The “Bilbao Effect’s” Influence on Home Ownership | Topouzis & Associates, P.C.


February 05, 2019

The “Bilbao Effect’s” Influence on Home Ownership

The “Bilbao Effect’s” Influence on Home Ownership

When now-famous architect Frank Gehry designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain—which opened in 1997—he generated more than just a new start for that city’s flagging economy. The museum became an architectural icon almost overnight, spawning legions of strangely-shaped buildings that would attempt to capture its magic, and the economic revitalization that came along with it. This came to be called the “Bilbao Effect.”

While many places that acted in imitation of Bilbao did so with less circumspection or success than did the originator of the effect—Bilbao’s planning commission had built an entire revitalization plan for which the museum was not the sole functionary, but served as a sign of its confidence—there is, nonetheless, something to the positive effect a museum may have on the area surrounding it.

As a recent Wall Street Journal article on the Bilbao Effect points out, one of the cities that falls into an area we serve at Topouzis & Associates, P.C.—North Adams, Massachusetts—is an exemplar of exactly this property bump due to museum proximity. North Adams is the location of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, which is located in a re-tooled former printing complex-cum-electrical complex. While the museum initially opened in 1999, a 2008 expansion was followed by an even greater expansion in 2017. This last expansion has made all the difference. North Adams is not yet a harbor of high-end homes, but the properties surrounding the museum are going through rapid redevelopment as people cluster around the museum. The time on market for homes in the area dropped dramatically between 2016 and 2018, and renovations of older homes are bringing up the resell values of nearby properties remarkably as people relocate to the area from out of state at a notable rate.

Whether a buyer is in the market for a home in Cranston, Rhode Island; Boca Raton, Florida; or North Adams, Massachusetts—whether adjacent to a museum or not—we at Topouzis & Associates, P.C. stand ready to provide thorough title searches and title curative services, as well as title insurance policies that back those services—the latter of which are designed to provide peace of mind in the face of potential hidden issues with title that somehow manage to creep out of the past. Feel free to contact us.