Voices    City

The city that (sometimes) sleeps

downtown Falls Park
Photo credit: @hfears

by: Paul Sparks of RealOp Investments

The loosely defined and more obscure nickname branded on Greenville is known by some and understood by few. If you haven’t already heard, Greenville is a 16-hour city. This simply means businesses and services around the area do not operate on a 24-hour basis like they do in places like New York. As we imagine what it would be like to live in a 24-hour city, we can dream up a couple perks surrounding our favorite stores and restaurants being at our beck and call any hour of the night. However, we’re here to tell you the strengths of embracing our 16-hour city of Greenville.

For real estate investors, 16-hour cities have matured into havens for affordable investment options. To investors, larger markets in 24-hour cities have exhibited skyrocketed prices that have compressed their yields. 16-hour cities like our Greenville are attractive in the way that they typically feature lower capitalization rate compression, or in other words property values here tend to remain stable rather than drastically rising or falling. Unlike 24-hour cities, 16-hour cities boast of long-term real estate investment returns with their low vacancy rates, rent growth, and absorption trends.

However, if you aren’t a real estate investor, you might find yourself wondering what a 16-hour city has to offer you. 16-hour cities have come to be defined by their availability of recreation and entertainment opportunities that surpass whatever the typical suburban city can offer. Sounds like the energetic city of Greenville, right? With that inviting statistic, these cities have found themselves to be hot targets for millennials striving to launch or advance their career. With a lower cost of living and a lower cost of doing business, employers are often drawn to 16-hour cities, which in return attracts a large number of hard working job seekers and creative entrepreneurs.

Here in the 16 hours, you’ll find that it is entirely possible to fight crippling congestion while maintaining the feeling of urban vitality. You don’t have to compromise vibrant city life for the heavy cost of living. Greenville is one of many less than 24-hour cities, others including Nashville, Raleigh, Denver, and Portland. The future of mid-sized cities is rising as a practical alternative, and like Greenville, these places offer many of the same amenities of big city living without the big city price tag. 

So let the 24-hour cities keep that extra 8 hours they’re getting. As for the community of Greenville, we know good and well we don’t need a head start. One day we just might see ourselves on the edge of becoming more than a 16-hour city, but for now, we are thriving, expanding, producing and getting it all done in less time.