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TYSONS, VA - According to Rohit Anand, AIA, NCARB and managing principal in the Tyson, Va. office of the award-winning national firm, KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture + Planning, from car and bike sharing services, to community kitchens and farms, the list of amenities that residents most desire has changed. "Understanding the wants and needs of your primary target market is critical to success. Going the extra mile to provide amenities that are unique to the marketplace will give you a real marketing advantage in the process," said Anand.
"Today, amenities and technology, both low tech and high tech, are being leveraged to provide apartment residents with a convenient lifestyle free from the burdens and responsibilities of home ownership," Anand said. "One of the advantages of apartment living near transit in urban, walkable communities is that residents can more easily do without owning a car. Car sharing businesses like Zipcar and Buzzcar have increased in popularity. Bike sharing, first made popular on college campuses, has moved off campus as well."
Anand added, "Multifamily developers and designers have been inspired by high-end amenities found at resort hotels and expensive membership health clubs as well as those amenities that single-family home owners would want. These amenities include resort-inspired pools, large spaces for vegetable and fruit gardens, additional storage closets off the patio/balcony and/or in the parking garage, bicycle storage and repair, jamming/recording studio, a large fitness center with lots of windows, a Pilates/Yoga studio, and big screen TVs or even individual screens on each tread mill or stair climber. Some developers are including a training facility with personal training in their membership-quality gyms."
The roof is no longer just a roof, Anand said. "We are designing elaborate roof top amenities to include pool and sun/viewing deck, cabanas and lounge areas, outdoor kitchen and entertainment area, running track, a community garden and/or a rooftop night club."
Anand said that Gen Y is looking to connect and socialize so programming space that facilitates interaction is critical. "We are designing open spaces inspired by creative office environments like Google or Facebook. Gen Y wants to do their work, read or catch up on emails in shared spaces. Even a space like a theatre room is now a flat screen TV with couches located within a lounge versus a dedicated room. Entertainment might also include a riveting 3D golf simulator and Wii games," Anand said.
"And, as Gen Y loves their pets, savvy apartment developers are including grooming stations, a bark park or doggie run, and even doggie day care with pet walking services. Veterinary care and training might also be included," reported Anand.
Gen Y wants amenities that make life easier for them, Anand said. "Location is everything. What's in the neighborhood within walking distance is the most important amenity. Where services are missing from the neighborhood, developers might incorporate ground floor retail/services to include a 'grab & go' convenience store, dry cleaning, nail (and hair) salon, sports pub and/or cafe. Investors are snapping up these "retail condominiums" at premium prices in high traffic, urban infill areas," Anand said.
"Gen Y wants to live beyond the walls of their own apartment, which is why the amenities in the neighborhood is so important. They want a Starbucks-like cyber cafe, where they can work from their laptop alongside their friends and neighbors. They enjoy social connections both in person and online," said Anand.
Anand, an award-winning architect, is a frequent speaker at national industry events. He is the managing principal for KTGY's Tysons, Va. office. Anand brings more than 25 years of professional achievement in leading the design of multifamily residential developments primarily in the mid-Atlantic and major East Coast markets. Anand's experience includes the design of more than 25,000 market rate residential units ranging from for-rent and for-sale multifamily units to single-family attached and detached homes.
About KTGY Group
Celebrating 22 years, KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture and Planning, is a national award-winning firm providing comprehensive planning and award-winning architectural design services for residential communities, retail, hospitality, mixed-use and related specialty developments. KTGY delivers innovative solutions that reflect clear understanding of development, market trends and financial performance. Serving clients worldwide, KTGY maintains offices in Irvine, Oakland and Santa Monica, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Tysons, Va. See www.KTGY.com