Downtowns going Uptown - July 2021 - Cities 250,000 to 350,000

For this report, we probed GPS data gathered over Q1 and Q2 of 2021. Through that research, we were able to identify three cities each with a population between 250,000 and 350,000 that showed gains in population, income flow, and rate of foot traffic recovery.

Though there were other candidates in-scope, the three cities we decided to highlight here are Cincinnati, OH, Buffalo, NY, and St. Louis, MO. In each case, we examine the available data using location intelligence gleaned from Unacast Now (you can get a free trial here).

Each city we examined in the Emerging Areas Report is demonstrating significant growth in the first half of 2021, fueled by a resilience in foot traffic in and around each greater metropolitan area. Most incoming migrants are from bordering counties and states, and the newcomers are in each case of a greater relative income level than current downtown residents (read as: more spending power and a higher tax base).

Below are the top line indicators:

OVER Q1 AND Q2 2021

City Population Flow Income Flow Foot Traffic Recovery Cross Visited Brands
Cincinnati +7,600 +$1 billion 85% Westin → The Little Clinic, Chart House, Tide Dry Cleaners
Buffalo +3,700 +$500 million 84% Westin → Panera, Benderson Development, Wegmans
St. Louis +3,200 +$600 million 81% Hilton → BP, Club Fitness, Starbucks

Cincinnati is growing and by all indications will continue to grow. Buffalo has started 2021 well and may yet break a previous trend of negative population flow in Q3 and Q4. St. Louis is poised for even greater growth in terms of foot traffic, but seasonal population loss looms in Q1, leaving the question: What will the economic effects on each city look like at the end of 2021?

To find out, download the July 2021 Emerging Areas & Brands Report.

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