It should be recognized that the proposal for a fairly extensive development of high-density apartment blocks in the Downtown does not pose any threat to apartment development in the suburbs because, in general, the two areas appeal to different markets. Suburban development attracts families with children; Downtown development attracts single people, or couples without children.
It can be expected that families with children between the ages of 3 and 17 seek a home in the suburbs, and in large measure will prefer a single family dwelling. Those who cannot afford such accommodation will find alternative accommodation in multiple family dwellings of one type or another. It can be expected that there will be a growing proportion of suburban multiple family dwellings provided in the form of garden apartments and town houses.
Everyone else the young single people, the married couples without children, and older people who are widowed, or couples whose children have grown up and left home are part of the potential market for Downtown apartments.
In 1968 about 4,700 dwellings were constructed in the Metropolitan area. if the average supply continues at about the 4,000 unit level for the next eight to ten years, and if about 25% - 30% of that number can be diverted from the suburbs to the central area in the form of high-rise apartments, then the housing component of the plan can be realized in about a decade. This is not an unrealistic expectation. About 3,000 apartments were built in 1968, and it can be expected that the proportion of apartments in the total housing starts will remain as high as that for the foreseeable future and could rise even beyond that level. To suggest that between 800 and 1,000 apartment units per year might be built Downtown, does not seem to be over-optimistic in view of the potential apartment market in the Metropolitan area, and particularly if the Downtown environment is made more attractive in accordance with the proposals of the plan.
The potential contained in the Downtown housing market is of great significance. It means, in effect, that the vast transformation visualized by the plan can be realized within the present means of the community, and does not depend upon some unforeseen new explosion of population or the establishment of large-scale new industries. The plan can be realized not necessarily through sudden new sources of revenues or masses of population, but through the relocation of our present resources in these fields. The shift of about 1/4 to 1/3 of the normal expected new population growth from the suburbs to the Downtown, and the re-allocation of relatively modest public expenditures in the same direction can bring the plan to fruition within the proposed plan period.