.

March 23 - Smart Cities Dive

Close-up of person sitting on electric bike

Federal E-Bike Rebate Bill Reintroduced

The bill, part of an effort to encourage active transportation for short trips and take cars off U.S. roads, would cover 30 percent of the cost of an electric bike.

March 23 - Congressman Jimmy Panetta

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.