As a resident of Lafayette for over 25 years, it has been fascinating to watch the transformation from a sleepy little town with an underwhelming “downtown” to it’s current mix of upscale shopping and “urban hip” eateries. In spite of its growth and development, it has retained the sense of intimacy and small town feel that has attracted so many over the years.
The town is in a state of evolution as it reflects the changing character of its residents, as they move from urban centers – San Francisco and cities much further away – to our land of Lafayette CA real estate. With the evolution of the town comes greater diversity in the population mix, restaurants, and likely in the coveted educational system that reflects the heartbeat of the town.
The transformation of Lafayette’s downtown really began with the opening of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center about 5-6 years ago, perhaps coupled with the development of the Lafayette Mercantile Center. Suddenly, there was a reason to go downtown, other than to frequent of the three supermarkets that were clustered off of Mt. Diablo Blvd
This is when I first started hearing from clients voicing a strong preference for living within walking distance to downtown. Most were leaving the more urban environments of Oakland and San Francisco – bringing with them a desire to reshape some of the landscape of Lafayette CA real estate, reflecting their priorities and lifestyle preferences for certain elements of “city living”.
Without knowing it at the time, this movement also reshaped some of the valuations of Lafayette real estate based upon the simple principles of supply and demand. Growing demand pushed the price up of Lafayette’s town-centric real estate at a much faster pace than most other parts of town. The appreciation rate for areas such as “The Trail Neighborhood” and “Happy Valley Glen” climbed rapidly due to their proximity to downtown.
Now we are seeing new eating establishments spring up that reflect elements of a more urban culture. Restaurants like Roam and The Cooperage are places to just “hang out”, meet friends after work, or perhaps enjoy a meal while working on one’s mobile device. The complexion of our Lafayette CA real estate is changing, but in a positive manner that reflects the culture and values of our new residents.