While the obstacles to completing successful multifamily projects are growing, bold and visionary developers continue to deliver projects that provide much-needed housing for residents and positive outcomes for investors.
The constant stream of recession-riddled headlines make any developer cautious. But before you give up on immersive rooftop amenities for your next project, consider these 3 reasons you can be certain rooftop amenities will help you achieve the results you need to be successful – even through uncertain times.
1. Residents Will Always Want Quality Outdoor Space
What started as a Covid-19 necessity has quickly become a staple of many residents’ lifestyles. In the wake of social distancing, more apartment residents have realized that access to quality outdoor spaces drive tangible life outcomes. Improved physical health, lower levels of stress and anxiety, and a greater connection with the environment are all benefits of time spent outdoors that are hard to give up once you are used to them.
More consumers are aware of the benefits of outdoor spaces than ever before. They now know that they can’t live without quality outdoor space in the city and their choice in apartments will reflect that belief.
But that insight leads to another problem. Onerous city requirements and high land values prevent most attempts at providing quality outdoor spaces at street level. City agencies will prohibit street activation in the public realm and economic realities push building envelopes to the property line at most urban multifamily development sites.
For urban multifamily developments, immersive rooftop amenities are often the only way to provide residents with access to quality outdoor spaces they desire. Rooftop amenities provide the only opportunity to spend extended amounts of time outdoors for most urban residents on a daily basis (except for the few who have the rare opportunity to live next to a park).
The growing demand for outdoor living experiences in the city, coupled with the extreme lack of public outdoor space create a huge opportunity for urban multifamily developers to differentiate their projects. Especially in markets where record amounts of units are coming online at the same time.
2. Supply is Catching Up with Demand
As apartment supply catches up with demand, rent growth is likely to slow down. The high rent growth, high inflation environment has kept many renters in place. They’re likely deciding to renew their leases at a lower rate rather than feel the full effect of major rent growth by relocating to a different property. And while that’s great for lower turnover at your property, that pressure may eventually ease up and offer many households with a wider array of living options.
What about your property is going to encourage residents to stay once they have more options available to them?
When multifamily housing faces unprecedented demand, it’s relatively easy to produce a successful project. But, once consumers have more choices it becomes apparent which developments had a long-term strategy and which were destined to struggle once the economic tides changed. That means common spaces that drive retention, like rooftop amenities, are about to become even more valuable. Make sure you are actually investing in these spaces so that they can become the key differentiating factor they are intended to be. Be original with your design and tailor the experience to your desired occupants.
3. Community and Quality of Life Are Top Priorities
As mentioned in the last section, renters desire (and demand) stronger community and a higher quality of life. The pandemic has proven that people are fed up with isolation. They want community-driven places where they can connect with others, network, and have shared experiences in real life.
The urban apartment home has never needed to provide more to residents than it does now. Your property can’t be successful if it’s just a place to spend time between workdays. That’s because the long-held beliefs surrounding hustle culture and status seeking are giving way to an emphasis on holistic health and wellness as well as a better work-life balance.
Consider how many of your residents are now likely to continue working from home — from your development. Working from home has come to mean more than just desk space in a spare bedroom. Even totally remote professionals expect a work lifestyle that includes outdoor experiences, exercise, and regular social interaction. Do your outdoor and rooftop amenities deliver? Can potential residents realize the work-life balance they’re after? Is your development somewhere they’ll want to stay for years to come?
Finally, renters are tired of moving and tired of paying top dollar for mediocre living. As remote working becomes a mainstay, premier urban living locations are less about proximity to a downtown office and more about access to the urban lifestyle — complete with all the best amenities city living has to offer. Residents are willing to pay more for better living and will stay put in an apartment community that delivers value. But, the reverse is always true: when the cost of rent exceeds the benefits offered to residents, they’ll have no reason to stick around.
Now’s Not the Time to Cut Your Outdoor Amenities
In response to a precarious economic landscape, many developers will inevitably look for things to cut in order to create a minimally viable product. While budget cuts are often necessary, don’t make the mistake of cutting your outdoor and rooftop amenities. Now is the time to leverage any opportunity to make your multifamily development stand out.
Loft Six Four specializes in designing unique outdoor and rooftop amenities that make the most of the space and budget you have to work with. Explore some of our latest design ideas to understand what’s possible or contact us to learn how we can help with your next project.