With numerous opportunities for development, Central can expect significant expansion and growth over the next decade. Following is an analysis of key demographic indicators which highlight existing trends. The years of analysis include 1990, 2000, and 2008, along with population and household projections through the year 2020. The report was provided by GCR & Associates, Inc. after extensive field work, research and interviews with local stake holders. From 1990 to 2000, Central grew somewhat quickly, at a growth rate of 10.7 percent (1.1 percent annual growth). The growth in number of households was almost double that rate, at 19. 5%. This follows national trends, in which household size has decreased, resulting in a larger number of households per existing population. Profile The City of Central is largely composed of middle-class families, with a growing elderly population and an increasing number of children. The median income is slightly higher than local, state and national figures. Household size is also somewhat larger than regional household size due to a higher percentage of families with children. Educational attainment, while slightly higher than the regional average due to a greater number of high school graduates, is lacking in the percentage of adults with college or advanced degrees. This is expected to change, as the city becomes more cohesive with Baton Rouge, and thus adopts more similar economic and demographic characteristics. Additionally, when we factor in the price and size of new housing units that will be coming onto the market, we can expect the population to become wealthier and younger. We can also expect greater disposable income as a result, bolstering retail sales in the area. Using population estimates and income distribution estimates, households within the City of Central spend $214 million annually at retail establishments. Projections & Conclusions • Population growth in Central has been steady, and will rapidly accelerate in the coming years due to new residential development patterns, expansion of Central's major arterial roads and the consolidation of the school system. • The elderly population and the number of children will increase in relative terms and in real numbers, calling for additional services catering to the elderly and youth. • The income distribution within Central will shift towards higher income households in the coming years. This is largely due to higher-income families moving into Central, and is reflected in the cost of new homes. • In general, new residents will have a higher education level than current residents, and will travel outside the city limits for employment. • Central may be able to attract employers in the health care, education, and FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate) industries as a part of the Baton Rouge MSA employment growth; Central will continue to attract employees in the public administration and manufacturing industries. • Central residents are much more likely to own homes than to rent. Most housing in the city was built between 1970 and 1989, though a steady level of new construction is ratcheting the median housing age slowly upward. With anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 new households expected to move to Central over the next decade, the city can expect additional commercial development. • The influx of higher income households will increase Central's purchasing power, thereby increasing financial feasibility for a number of neighborhood and community retailers. • Based on building permit data and population forecasts, Central can expect an unprecedented number of new households over the next decade. These households will differ slightly from existing residents, with slightly higher incomes and a greater number of children than current household averages. The market feasibility study estimates the retail demands of future populations and determines whether the local retail supply has the capacity to absorb those purchases. • Based on studies and findings, Central has the potential to increase its retail sales by $36 million under current conditions, and has the potential to increase its retail sales by $64 million in 2013 and by $96 million in 2020. • Additionally, based on projected job growth within the Baton Rouge metro area, the city will add between 534 -3,685 new jobs supported by 63,000 to 438,000 square feet of non-retail commercial space by 2020.
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