New Real Estate Realities: The Luxury Renters

The roof over your head doesn’t have to be mortgaged.

It used to be the American dream: home ownership. But that dream isn’t what it used to be. In the wake of 2008’s crash in home values, a greater proportion of professionals of all ages are opting to rent. Nationwide, according to a recent report by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, “households of all but the oldest age groups have joined in the shift toward renting. The largest increase…is among households in their 30s.” In other words, the folks whom the National Association of Realtors describe as cherishing “mobility and thinking of themselves as citizens of the world.” In Cincinnati, this has led to a booming luxury rental market that’s environmentally friendly and thick with amenities. “Renters are pickier now,” says Keller Williams agent Vicky Meadows. “We are seeing a lot more people who are concerned with the quality of finishes.” There’s also what Meadows calls “the concierge community: people who are working in Cincinnati during the week—they live in northern Ohio or Kentucky.”

Photograph by Jeremy Kramer

So where do these new renters live? Exhibit A: The Boulevard at Oakley Station. Located on the edge of this east side neighborhood with its boutiques and cafés and furniture stores, this 302-unit development is LEED-certified silver, with a heated salt-water pool, yoga studio, bocce court, game rooms, screening lounge, and media café. Rents range from $1,325 for 682 square feet to $2,095 for 1,703. Having a party? You can grill at the pool or hang at the fire pit. Boulevard’s promotional brochure bills this as “a desired home for anyone looking to enjoy all that Cincinnati has to offer.” Or anyone looking to look no farther than their doorstep.

Count the neighborhood as an amenity at Current at the Banks, which is opening a new wing next year. In addition to concierge services like planned activities, the walkability is to die for—especially for Reds/Bengals fans, who can easily hoof it to games. Rents at the LEED-certified silver apartments range from $1,435 for 675 square feet to $2,725 for 1,244. Oh, and don’t forget the river views!

Seeking an old-school downtown experience? The Renaissance on East Eighth Street combines historic detail—9- to 12-foot ceilings—with modern updates like kitchen islands. There’s a fitness center, clubhouse, and rooftoop patio with grill. Walk to Arnold’s, Over-the-Rhine, and Fountain Square. Monthly rents range from $954 for 677 square feet to $2,270 for 1,927.

Want more New Real Estate Realities? The First-Time Buyer, The New Constructionists, The Comeback, The Can-Do Urban Condo, The Teardown

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