Walkablilty makes no sense unless we have somewhere interesting to walk to. Walking around the neighborhood in loops is only valuable if you're looking for an exercise regimen. Destination walking is where it's at and shops, stores and restaurants are at the top of the list. Have you ever tried to find parking in downtown Montclair on a Friday or Saturday night? Well, it takes some strategic planning to score a prime spot across from your favorite haunt. Imagine those lucky ducks who just stroll out their front door, walk a few blocks and BAM!- they're in the hub of Montclair's dynamic restaurant scene with 130 of New Jersey's most fabulous places to eat.
Well guess what? It turns out commercial real estate benefits from walkability too. Not that I'm surprised. According to The Harvard Business Review, an increase of 10 points in walkability out of a score of 100 increases the value of the property by 9%. What does this say to me? That houses and retail have a symbiotic relationship and it's good when they're not too far away from each other.
Montclair NJ is a great example of how well this works. Montclair has 5 thriving business districts all of which are nicely nestled among our neighborhoods. From north to south there's Upper Montclair Village, Watchung Plaza, Walnut Street, Montclair Central and South End Village. If you live in Montclair, what restaurant do you walk to?