- July 1, 2014: Vol. 26, Number 7

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The forgotten suburbs: Investors are excited about CBDs, but the

by Anna Robaton


With the 1982 release of “Subdivisions,” the Canadian rock band Rush lamented that “the suburbs have no charms to sooth the restless dreams of youth.”

“Drawn like moths we drift into the city. The timeless old attraction,” the song continues.

Ironically, Rush released “Subdivisions” at the start of a decade that was a heyday for the American suburbs, teenage angst notwithstanding. An influx of young baby boomer families and retailers and employers trailing them led to the proliferation of suburban homes, schools, malls and office parks, which were few and far between before the early 1980s.

Many of those once-burgeoning suburbs are now being passed over by investors who are more bullish on the outlook for American cities. Nowhere is the split more evident than in the office sector — where prices for central business district assets are now slightly higher than peak levels while prices for suburban properties are still about 25 per

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