flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

Multifamily market trends 2018: Demographic shifts reshape the residential landscape

Multifamily Housing

Multifamily market trends 2018: Demographic shifts reshape the residential landscape

Changing generational preferences are prompting multifamily developers to re-strategize.


By Mike Plotnick, Contributing Editor  | July 25, 2018
Multifamily market trends 2018: Demographic shifts reshape the residential landscape

Communal work/spa at 30 East, Chicago, designed by SCB for Gilbane Development. The 16-story, 148,000-sf co-living TOD, an NAHB BALA winner, offers 134 moderately priced units with a "loft-like aesthetic," totaling 255 beds. Photo © Darris Lee Harris

An aging, diversifying U.S. population is prompting developers to shift their multifamily expansion plans to accommodate changing lifestyle preferences. 

“As Millennials mature, they’re looking to invest in homes for themselves or have families,” says Daun St. Amand, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Senior Vice President and Global Residential Sector Leader at CallisonRTKL. “In many cases, they’re moving back to the suburbs to find larger, more affordable space.” 

But relocating from the city may mean a longer commute and loss of access to cultural facilities and nightlife. “The trend now is to identify suburban locations where we can design mixed-use projects that offer a bit of urbanism, including transit-oriented development and socialization opportunities,” says St. Amand.

 

See also: Top 150 Multifamily Architecture + AE Firms - 2018 Giants 300 rankings 
See also: Top 70 Multifamily Engineering + EA Firms - 2018 Giants 300 rankings 
See also: Top 70 Multifamily Construction + CM Firms - 2018 Giants 300 rankings

Sponsored by ZIP System sheathing and tape

 

At the same time, a growing cohort of Baby Boomers and other empty nesters are opting to downsize and relocate from suburban to urban environments, often choosing to rent instead of buy. 

The National Multifamily Housing Council projects these demographic shifts will create demand for 4.6 million new apartment units  by 2030.

There’s also growing demand for more affordable urban living options that will appeal to younger clientele.

Consider the 35-story Perla on Broadway condo tower under construction in downtown Los Angeles's historic theater district—the first residential high-rise built in the historic core in more than a century. Its modestly sized units and reasonable price points are intended to appeal to first-time homebuyers. It emphasizes pedestrian-oriented activities and outdoor amenity spaces such as a pool, dog walk, and active rooftop garden. 

“There was a lot of thinking about each of the outdoor spaces—noise levels, socialization opportunities, and especially the ability to get away to a quiet space and decompress,” says St. Amand. 

Cash-strapped Millennials looking to save on rent have a growing selection of co-living alternatives that offer tenants serviced rooms in shared apartments with communal lounges, kitchens, and bathrooms. In Chicago’s South Loop, the 30 East apartment community features 255 beds within 134 economically sized residential units. 

“We are working on more projects that are incorporating the concept of renting by the bed, rather than by the unit,” says Clara Wineberg, AIA, LEED AP, Principal, Solomon Cordwell Buenz. “This building type is at an interesting intersection between student housing and urban multifamily residential projects.” 

At the other end of the affordability spectrum are luxury condo towers such as the 62-story One Thousand Museum project under construction in Miami. Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the building’s undulating exoskeleton is composed of 5,000 pieces of lightweight glass-fiber reinforced concrete imported from Dubai. 

“The use of GFRC as a permanent formwork system is a first in high-rise construction, and it increases efficiency throughout the process,” says Brad Meltzer, President of Plaza Construction. This unusual construction method consists of lightweight, hollow panels that come together to form a structure core-filled with concrete and steel.

 

The terrace lounge at 30 East. Photo © Darris Lee Harris

 

“It allows the construction team to space the building’s columns up to 40 feet apart, embracing the concept of the free plan and giving residences and communal areas an open look and feel,” says Meltzer.

Lendlease reports a growing demand for complex multifamily designs that feature sloping walls, high slab heights, and large floor-to-ceiling views. 

In New York City’s Tribeca neighborhood, the newly opened 56 Leonard Street condominium development features atypical floor plates, cantilevered floors, and irregular balcony spacing. Each of the building’s 146 condo units is equipped with its own private outdoor space, but the unusual layout of each floor created significant logistical challenges for the construction team. 

“We had to bring a unique strategy to the project and reposition all of our equipment on each floor when pouring the concrete,” says Jeff Arfsten, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer with Lendlease Americas. “Through these innovative designs, developers are able to provide residents with superior and unique living experiences to meet their evolving needs.” 

 

GROWING—and changing—IN PLACE

Tenants are looking for flexible living spaces and the ability to personalize their home environment. NMHC's 2018 Consumer Housing Insights Survey found that 83% of respondents believed it’s important to have a space that evolves through different stages of their lives; 78% said it’s important to have a space that can change to meet changing needs.

