America's Newest Suburbs: Aging Industrial Cities

A revival of industrial towns just outside expensive metropolitan areas accompanies the grueling commutes of the new residents. While describing the Lehigh Valley, the reporters also mention the far-out regions of Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area.
December 26, 2005, 1pm PST | Irvin Dawid
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"America's newest suburbs are neither the classic towns close to a major city, nor are they distant exurbs built on once-empty farmland. They are aging industrial cities and their environs, on the far periphery of the most expensive metropolitan areas in the northeast and California - places where middle-class parents can still buy homes for their growing families while keeping their big city jobs. "

"Last year the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton drew almost 14,000 new residents from the New York region, more than twice what they did in 1998. The area was the fourth most popular destination for expatriate New Yorkers, after Miami, Orlando and Poughkeepsie, another industrial area being recycled as a bedroom city.

Toll Brothers' regional president for North Central New Jersey and Northeast Pennsylvania, said that about 40 percent of the company's homebuyers around Allentown are coming from the New York metro area."

Driving the out-migration are the lower home prices. "As a rule of thumb, house prices seem to fall by about $1,000 per commuting minute from New York."

Thanks to gladwyn desouza

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Published on Thursday, December 22, 2005 in The New York Times
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