Free time and fun: the new must-haves at apartments

As the luxury multifamily market approaches a peak, apartment owners and managers turning to social amenities to engage residents at their properties.

The new must-have amenity for luxury apartment projects? Time.

During this economic growth cycle apartment developers have engaged in a virtual arms race of amenities. Most were physical goodies they could tout in property tours – features like furnished guest suites for resident’s out-of-town visitors, rooftop pools, and walk-in lobby refrigerators for food deliveries.

Now, say apartment developers and property managers, the trend is towards providing services that save residents time, or experiences that make effective use of it.

Across the country high-end apartments are now offering a host of new services to attract renters: dog-walking, wine tastings, poker nights, errand-runners.

“There’s this feeling that the amenities war has run its course – everyone has the same check list on their website,” said Tom Geyer, vice president of branding at the Bozzuto Group, the Greenbelt, MD.-based developer and apartment manager.

“But I do think the battle of services is a newfound strategy to build value.”

Bozzuto, which owns or manages more than 60,000 units up and down the East Coast, has become a specialist in adding these experience-based and time-saving services, and notes the appeal of service and experience-based amenities goes across all age groups.

For its part, Geyer said Bozzuto doesn’t try to mold their properties to fit a certain age group – for millennials, say.

Rather, the company sees its properties and tenants in terms of “tribes.” Some properties have a preponderance of bike riders, some have dog owners, and others are dominated by retirees looking for urban living experiences.

“Most of our residents are not non-social people,” said Geyer. “Building amenity space is about supporting interaction, looking for a chance meeting of the tribe.”

For example, Geyer said residents aren’t just interested in an onsite gym, they want access to classes.

“Classes are the number one thing, group classes,” he said.

That means not just adding amenities, but re-designing some of the existing amenity spaces. Gyms have to be designed to accommodate the new trends of cross-fit, PX-90 workouts. And equipment has to be placed to accommodate classes.

National Development, a multifamily developer and manager based in Boston, agrees with the new thinking. It hired a full-time marketing and community engagement manager who coordinates events for a dozen National Development properties.

“It’s not an either-or proposition,” said Ted Tye, a managing partner at National Development. “There’s been a real push for physical amenities, and that hasn’t abated. Layered on top of that, as the market gets more competitive, is the social amenity.”

 

 

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Millennial migration favors San Jose despite cost of living, says census

The Bay Area is getting more mixed messages on the seemingly perennial question of if and how quickly residents are fleeing the region and the state.

The finance company Smart Asset released a report Friday claiming that San Jose is one of the most popular destinations for millennials on the move despite its high cost of living.

Smart Asset economist Derek Miller sorted through U.S. Census data to figure out which U.S. cities got the greatest inflow—i.e., the margin of new residents relocating to a city over the number of those moving away—with the ever-topical millennial demographic, here defined as anyone between the ages of 20 and 34 in 2016.

Suffice to say, San Francisco did not acquit itself well with the trend, despite previous census analyses revealing that the city’s median age is gradually getting younger with each passing year. Instead, millennial movers reportedly favored San Jose, which came in seventh place on Miller’s list, the only California city to break the top ten.

 

 

Read more on Curbed SF

 

 

San Jose becomes a ‘city of churn’ as high-earners move in and residents look to lower-cost markets

San Jose is simultaneously one of the nation’s most sought cities by job seekers and home to the most job holders who want to leave, a dichotomy that could have profound impacts on Silicon Valley’s business future and social fabric.

That dichotomy stems from the way technology has become the foundation of the U.S. economy and Silicon Valley the capital of that industry, says the author of a recently published study by the online jobs and recruiting site Glassdoor. And it could have profound impacts on the Valley’s business future and social fabric.

“San Jose is a city of churn,” said Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist. “It’s the most dynamic of any city of the big metros we looked at” in the company’s 25-page report entitled “Metro Movers: Where are Americans moving for jobs and is it worth it?”

San Jose ranks third on the list of places — after San Francisco and New York — where U.S. job seekers in Glassdoor’s database of 668,000 job applications are applying, the report says.

But San Jose ranks behind only Providence, Rhode Island — which turns out talented college graduates much faster than it creates jobs — as home to the largest percentage (47.6 percent) of applicants seeking work elsewhere.

 

 

Read more from Silicon Valley Business Journal

 

 

 

Nine Proven Strategies To Make 2018’s Peak Rental Season Vacancy-Free

In much of the country, the start of peak rental season is just a handful of weeks away, meaning that now is the time to get ready for the rush.

