Here’s how residential developments will change after COVID
“Apartments, townhomes, and multi-family living is the housing of the future,” says Christopher Huffman, owner and founder at AIM Capital. “Because millennials will be the single largest renter pool in history, we follow millennial trends and look for where they are going.”
So, what exactly are those trends in new developments and where are we seeing them? Here are the “must-have” amenities and features that developers are implementing when they buy and build new residential developments in Utah.
When you picture the Big Apple, you imagine crowded streets full of yellow taxis, busy people, and massive buildings. The buildings are a mix of retail shops, restaurants, office spaces, and housing.
“East Coast trends are meshing into West Coast development and developers are starting to do more Brooklyn-style builds in Utah,” Huffman explains. A “Brooklyn-style build” is a combination of commercial frontage on the bottom level and housing above.
Christian Priskos, COO and managing partner at InterNet Properties says: “A trend we are seeing is that people want city density and amenities so they have everything right there instead of going to drive anywhere.”
For example: Olympia Hills is a new development in Herriman, Utah that calls itself “a livable, walkable 21st-century community.” It will include office spaces, residences, outdoor trails and parks, and even a Utah State University satellite campus. The Brooklyn-style trend gives people one centrally-located place to live, work, and play, a huge up-and-coming trend.
Rooftop gardens and patios
Decks and balconies are old news as most residential properties include either a deck or small patio space with each unit. To entice future renters and owners alike, new residential developments in Utah need to offer rooftop patios, gardens, and other activities as this is a growing trend and desirable feature.
These spaces can be communal or included atop every townhome and condo being built. People want a quiet place to escape after a busy day at work and rooftop gardens and patios are the perfect way to provide people with an outdoor retreat in a big, urban city.
Internet is considered a utility, however, not all residential developers offer it as an amenity included with the property.
Connor Johnson, project manager at Thrive Development says: “We’ve made it a priority to have fast internet as part of the package deal by including fiber internet so people can do anything that requires lots of bandwidth like working from home, streaming, or gaming.”
As new developments pop up across the valley, you’ll start to see more and more of them include access to fiber or 5G internet as a way to stand out and appeal to people. High-speed internet in the development itself is a trend that’s here to stay.
Treadmills and free weights no longer appeal to the average consumer because they’re so commonplace. However, developers must include a gym as an amenity to stay competitive and trending in the space.
“In order to compete, [gyms] have to be nice,” Johnson says. “We look at what [fitness] trends already exist and what’s going on in the city. Your gym has to be cool. Our upcoming projects will have things like Pelotons or include a separate yoga room, and we’ll pay for on-demand yoga.”
Because health and wellness are becoming such an integral part of daily life, you’ll see new residential developments focusing on including top-of-the-line fitness equipment and classes as part of the community.
Another trend sweeping residential real estate is fewer parking stalls within a complex. Priskos says you’ll see less parking in downtown residential housing because of rideshare programs and scooters. “People moving into these buildings might be coming from larger cities [without] a car [so] they don’t need transportation.”
As such, developers of new residential properties aren’t including as many parking stalls per unit compared to older, existing units.
Because COVID-19 has shifted the way the world functions in 2020, you’ll see its impact on residential development trends, too. Two of the biggest impacts are the layout of units themselves and the inclusion of co-working spaces within a complex.
“When people lose their jobs, two bedrooms become more popular so people can share,” Johnson explains. “Rather than renting a studio or one-bedroom apartment downtown, they’ll share and pay less per square foot and still have their own bedrooms.
“For our projects in Salt Lake City, we will have a conference room that tenants can use. If people are working from home, they have a professional, open workspace and can hold a meeting without being in their apartment. We are including co-op spaces with chairs, desks, and cubbies in a common area as part of new projects.”
These trends are what’s up-and-coming in residential buildings and properties across Utah.