Rental with a Side of Food

The news is awash with desperate landlords offering incentives in every shape and form to attract and retain tenants. What many may be overlooking is a larger trend: More than ever, renters want living space with easy access to good food.

The New York Times recently profiled a butcher shop that expanded into a mixed-use facility, including apartments for moderate-income individuals. Even in a large city this apartment had a distinct advantage: a food market right downstairs.

Sure, apartments near restaurants and other dining options have always commanded higher rents. But now that everyone's a foodie, the demand is growing. The challenge? About sixty years of car-centric development in most areas of the United States.