Emerging trends for apartment living
According to a panel of experts pulled together by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), while location of an apartment building remains the most important feature for renters when choosing where they live, key market trends in interior, exterior and outdoor living are emerging, alongside how generational differences are having an impact on apartment design.
Multifamily builders and developers are focusing more on urban projects that are near public transportation hubs as Millennials, the largest segment of the renting population, want to spend less time commuting and more time creating a balance between career and lifestyle.
“It’s all about the lifestyle for today’s renters. They want the urban experience of less commute time and immediate access to various activities,” said Jeff Kayce, vice president at Bozzuto Development Company and one of the webinar’s presenters. “Because of this, many developers are building near transit hubs and along transit lines.”
Trending design features in apartments
The NAHB panel noted that the design of common areas are shifting to meet demand, and areas are being designed to have one space bleed into another, creating a more open feel. “In the previous design cycle we saw separate, distinct rooms,” said Rohit Anand, AIA, and principal of the KTGY Group. “Now we have the computer room, media center and lounge all part of the same room, for example. This type of design helps foster interaction among residents.”
A focus on fitness also remains a top priority, but fitness center design has changed in recent years – it is no longer a dark room overlook the parking lot, say the panelists, rather the size has increased to closer to 1,500 square feet with emphasis on the view from the center. Fitness centers now have high quality equipment, and renters are looking for yoga and Pilates areas within the fitness center when apartment hunting.
Following the trend of bleeding spaces into one another, an emerging trend is blending outdoor and indoor spaces, as apartment designers add heating or cooling elements to outdoor areas to make them inhabitable in all seasons.
The NAHB says that in specific locations, niche amenities like dog runs, pet washing stations, garden plots and bike storage/workshops are becoming more popular. The panelists agreed, however, that it is important for builders and developers to know their clientele before incorporating niche amenities like these.