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'Turn Your Life Into A Staycation': Remote Work Could Have Major Impact On Coastal Communities

Nov 29, 2021 4:37:45 PM

HYANNIS (CBS) – Working from home became the norm for many people during the pandemic, but it may be here to stay. That could have a major impact on coastal communities in Massachusetts.

On Cape Cod, builders are busy. Rob Brennan, president of CapeBuilt, has new developments in Hyannis and on Martha’s Vineyard creating specific spaces in both to cater to remote work.

“The opportunity to turn your life into a staycation. Live, work and play in the place that you enjoy most has been attractive to many buyers and renters as well,” Brennan said.

Brennan says with that option, coastal living is not just for the summer anymore and many are taking their jobs to the shores of Massachusetts permanently.

“Essentially being told by their employers that they can work anywhere. I think it’s compelling to make your anywhere Cape Cod or where you might only go where you were vacationing,” Brennan said.

Carolin Walters is a sports marketing consultant from Connecticut. She and her husband moved to their second home in East Orleans at the beginning of the pandemic and have no plans to leave.

“You allowed yourself to be in this natural beauty only a few times a year and a lot of people have realized. Why? Why not be here the entire time and enjoy life and like a really high standard of living,” Walters said.

According to the latest census data from Barnstable, the population is up more than 8% over the past decade and that’s on top of a New York Times report that found Barnstable was number four on a list of top towns moved to during the pandemic.

Brennan is basing much of his real estate development on this movement and doesn’t see the shift to the Cape and the Islands changing any time soon.

“This trend of folks relocating to a home that is maybe only an area they used to vacation in but living there, working there and looking even further down the road toward retirement is a trend that I think everyone in the industry expects to continue,” Brennan said.

As the population on the Cape grows and becomes less of a seasonal community, developer Rob Brennan says the need for retail and restaurant labor will increase year-round and that means more workers and more housing. Something Brennan says must be addressed accordingly.

CBS Boston

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