U-Haul: U.S. growth city No. 4: The buzz over Madison continues to build

Contact: Jeff Lockridge
Sebastien Reyes
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Phone: 602-263-6194
Website: uhaul.com

From Retirees to College Students, Wisconsin Capital Draws New Residents

MADISON, Wis. — Yes, it gets chilly during Wisconsin’s white winter months. But if you think a little weather is going to slow the arrival of do-it-yourself movers in Madison, think again.

Madison, home of the University of Wisconsin, secures the No. 4 ranking on the U-Haul Top 10 U.S. Growth Cities for 2015. Growth rankings are determined by the net gain of incoming one-way U-Haul truck rentals versus outgoing rentals for the past calendar year.

Read the entire Madison release here, including additional quotes, facts, statistics, infographics and photos.

U-Haul locations in Madison saw 52.2 percent of truck rental customers coming into the city as opposed leaving. Madison welcomed 2 percent more U-Haul arrivals year-over-year, while its departures were down fractionally over the same span.

Mayor Paul Soglin said that while the university and government remain major employers in the state capital, the tech and food industries have seen significant job growth. Soglin added that zoning code changes a few years ago led to an explosion in new housing construction, making Madison’s home-buying options more appealing to professionals, families and retirees alike.

“There was all this pent-up demand (for housing),” Soglin said. “People are finding this to be an exciting place. We were just rated one of the top 10 cities for young entrepreneurs. With the University of Wisconsin, they come here for school. And if they decide to stay … it’s the young professionals that I think are ringing up your U-Haul sales.”

The University of Wisconsin is not only a prestigious academic institution, but its athletic teams are consistently among the best in the Big Ten, giving Madison residents a reason to don red and cheer for the Badgers. Then there is famed State Street, a downtown pedestrian zone packed with shopping and eateries that is a favorite among locals and tourists.

“We’ve got enough special events year-round to exhaust anyone,” Soglin said. “We have the largest and most successful farmers’ market in the country during growing season. We have more bicycle races than you can shake a handlebar at. We have the largest fireworks show in the Midwest, and the most exciting minor-league baseball team east of the Mississippi. And we have the lakes. If you do it, we got it.”

While U-Haul migration trends don’t correlate directly to population or economic growth, the growth cities data is a strong gauge of how well cities are attracting and keeping residents. The report was compiled from more than 1.7 million one-way U-Haul truck transactions that occurred in 2015. All cities were considered, regardless of size.

Discover the U-Haul Top 10 U.S. Growth Cities named so far and continue following the countdown at myuhaulstory.com and via Twitter @uhaul. The No. 1 city will be revealed Friday.