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Living Downtown

by Russell Swanson, Exec. Dir., VDID, Main Street Vineland

There was a time when people turned up their noses at living in the downtown. People’s perception was of low-class, small, crowded, unsafe, sub-standard apartments or rooms. Even if you worked downtown, you lived on the outskirts or in the suburbs. Sometimes, the reality fit the perception,

As downtowns evolve and more of them become Main Street districts, hard work is being done to change that. With more and more millennials and babyboomers the wheel is changing in the opposite direction and, locally, The Ave is no different.

The need for good market-rate and below-rate housing in and near our downtown exists and is very real. If people of today’s generation don’t find the kind of housing they want near where they work—or want to work—they’ll relocate and take their skills and business patronage elsewhere. Not only do we lose these people to other areas where that housing exists, but we lose prospective customers for our businesses, people to come to our events, and audiences for our entertainment presentations.

Many empty nesters and seniors are looking to downsize and move to walkable areas such as our downtown. The huge success in filling several recently built apartment complexes such as the Landis Square Senior Apartments and the Newcomb Senior Housing Development, close to our downtown district, are testament to that need.

We must adapt to today’s mindset that an advantage exists for downtowns where people live. It’s the way to get high-quality talent working in the downtown and it makes for a better community overall.

It’s long been understood that when people work in their downtown, they tend to support the businesses there—restaurants, shops and professional services or businesses. Many of your errands can be done by walking during your lunch hour or breaks.

Drop off your laundry at the dry cleaners, grab a bite of lunch or dinner to take home from one of our many fantastic restaurants, schedule a meeting with your attorney or accountant, volunteer at a non-profit, shop at a local store, send a package at the Post Office, pay your electric bill at City Hall and so much more.

There are many office buildings and spaces, retail storefronts and restaurants in our downtown district. We have a very low vacancy rate in our downtown district, but there are always properties for sale or lease. You may visit for available properties. Note however, these are updated by property owners and are not a complete listing of what may be available. Engaging a local realtor or doing your own research is always helpful.

To learn more about the many benefits of locating your office or business on The Ave, be sure to visit and check out our video.

On the Ave