A new study by GoBankingRates has called out west valley suburb Peoria and south-by-southeast suburb Chandler as two of the most affordable downtowns to live in throughout the entire country. Both landed in the top 30 of the site’s list, bunched together with places like Colorado Springs, San Antonio, and Milwaukee. The cities were analyzed in areas like home prices, rent, utility costs, and transportation.
Peoria landed at number 30 on the list, boasting a median home price of $224,000, which comes in about $100,000 less than the median price of Phoenix. Median rent in Peoria’s downtown area comes in at $1,287 with utilities around $150 a month. Beyond housing prices and living expenses, Peoria’s downtown has seen a revitalization itself with efforts to bring in younger working professionals, younger families, and a new workforce moving in from states like California and Texas.
“There’s a lot going on in Peoria right now,” said Rick Buss, economic development director for the City of Peoria. “We’re also changing in socio-demographics and workforce. We’re targeting Gen Y and Gen Z’s in what they’re seeing and what their lifestyle needs are...We’re targeting companies to bring in the workforce of tomorrow.”
Peoria is pressing forward with its downtown revitalization projects, mixed-use developments that bring together entertainment,residential living, signature dining, retail, and common public spaces, and a new public transit option called PoGO (Peoria on the Go). The big push behind these projects and features is to reach out to tomorrow’s workforce today, and put everything they need within arm’s reach while remaining affordable and sustainable.
“We usually get prospects saying, ‘We had no idea.’ There’s this ah-ha moment that we’re searching for,” said Buss, commenting on the surprise factor many potential companies have when discovering Peoria’s low-cost living and high potential for available workforce.
In Chandler, the smaller suburb has always had a gentle following of people patronize its older downtown area that features breweries, coffee houses, and restaurants. But it’s also seen more people moving to its 85225 zip code for lower rent and housing prices. The city ranked number 28 on the list citing public education, the diversity of the area well as a “wide range of outdoor activities, including Veterans Oasis Park and Environmental Education Center, Tumbleweed Park and the KOLI Equestrian Center.”
Median housing prices in Downtown Chandler come in at $270,000 and rent at $1,436. A transportation pass for a month comes in at a low cost of $35.