AUSTIN (KXAN) — What do Williamsburg in New York City, Venice in California and Austin’s very own South Congress have in common?
They were listed in an Architectural Digest report as the trendiest neighborhoods in the United States.
The report titled “The Cost of Living in America’s Trendiest Neighborhoods (2023 Study)” detailed the price people pay living in those places.
What are the trendiest neighborhoods?
The trendiest neighborhoods were ranked from highest to lowest salary needed to afford rent:
- Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York
- South End in Boston, Massachusetts
- Greenwich Village in New York City
- Mission District in San Francisco, California
- Venice in Los Angeles, California
- Logan Circle in Washington, DC
- Wynwood in Miami, Florida
- Silver Lake in Los Angeles, California
- West Loop in Chicago, Illinois
- Capitol Hill in Seattle, Washington
- River North Arts District in Denver, Colorado
- Old Fourth Ward in Atlanta, Georgia
- South Congress in Austin, Texas
- Fishtown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The cost of South Congress
The report said South Congress is nationally known for its “eclectic retail offerings.”
“It’s known as a very trendy neighborhood, of course, a lot of pop up retail shops, different markets to visit all on one strip of restaurants, bars, the markets,” said Architectural Digest Content Marketing Associate Caroline Jones. “So it’s very popular among places to live in this fast growing Metro that Austin is becoming.”
According to the report, monthly rent in the SoCo area is on average $1,738.
“We found that it was about $69,520 for a salary to afford to live there,” Jones said. “This is also the second cheapest from the 14 neighborhoods that we studied,”
The report said people that live on SoCo spend an estimated $223 per week on social expenses.
“We found that in South Congress, you can expect to spend an extra 16% of your income just on social costs alone,” Jones said.
It’s history: ‘Not such a desirable place to be’
For 18 years, the South Congress store Monkey See, Monkey Do has offered every kind of quirky gift and unique toy imaginable.
General Manager Steven Almaguer said while SoCo is prime real estate, it wasn’t always like that.
“It was not the magnetic beloved place that it is now,” Almaguer said. “It was the kind of place that basically parents wouldn’t want their kids hanging out after school.”
While growing up in Austin, Almaguer said the area was known for a lot of crime.
“Comparing it to now, if you look at the two things side by side, it’s unrecognizable,” he said.
That started changing in the early 2000s, when Almaguer said small businesses started moving in.
“They kind of had this vision of we can revitalize the shopping district,” Almaguer said. “We can engage with our neighbors, and we can turn this into something special.”
Almaguer said the owner of Monkey See, Monkey Do was among those who helped make SoCo what it is today.
“He was one of the people that led that shift in trying to revitalize the South Congress District,” Almaguer said.
Businesses getting priced out
Almaguer said nowadays, some businesses have been priced out of the area with more big name businesses setting up shop.
“Unfortunately, some of our neighbors have had to retire from rising rent costs.” he said. “We feel that squeeze as well.”
While the area continues to change, Almaguer hopes it’ll never completely lose all the businesses that helped build it.
“One of the trendiest neighborhoods in the country is a testament to the small business kind of structure that laid the foundation for what South Congress is now,” he said.