All things Larryville - long past inflection
But the answer to the Larryville question goes back much further if you don't want to be superficial about it. If you have any doubt see the map of real estate assessment changes that had already taken place between 2002 and 2012. I'd argue that the property appreciation represented in this map is most concentrated across a wide areas throughout Lawrenceville and emanating into its environs. Parsing that is a long long post, so hold that thought. But that map looks like this which probably only captures a fraction of the appreciation that has been accelerating in the neighborhood since the assessment (making
But that is only the beginning of the answer. The most dramatic change in Lawrenceville has been its demographics. I will tell you that as late as 2000, folks who think about these things would find me to ask me what was up with the census tracts in Lawrenceville because they were so old. Many, many local elders lived in Lawrenceville, and not elders institutionalized into Nursing Homes or similar locations that might alter the demographics exogenously. Lawrenceville has one of the highest concentrations of elders living in their homes compared to most anywhere in the entire nation, thus giving rise to the concept of Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs).
How and when then the demographics of the census tracts in Lawrenceville changed:
Those efforts probably aided in large part, by the lack of a large empty hospital in the neighborhood. I think I myself once wrote on Lawrenceville that "the real estate speculation must have already begun" as far back as 2002 in Goodbye, St. Francis. The current story of Lawrenceville may have as much to do with just how low real estate prices were until very recently. That distorts all these stories (and that map for the record) in the percentage change in real estate values.
Sort of a Pittsburgh story writ large in that even solid price appreciation has not really raised a lot of local real estate to levels that might be considered normal elsewhere. Thus the stories of late (long after the real estate price collapses elsewhere) that Pittsburgh is still one of the most affordable real estate markets anywhere. Lawrenceville prices were going unsold even to the "We Buy Homes" folks not long ago. As unbelievable that may seem at the moment, it fostered a wave of rehab, some truly stunning in what was done, but also some truly depressing in how quickly folks flipped homes after doing only basic work, often destroying more than improving. Look up the modern use of the term "remuddling" which really must have been a term re-coined to describe some of what has been happening here.
But all that only touches the surface of a big topic, but nobody should think for a second that the Lawrenceville story, whatever that story is, is a story of now. It has been a long time coming. If you want a more recent qualitative look at the changes going on within Lawrenceville, which is not just one universal answer, see the report and survey: Who moves to Lawrenceville and Why?
If you are still reading this post, or even the blog I probably owe you a beer. The lack of daily posts appears to have dropped the number daily unique readers from something like 500 to under 50. Probably better that way.