O'Fallon Progress

Parks are a good investment for O’Fallon community

City of O’Fallon Mayor Gary Graham
City of O’Fallon Mayor Gary Graham

Great communities are built upon three main foundations: safety, schools and amenities. O’Fallon is very fortunate to have all three. That is why O’Fallon attracts people from all over the world that want to live in this community.

I recently reviewed a newsletter from the American Planning Association on how cities use park amenities for economic development and to increase property values. The information included within was of no surprise, because it directly coincides with what this community has experienced with our excellent parks.

The article describes that parks provide intrinsic environmental, aesthetic, and recreation benefits to our cities. They are also a source of positive economic benefits. They enhance property values, increase municipal revenue, bring in homebuyers and workers, and attract retirees. At the bottom line, parks are a good financial investment for a community.

There were two key points of the newsletter that I wanted to share with you.

▪  Key Point No. 1: Homebuyers are attracted to purchase a home due to parks. All around the U.S., real estate brokers and homebuilders are advocating parks as one of the top residential selling points. The desire to live near parks also translates into real dollars.

A 2001 survey by the National Association of Realtors revealed that 50 percent of voters would be willing to pay 10 percent more for a house located near a park or protected open space over one that was not.

▪  Key Point No. 2: Real property values are positively affected by parks. As early as the 19th century the positive connection between parks and property values was being made. Over the past 20 years, several studies have reaffirmed this positive connection.

There is a significant link between the value of a property and its proximity to parks, greenbelts and other green spaces. A study of three neighborhoods in Boulder, Colo., performed by the Urban Institute, indicated that property values increased by $4.20 for each foot closer the property is to a park.

Here in O’Fallon, we are very lucky to have excellent parks spread throughout the community and recreation programming that allows O’Fallon’s youth and adults alike to get active and have some fun. O’Fallon’s parks are the best around.

In fact, on the 2016 National Citizen’s Survey, 93 percent of survey participants rated the O’Fallon city parks as excellent or good. This number was well above the national benchmark comparisons.

O’Fallon’s parks support many sports leagues and tournaments. In 2016, it was determined that on an average of 128,000 times per year, a player, spectator or coach who does not reside in O’Fallon comes to O’Fallon to participate or play in a game, or visit our parks.

When these out-of-town visitors come to O’Fallon, they spend money on food, drinks, gas, retail goods and hotel rooms. In total, these visitors result in an additional $1.6 million being spent in O’Fallon by non-residents that would have most likely not existed otherwise.

In addition to the increased spending by visitors, many are drawn to move to O’Fallon, which makes O’Fallon a more desirable community in which to live. This increased demand means that your home and property values and are more likely to go up.

It is a good thing when your property value increases, it means that you have made a wise investment.

We are very happy, and lucky, that you have chosen to invest your family’s time, money, and future in O’Fallon.

O’Fallon’s position as a highly desirable community for home-ownership is yet another example of why O’Fallon is such a great community in which to live.

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