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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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Kanye West has a beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy to enter commercial real estate

Kanye West declares an interest in commercial real estate development.

Kanye West has stirred up a firestorm of controversy in recent days by coming out as a supporter of President Donald Trump, and making other mystifying statements. But at least one of his public declarations could have a tangible impact on the world of real estate.

Like many in the upper echelons of celebrity, West has made sizable investments in real estate. But in addition to the typical, lavish private estates is a 300-acre plot in the Los Angeles-area city of Calabasas on which he plans to develop “five properties, so it’s my first community,” he told hip-hop media personality Charlamagne in a YouTube interview.

West went on to affirm his interest in real estate development, citing his deep involvement in the construction of his homes as an example and architect Howard Backen of BAR Architects as a chief inspiration. He also laid out his ambitions with his signature bravado.

“I’m going to be one of the biggest real estate developers of all time, like what Howard Hughes is to aircraft and what Henry Ford was to cars,” West told Charlamagne as the two walked his Calabasas plot.

Although West has brought his considerable talent to bear in the music and fashion industries with great success, the arduous process of getting a development permitted and built is more suited for pragmatists than visionaries. His support for Trump caused CityLab’s Brentin Mock to plead with Kanye not to enter the field of development.

“It’s clear that he would be the most technocrat-est of technocrats, if not a dictator — and one who believes that his love for all people is all the evidence that’s needed for people to trust his development vision, which is a personality trait of the worst kind of developer,” Mock wrote.

West certainly would not be the first celebrity to leverage his considerable wealth into commercial real estate — Oprah Winfrey has spent hundreds of millions in this domain, and Rick Ross owns a series of Wingstop franchises per his directive to “buy back the block.” But West’s fellow Trump supporter, Sean Hannity, might be a closer comparable, as he owns multiple apartment complexes.

 

Read more from Bisnow

 

 

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

 

 

Playboy Mansion expected to go up in value

Following the news of Hugh Hefner’s death, the iconic property could surpass recent $100M sale price.

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died at 91-years-old on Wednesday, his company confirmed. As the tributes and debates over Hefner’s legacy continue, the new owner of the iconic Playboy Mansion in the tony Holmby Hills neighborhood of Southern California could enjoy a windfall in the property’s value.

Read more from Inman

5 Ways to Vet Potential Commercial Real Estate Tenants

Don’t expect landlords to rent out their commercial space to the first tenant who puts in an offer. In many cases, landlords have a lot of variables they consider when deciding to accept an offer to lease. This can include things such as background checks, reviewing tax returns, credit reports and references or even just connecting personally with a tenant. Here are five ways to vet a potential real estate tenant.

Read more from NAI Global

A Simple Way to Implement New Technology in Old Properties

With tenants typically only occupying office buildings during the day, a case could be made that it’s a waste of space and energy for buildings to sit empty after quitting time while landlords continue paying operating costs 24/7.

Read more from VTS Hightower Blog

San Jose: Retailers hold “community hostage” by keeping leases on empty buildings

SAN JOSE — After an anchoring Nob Hill grocery store closed in a prominent shopping center two years ago, the owners of a Chinese restaurant a few doors down hoped a new retailer would jump right in.

It hasn’t happened. The former supermarket building at 7076 Santa Teresa Boulevard has sat empty. And instead of drawing hungry shoppers, it gathers trash and a pesky new tenant — rats.

Read more from East Bay Times