Our development team is thoughtful and strategic, ensuring our projects bring exceptional value to clients, business partners and the people who live, work and play in our buildings. Studying and anticipating market trends, is crucial to the success of a building, especially within the multifamily sector where renters are more sophisticated and engaged than ever.
In the past, amenities in multifamily buildings were nice-to-have features that helped sell prospects on the building. Even five or 10 years ago, if your amenities checked the fitness center, clubroom and outdoor space boxes they were sufficient. That's no longer the case. Multifamily developments are very competitive, and in order to stay relevant and lease up quickly, amenities must align with, and appeal to, the market demographics' needs and wants.
Today, amenities are one of the most important aspects of our multifamily projects. Amenities that pique the interest of renters are essential and add value to the project by increasing prospective residents' likeliness of renting. Amenities are also important to our joint venture partners, as there's a direct link between well-amenitized buildings and rent pricing.
Know your Audience
A 2018 national research study conducted by
Greystar measured the priorities and preferences of 30,000 rental property residents with regard to building amenities and unit features. Amenities related to security, recreation and sustainability topped the list for residents, such as secured community access, swimming pools, rooftop recreation spaces and clubhouses, reserved parking spaces, recycling programs and sustainability certifications. These priorities were similar across most markets.
It's important to know your audience and studies like Greystar's offer valuable insights. When we developed Uptown La Grange in a progressive Chicago suburb, we knew that empty-nesters and families that were downsizing were likely residents. We catered to them by creating dedicated spaces for entertaining, such as a clubroom with poker tables, billiards and a bar area with a beverage cooler and kegerator that the residents could rent out hourly. We also built a beautiful large outdoor pool and terrace lounge complete with Wolf grills, an outdoor fireplace and a regulation-size bocce court so residents can take full advantage of the summer months.
The Marke of Elmhurst is another marquee suburban Chicago multifamily property with outstanding amenities. To make the fitness center appeal to a wider audience, we looked beyond standard equipment and installed virtual training systems and Peloton bikes. Residents can play and relax outdoors in the pool and amenity area with lawn games, an outdoor ping pong table, hammocks and day beds. There are also two work-from-home suites, a pet spa and protected dog run. Service amenities include on-demand dry-cleaning lockers and a secure package room that utilizes the Luxer app, so residents get alerts when packages are delivered and can pick them up at their convenience 24 hours a day. Instead of a concession upfront, we offered residents a credit to Havenly, a website and app that helps a resident decorate their home via interior design services.
The Evolving Nature of Amenities
Amenities will continue to evolve with resident preferences and the convenient lifestyle that renters-by-choice crave. For example, advances in technology are becoming more prevalent in real estate and especially for service-based amenities. Beyond Luxor and apps like Havenly, more apps are being developed that cater to the apartment-living experience for things like smart home functionality, renter feedback and requests for services and maintenance work orders.
Today, with a large pool of potential renters, many of them renters-by-choice, a building has to appeal to the wants and needs of its residents first. Amenities are a key component of the lifestyle our residents want, and we're prepared to meet and exceed their expectations with thoughtful and forward-thinking amenity offerings.
Learn more about our multifamily development work.
Images 1 – 8: the clubroom, Luxer-enabled package room, work-from-home suites, pet spa and outdoor amenity deck at The Marke of Elmhurst
Images 9 – 11: the kegerator at the bar and outdoor amenity deck at Uptown La Grange