If you take a drive through Downtown Salisbury, you may notice some construction on the upper levels of some of your favorite downtown businesses. There’s no denying that this newly found focus of improving the downtown apartments and condos has increased over the past few years. This creates an amazing opportunity for people to make the shift to living downtown and truly experiencing Salisbury at its best. But what has caused this shift, and why should you even consider the idea of moving to an apartment downtown? I asked some of the long-time residents of Downtown Salisbury to get straight to the point about the benefits of downtown living.
Why the shift?
Diane Young, owner of the Historic O.O. Rufty General Store Building along with her husband Michael, located at 126 E Innes St. and the properties at 107 – 117 E Innes St. and longtime Downtown Salisbury resident, provided great insight on the transition and resurgence of the trend of urban living in general over the years. Urban living, especially in Downtown Salisbury, was reintroduced in 1992 on a larger scale with the introduction of twenty apartments in the Plaza. This showed developers that there was an interest in apartment living in the upper levels of downtown businesses. “This trend started in the 1980’s, starting in larger metropolitan areas and then moving out into smaller communities,” she states. Over the last three decades, construction has continued to revitalize the older living spaces in Downtown Salisbury and make them extremely appealing and functional for those looking for downtown living.
Why is it so great to live downtown?
When you ask residents why it is so great to live downtown, you can tell that it is difficult for them to narrow it down. Young jokes that the biggest benefits for living downtown is not having yardwork! She mentions that there was a downsize at first, but now, “it is great to be able to walk out my front (or back) door and have access to breweries, a wine shop where I get all my wine for our wine fridge, a farmers market, multiple restaurants, and shops that provide me with cards, wrapping paper, all natural cleaning supplies, clothing, gifts, art, etc.” Diane and her husband have lived in Downtown Salisbury from 1987-1991, and then recently moved back in 2018, and have owned and sold multiple properties in the meantime. Latoya Price, Interim Downtown Development Director for Downtown Salisbury, describes living downtown as having, “almost everything that one needs, without having to move their car or drive around the city. Everything is right at their fingertips.”
When looking for a new place to live, it’s important to ask the hard-hitting questions like “What’s the nightlife like?” (pre-COVID of course). After interviewing locals that come from all different walks of life, it is clear that there is something downtown to fit every lifestyle. Kristin Trexler, a resident in one of Diane’s buildings, enjoys visiting a local restaurant and then heading over to New Sarum Brewery to listen to some live music and grab a beer. Trexler has lived downtown for 2 years now and says her apartment is the perfect fit for her lifestyle. Living downtown allows her to be within walking distance to the night life, but it is also perfect for a cozy night in watching movies with some popcorn! John Sofley, another longtime Downtown Salisbury resident loves the convenience of walking to meet up with some friends, and then coming home in between for a break if needed. “At least once a week, a number of friends of my wife and I will get together for dinner and some drinks. Most of them also live downtown. It is fairly common to walk over to other friends downtown after checking to see if they are in,” says Sofley. This unique sense of community is one-of-a-kind experience would be much harder to find elsewhere.
A Word of Advice
Are you still hesitant about making the step to renting downtown? That’s normal and actually very common according to downtown locals. When considering the change Trexler suggests, “Do it, go ahead and take the leap of faith. It’s a unique experience and even if it’s not what you want long-term, it’s nice to do at some point in your life. Especially for young professionals because you’re there with all of the entertainment and restaurants.” This is a different lifestyle, but Sofley himself said, “once you get used to just walking to a downtown store, restaurant, brewery theater or event, you quickly realize you would rather do this than drive somewhere.” Young also mentions how this lifestyle is different than one where you own a house. “Get rid of all your unnecessary belongings and make the move! It is worth it!” she says, acknowledging that a significant downsize may be needed to adjust to the smaller square footage that is common with living downtown. Downtown living is not for everyone, but if you’ve ever considered making the change, now is the time to do it.
Vacant Residential Properties
When it comes to vacant properties in Downtown Salisbury, there are many options to choose from based on what your needs may be. The brand-new Lofts on Innes are going to be located directly above the new Barnhardt Jewelers Store with a one-bedroom and two-bedroom option available.
The Historic Cheerwine Building is home to a larger condo available for rent. Located off of Council St., this open concept plan is perfect for someone looking to be close to all of the downtown action. To view photos and information on the property visit this website.
At 118 N Main St., above the Shuckin’ Shack you can find an apartment with amazing views of Main St. from your living room window! This two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment is one of the newest in Downtown Salisbury with walking access to everything. For more information visit this website.
After speaking to these long-time residents, it is clear that the benefits that come with downtown living are numerous. Although it may be a big lifestyle change, taking the leap of faith and making the transition will not be a decision that you regret.
For more information on properties in Downtown Salisbury, visit their website here.