How Apartment Developers Will Lure Millennials To The Burbs
Suburban apartment developers need to focus on what millennials want just like their urban brethren. That is the message from panelists at Bisnow's Gwinnett Development Boom last week as a handful are getting into the development game in the affluent northern suburbs.
But as Quintus Development President Kelly Keappler said, millennials were raised in a much different environment than previous generations.
“The millennials, if I took a poll, they all grew up in a separate room in a house with their siblings. They maybe had their own bathroom,” Keappler said. “The bar's been raised. So you have to do something interior-wise to get their attention."
Quintus' latest project is an apartment project off Steve Reynolds Boulevard in Gwinnett County — some 20 miles north from the hot Midtown Atlanta apartment world — that includes 287 apartment units, some with garages, 45K SF of retail and a 20K SF pocket park dedicated to the county, he said. It is the first suburban building the company has done that also will have an elevator, Keappler said.
“People like to talk about what millennials want. We want what everyone else wants. We want to walk out of our doors and walk down the street to get a cup of coffee,” said Rosser architect Michael Kahn, who was part of a panel that included Banyan Street Capital Managing Director of Asset Management Zac Gruber, City of Suwanee Planning and Inspections Director Josh Campbell, Keappler, and Mahaffey Pickens Tucker attorney Shane Lanham.
Kahn is part of the team at Rosser International designing the redevelopment of Gwinnett's Infinite Energy Center parking lot into an entertainment district composed of housing, retail and restaurants next to the arena and convention center. The county selected North American Properties to spearhead the project earlier this year.
“I can walk out of my door if I live in the [Infinite Energy Center] complex and go see Paul McCartney,” Kahn said. “That's what we want and that's not just a millennial thing. I think we talk too much about generations. We all want this walkability. And that's what we're moving towards.”