“We’re starting to design residential units differently than we have in the past, because we want to aid that ability to personalize the space and use it differently as time goes on,” says St. Amand.

These units might integrate side-by-side living spaces with a sliding wall that can be reconfigured into an open environment, or “plus one” space that can be converted into a temporary bedroom or workroom.
There’s also a move toward encouraging socialization among tenants via active lobbies, expanded food and beverage offerings, and numerous activity spaces.

“If you have friends in the building, you’re more likely to renew your lease, and renewing leases is a major part of making pro formas work,” says St. Amand.

Some of today’s most popular amenities emphasize convenience, such as built-in vestibules or valet closets to accommodate package deliveries right at the unit rather than in centralized lockers near the lobby. 

“Another trend we’re seeing is the use of smart appliances, locks, and outlets that can be controlled remotely,” says Lendlease's Arfsten. “In prior years, you would see this technology only used in condominiums, but now it’s increasingly used throughout rental properties.”  

Architects and engineers are also starting to incorporate drone landing pads and security in preparation for the use of drones for transporting not only packages, but even people. 

“Given that drone transportation is not yet fully developed or legally approved, it poses an opportunity for us to solve this anticipated innovation for the industry,” says Mark Humphreys, CEO, Humphreys & Partners Architects.

Related Stories

Multifamily Housing | May 11, 2022

Multifamily Kitchen+Bath Research Study – Take the survey!

MULTIFAMILY Design+Construction is conducting a research study on the use of kitchen and bath products in the $106 billion multifamily construction sector.

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | May 10, 2022

6 steps to designing a modern wine display

Design-focused wine displays are becoming increasingly popular in amazing residential and commercial properties throughout the world. Top design/build professionals are using stylish wine racks and other premium materials to create wine cellars that are too beautiful to hide in out-of-the-way places like dusty basements. This course explains why wine cellars have become so popular and the key aspects of designing an appealing modern wine cellar, broken into six planning steps that should be considered during pre- or early-construction phases.

Multifamily Housing | May 10, 2022

Multifamily rents up 14.3% in 2022

The average U.S. asking rent for multifamily housing increased $15 in April to an all-time high of $1,659, according to Yardi Matrix.

Sponsored | Multifamily Housing | May 8, 2022

Choosing the right paver system for rooftop amenity spaces

This AIA course by Hoffmann Architects offers best practices for choosing the right paver system for rooftop amenity spaces in multifamily buildings.

Building Team | May 6, 2022

Atlanta’s largest adaptive reuse project features cross laminated timber

Global real estate investment and management firm Jamestown recently started construction on more than 700,000 sf of new live, work, and shop space at Ponce City Market. 

Multifamily Housing | May 5, 2022

An Austin firm touts design and communal spaces in its student housing projects

Rhode Partners has multiple towers in various development stages.

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | May 3, 2022

For glass openings, how big is too big?

Advances in glazing materials and glass building systems offer a seemingly unlimited horizon for not only glass performance, but also for the size and extent of these light, transparent forms. Both for enclosures and for indoor environments, novel products and assemblies allow for more glass and less opaque structure—often in places that previously limited their use.

Multifamily Housing | May 3, 2022

Call for Kitchen+Bath projects and products – for next issue of "MULTIFAMILY Design+Construction"

Multifamily AEC firms and developers and product manufacturers can submit Kitchen+Bath projects and products – for the next issue of "MULTIFAMILY Design+Construction."

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | May 2, 2022

12 factors to consider in evaluating tankless water heaters for multifamily housing projects

The pace of tankless water heater adoption in the overall residential market could portend greater acceptance in the broader multifamily market. Despite these positive signs, many developers hold fast to the notion that tankless units can’t produce enough hot water to meet the needs of hundreds of apartment or condo dwellers. Here are 12 factors to consider in evaluating tankless water heaters for your next multifamily housing project.

Sponsored | BD+C University Course | May 2, 2022

Multifamily security design tips from four certified security professionals

Four certified security professionals offer 38 tips on how to keep your next rental or condominium project as safe as possible. This course will discuss major security-related principles in the design and construction of multifamily projects. Discover measures to improve exterior and interior security measures.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category


BD+C University Course

6 steps to designing a modern wine display

Design-focused wine displays are becoming increasingly popular in amazing residential and commercial properties throughout the world. Top design/build professionals are using stylish wine racks and other premium materials to create wine cellars that are too beautiful to hide in out-of-the-way places like dusty basements. This course explains why wine cellars have become so popular and the key aspects of designing an appealing modern wine cellar, broken into six planning steps that should be considered during pre- or early-construction phases.



halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 


Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: