Downtown Suburbia

Archive Report

Business Migrates to the Suburbs

America's suburban migration, once dominated by families in search of a better living environment, is undergoing a metamorphosis. In unprecedented numbers, firms are also leaving downtown central business districts for outlying areas. But unlike the residential migration, which took place gradually over the first 60 years of this century, today's corporate migration to the suburbs is happening at a dizzying pace that is causing major traffic, housing and employment disruptions on the suburban landscape.

“In the late 1970s and early 1980s, central business districts accounted for more than half of the office space in the country,” explained Kathryn S. Gehbauer of the Office Network, a Houston organization that tracks business construction trends. “Now it's the other way around, with 57 percent ...

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