Looking for a place to live? Fort Wayne is here for you, Millennials

City ranked as one of the best for Millennials

He’s lived in this city for more than 40 years now, in the same Lakeside neighborhood for 34 of them, and the man behind O’Sullivan’s Italian-Irish Pub has been serving beer to people since 1978.

So Frank Casagrande knows a thing or two about Millennials, their parents and, in some cases, their grandparents.

“In a lot of ways, they’re better behaved,” he said of the younger generation during an interview with Fort Wayne Magazine.

Casagrande knows a thing or two about this town, too, obviously.

When he came here, there was no downtown development going on. No baseball stadium. No plans for a downtown arena. There wasn’t a pro basketball team nor the plethora of restaurants to go to on a Friday night.

There wasn’t even an O’Sullivan’s.

But with all that going on, plus the cost of living, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that recent study ranked Fort Wayne as the 31st best city for Millennials.

The study, done by David Chen for the website www.millennialpersonalfinance.com, looked at six key factors when reviewing 500 cities across the country:

Unemployment rate, percent of residents between the ages of 25 and 34, cost of living, future job growth, transportation costs and crime and safety.

Fort Wayne ranked along the likes of Plano, Texas; Lakewood, Colorado; and Allen, Texas. Chen ranked Bozeman, Montana and Sioux Falls, South Dakota as the best places to live for Millennials.

“After graduating, many young adults spend some time living at home in order to find their first full-time job or save up some money,” Chen wrote on the website. “While this is definitely a beneficial move for a limited amount of time, the inevitable will eventually come knocking…mom and dad saying it’s time to move out.”

If you’re already here in Fort Wayne when that happens, you are in luck. Cost of living is relatively cheap — both when buying a house or renting an apartment.

We’re pretty safe, too.

And the entertainment options are ever increasing.

“The direction this town is going now, the downtown, it’s just wow,” Casagrande says.

Plus, Millennials who eventually want to raise a family can’t do much better — a recent report from SmartAsset ranked Fort Wayne as the No. 1 city to do just that.

It’s something people who’ve lived here a long time have already known.

“If you have a family, you’ve heard it a million times,” Casagrande says. “There’s nothing like this city.”

Old-timers like Casagrande should know. They’ve seen generations come and go, and what’s happening with development in this city — the upcoming living options downtown alone were thought crazy just a decade ago — is like nothing they’ve ever seen.

“Look where we’re headed,” Casagrande says.


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