Winston-Salem, N.C. - Not too long ago, people moved away from downtown, but that has all changed in Winston-Salem. Right now, it's tough to even find an apartment to rent because nearly every company that rents apartments has a long waiting list.
Community and city leaders have spent years encouraging businesses to move back downtown. Plus, people are noticing there is a lot to do downtown. Then, add in the "cool" factor.
"What you're seeing downtown is the work of many, many years and many, many contributors, many different investors staying at it for a long period of time," Jason Thiel, President of the Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership said. "Most of the television shows have an urban setting with younger people. Younger professionals are more interested in being in an urban environment. And, I think that people want to be around other people."
Hilltop House apartments just opened a new building on Friday. However, people have already rented out half of the apartments, without seeing what they look like. It's another sign of the demand to live downtown.
Hilltop House Leasing Manager Lyndsay McClure said, "Many of residents actually walk to work or bicycle to work. It's also a very easy walk home if you're enjoying the nightlife. Winston-Salem has grown tremendously in the last few years. I think now the housing market is catching up."
Bud Baker, the former CEO of Wachovia financed Hilltop Place. City leaders hope other investors will notice the success and start renovating and building even more housing downtown.