Best Suburbs for Amenity-rich Living

A national storage business compiled federal and private research based on U.S. census data and found Brentwood to be the eighth best suburb in America at incorporating the urban amenities of its nearest metropolis.

StorageCafe is a storage property marketplace that holds over 25,000 storage facilities listings in a manner not dissimilar to the Multiple Listing Service for American real estate. The company published its own comprehensive study that cross-references U.S. Census data with Yardi Matrix — a market intel tool for equity investors, lenders and property managers — and data from the U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Trust for Public Land.

The resultant analysis not only ranked Brentwood among the top ten suburbs in the country but also Franklin in the top 50. Landing at eighth placed Brentwood ahead of Northbrook, IL and Garden City, NY respectively but immediately behind Oakland, NJ and Burr Ridge, IL. The nation’s “best community with a big-city vibe” was Southlake, TX in the Dallas metro area according to the report. Franklin, meanwhile, landed at 30.

The Music City suburbs offer “a wealth of amenities” according to Mirela Mohan, a StorageCafe writer who covers economics, lifestyle and real estate trends. Brentwood is, of course, the newest of the two, incorporated in 1969 as what Mohan calls “a bedroom community for Nashville” with farms and rural estates being co-opted for single-family homes.

“If you live here, you’re likely to rub shoulders with country music stars and athletes,” said Mohan. The area is not cheap, but local earnings balance the high cost of living.”

The most significant factors that placed Brentwood in the top ten according to StorageCafe included a median household income of approximately $169,000 per year with an ideal environment in which to raise children. Brentwood schools rank well on a national scale, and the community as a whole has a low crime rate of 0.97 percent. The study also cited Brentwood’s expansive network of green spaces and trails for walking, running and biking, which accounts for 1,000 square feet of park space per resident.

The ranked suburb also boasts of 3.5 retail stores per 1,000 residents and 2.4 restaurants at the same rate. It also offers approximately 6.4 healthcare or social assistance vendors per 1,000 locals. Franklin brought an even greater rate of retail stores per 1,000 people at 5.2 yet fewer restaurants at 1.8.

A professor in Cornell University’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning, Stephan Schmidt says America’s suburbs like Brentwood have been making a long-term transition toward becoming increasingly representative of the urban cores of their respective metro areas, and this process has been catalyzed by pandemic-related outmigration of urbanites to the suburbs in search of larger homes, which increases suburban demand and drives sales prices higher in the process.

“While this means an aging housing stock, greater poverty and income inequality, it also means demographic diversity, more mixed-use development, higher densities and with that more transportation options and walkable communities, and better urban designs and public space provision,” Schmidt said.