The beauty of peak season is that more people are looking for places to live, which means your pool of potential applicants is bigger — but the flip side is that all of your current tenants are also more likely to move on.

Whether this is your first peak season or your fiftieth, these nine strategies can help minimize the chances that any of your units sit empty, even when turnover is high.

Read more from Forbes

 

 

Central SoMa Plan Could Add 11 Stories To Pinterest’s HQ

If the city moves forward with an ambitious plan to guide office and housing development in Central SoMa, Pinterest hopes to add a vertical 11-story addition to its headquarters at 505 Brannan St.

A proposal filed by TMG Partners, one of the original six-story building developers, includes an 11-story addition that would add 165,000 square feet to the site and bring its height to 240 feet.

The current building offers 129,450 square feet in office space and is 85 feet tall, but the site is permitted for a structure 250 feet tall, according to SF Planning documents.

The addition is anticipated to cost $38 million.

Read the full article from Hoodline

Proposed San Francisco ballot measure would set aside 6M SF in office for central SoMa

A proposed San Francisco ballot measure could fast-track approvals of 6M SF of office in Central SoMa, but there is a catch. New office projects would have to contribute to affordable housing projects or pay additional fees, the San Francisco Business Times reports. Under the proposed measure, the area would not fall under Prop M, which caps new office space in the city at 950K SF each year. Office projects would have to add to affordable housing either by dedicating land, buying existing affordable housing or pay an affordable housing fee within 30 days of approval or a 25% larger fee for affordable housing. The ballot measure is being submitted by TODCO Executive Director John Elberling in partnership with SPUR as a way to promote more affordable housing.

Read more from Bisnow

Mountain View approves North Bayshore Plan with about 10,000 housing units

The Mountain View City Council unanimously approved the North Bayshore Precise Plan late Tuesday. The decision opens the door to Google and other developers to build nearly 10,000 housing units, 3.6M SF of office and a mix of parks, retail and other businesses, the Mercury News reports. The plan will transform the area, which includes Google’s headquarters, into a high-density mixed-use district. The area plan will create three new neighborhoods called Joaquin, Shorebird and Pear with about 150 acres dedicated to a mix of single-family homes and apartments. Of the 9,850 units allowed, 70% will target studio or one-bedroom apartments. About 20% of the apartments will be affordable. Commercial buildings will be up to eight stories while residential units will be up to 15 stories.

Read more from Bisnow

Development of red-tagged West Oakland warehouse moves forward

A San Francisco developer’s plans to develop a blighted warehouse in West Oakland into 102 live/work units are moving forward, with the goal of offering most of the previous tenants a place to live in the new building.

The project at 1919 Market Street has been through many hurdles since developer oWow, run by Danny Haber, purchased it in June 2016; it’s slated to finish construction in 2018. Before the purchase, it was red-tagged by the city, causing the previous tenants to be displaced. Haber later had it partially demolished.

The warehouse has been a point of controversy for years — both before Haber bought it and afterward. Before Haber came in, the warehouse was pervaded with code violations. Haber said his team attempted to work with the city to fix the problems over time and keep the tenants living there, but city inspectors deemed the building uninhabitable and red-tagged it.

Read more from East Bay Times

What is Ed Lee’s legacy for the San Francisco skyline and population?

Edwin Mah Lee, San Francisco’s 43rd mayor and the third to die in office, leaves behind a city in transition. The second-tallest skyscraper west of the Mississippi River is rising in South of Market, a few blocks away from where another monolith tilts slowly into the muck. In Mission Bay, a derelict ghost town a decade ago, an 18,000-person basketball arena is under construction in what’s now a dense forest of hospitals, university classrooms, and research facilities. More people than ever before live and work in San Francisco, where the homeless population is resiliently constant, tent cities are taking over sidewalks in front of million-dollar condos, and where income inequality tests the limits of metaphor.

Read more from Curbed

6 CRE Trends to Watch in 2018 (And How They Impact Your Prospects)

What does the commercial real estate industry look like in 2018? How will today’s emerging market dynamics affect the business in the long run? The commercial real estate industry saw incredible growth in 2016 and 2017 and CRE professionals and investors are anticipating.

Let’s take a look at 6 CRE trends to watch in 2018 and how they will impact your prospects.another great year for the industry.

Read more from ProspectNow