The Hottest Multifamily Amenities
Forget granite, elite properties will start featuring quartz countertops. Speaking at Bisnow’s San Antonio Multifamily Summit yesterday morning, Embrey EVP Robert Hunt (left, with fellow panelists USAA managing director Hailey Ghalib, Berkadia SVP Brant Smith, Hemisfair director Omar Gonzalez and IPA executive director Will Balthrope) says his team is starting to use granite as the standard finish and quartz as the premium option. Quartz costs 50% more, but he believes it’ll pencil out from resident appeal. Embrey’s implementing another costly amenity, adding golf simulators into some properties (including one in San Antonio). They cost $50k, but if the seven-hour wait at Top Golf this weekend is any indication, people love their golf.
Amenities don’t have to be within the unit or even within the community, Omar (here with Hemisfair CEO Andres Andujar) says. Multifamily residents in Hemisfair’s redevelopment will especially benefit from the park. (And the park will benefit from the residents, who will constantly have eyes on it and treat it like their backyard.) Parks can significantly increase ROI, and are very important to placemaking, Hailey says. Her firm even built a 1.5-acre park for La Cantera since there wasn’t one nearby. Another huge outside amenity is public transportation; Omar says San Antonio’s lack is a big miss and is cutting down Millennial interest. (Robert strongly agrees, saying, “If we want to be cool, we need to act cool.”)
Rooftop terraces have pretty much become a must in Class-A multifamily projects, Hailey says. The coolest new amenity she saw recently was a wood-burning pizza oven on a rooftop terrace. (USAA decided to incorporate it in its next Brooklyn development.) Will says pet yards are a very popular amenity, and one of the highest returns you can get in a value-add renovation. Adding a 10 SF fenced strip of land to a ground-floor unit can raise your rents $150.