When it comes to population growth and development, there often arises a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem: Developers won't build in an area sans residents, and people won't move in without access to basic goods and services. That's why downtown had languished for so many years as a traditional "central business district" — a ghost town on nights and weekends, save the stray sporting event or hotel occupant. Enter the early adopters, the brave souls who moved into lofts on Washington Avenue and entrepreneurs who opened businesses that targeted more than just tourists. Before long, downtown became home to a grocery store, movie theater, charter school and law school. The improved quality of life has led to higher occupancy rates (population increased 366 percent between 2000 and 2010), thus sparking more residential construction and renovation that will, if the trend continues, encourage even more people to call our business district home. So here's to the downtown residents: May you populate the neighborhood and promulgate the likelihood of a vibrant city center.
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