Residential Developers are planning their new projects based on the current and future needs of buyers and renters coming from a pandemic experience.
How long will the pandemic remain a part of our culture or fade away? Those questions go hand in hand with the questions of what design layouts and amenities will buyers and renters’ value and pay a premium for?
Some of the must have amenities being considered and planned for by developers are multiple gym rooms, a home office, re engineered ventilation systems, windows that open, lounges with glass dividers, balconies on all units, multiple lobbies with elevators, touchless entry, wider lobby stairs and separate entrance for deliveries.
In a survey conducted by Luke a real estate chatbot in New York City, that analyzed 30,000 messages from potential renters from December to February and March to May 2020, found that requests for home offices, outdoor space and in unit laundry had increased significantly. On the other hand, renter's requests for gyms declined significantly.
Arden Hearing, executive general manager of developer Lendlease, is planning a multi use project to be completed by late 2023 and says “Because of covid, we've thought a lot more about stairs, to encourage residents to use them and decrease elevator density”. Mr. Hearing adds “The HVAC upgrades alone will add several million dollars to the project”. The investment is expected to differentiate the project from older buildings and help with marketability.
Maryanne Gilmartin, founder and Chief Executive of MAG Partners is planning a project in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan with more outdoor space, air filter upgrades, separate entry for deliveries and touchless elements.
Other developers like John Farina planning a 14 unit project in Delray Florida has changed to 8 elevators from 4 so that no resident would have to share an elevator with no more than two other units.
Other developers are now rethinking where to plan to build. For example, Developer, Mr. Covin, who has had a long career developing luxury projects in Downtown Miami is focusing on North Carolina now. He believes that demand will be heavy for second homes at the mid point of the East coast and less interest in dense city living.
Colin Behring, Chief Executive of Behring Co. in California says “working from home will be increasingly important”. Some of his units in a project to be completed in late 2022 will have beds that drop from the ceiling to the floor and at the push of a button will retract in to a home office module.
Amenities like retractable glass walls linking common areas to outdoor spaces and touchless systems are becoming a necessity rather than a luxury.
The list of planned amenities goes on and on and includes infrared lobby cameras to detect someone with elevated temperature entering the building and a one year subscription to free Telemed appointments and home exam kits that feed information to Telemed providers.
To be continued...
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