Top 10 Cities for Downtown Living in 2023

By Quinn Purcell

A StorageCafe study found the top 10 cities in the U.S. for downtown living as of 2023. The places that offer the “best bang for the buck” include several cities in the South, downtown Chicago, Ill., and Boston, Mass.

Based on a combination of metrics including cost of living, apartment options, entertainment, safety, and other desirable urban features, here are StorageCafe’s top 10 cities for a great downtown living experience.

10. Phoenix, Ariz.

Downtown Phoenix, Arizona
Downtown Phoenix, Ariz. Photo courtesy SeanPavonePhoto, Adobe Stock

According to the report, multifamily living remains the dominant housing option in downtown Phoenix, Ariz. Its downtown scene offers residents access to live music, art galleries, theaters, and around 200 restaurants. Overall, Phoenix ranks best in:

  • Apartments with access to fitness centers
  • Apartment availability related to population
  • Access to theaters

The Phoenix metro has had a population growth of 14% from 2012 to 2021, according to a RentCafe analysis. The city has built 62,000 new apartments within that time frame, as well as 10 million sf of self storage space.

9. San Diego, Calif.

San Diego, California, downtown
Downtown San Diego, Calif. Photo courtesy Brett Sayles, Pexels

Those living in downtown San Diego, Calif., are given multiple shopping and entertainment venues, fresh groceries stores, and the ability to live in one of the green-certified buildings comprising 13% of downtown apartments. Overall, San Diego ranks best in:

  • Public EV chargers
  • Neighborhood safety
  • Green apartment buildings

According to the StorageCafe study, close to 80% of San Diego’s downtown apartment buildings offer access to fitness centers. The downtown area also boasts 180 electric vehicle (EV) chargers, as well as 12.6 restaurants and 7.3 stores per 1,000 residents.

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