As we look to a new year of work, there are many innovations on the horizon that will impact how we develop real estate projects. Autonomous vehicles and micro units will be two impactful disruptors to our work.
Autonomous Vehicles: Beyond Self-Driving Cars
When most of us think of autonomous vehicles we think of self-driving cars, but the application of this technology extends far beyond the passenger vehicle. The distribution facilities of the future will see significant disruption to the design both inside and out because of this technology. For example:
- Truck courts will be smaller because of the tighter tolerances and higher precision of the technology, allowing for additional density in new developments and opening up additional infill redevelopment opportunities.
- Inside the facility, autonomous technology will replace many of the operators who sort, place and pick product. The move to automate these processes not only creates efficiencies with speed but also allows for additional density within the building by stacking higher and narrowing drive aisles.
The adoption of this technology will allow for significant efficiency gains for forward-thinking tenants, and we look forward to partnering on the design best suited for their business.
Micro Units Get Big
As housing costs continue to climb across the nation, we are looking for creative ways to provide high-quality residential product to the widest range of renters. Micro units have been accepted in some of the world's densest cities (like Tokyo) for decades, but they are new to many U.S. cities.
We believe the best micro units start by using every inch of the unit to the fullest. The unit should live much bigger than the actual square footage.
The second focus is creating well-thought-out amenity spaces within the building for our residents. These amenity spaces are additional living spaces with a purpose. Our demonstration kitchens give residents the ability to entertain large groups for meals and events; a well-done fitness room allows residents to drop a gym membership; and, of course, outdoor spaces provide for a wide variety of activities.
We see demand for micro units continue to expand, and the most successful projects will incorporate the next generation of unit design and amenities.
I look forward to seeing these and more innovations take place and accommodating them in the real estate we develop!