Why Multifamily Amenities Are Now More Important Than Location
For multifamily development, the rooftop deck and pool has almost become standard, as have the yoga room and poolside cabanas. The next level? Dog parks, and perhaps more cutting-edge, drone pads.
The all-stars on our Mixed-Use and Creative Development panel told the more than 500 attendees at Bisnow's Annual Multifamily Conference in Downtown LA there's still room to shock and awe with top-shelf amenities at new residential projects.
That doesn't mean developers can ignore the basics. Linear City Development principal Leonard Hill says restaurants are still among the most significant adds to multifamily products, and can have a major impact on rents. Leonard was joined on the panel by California Landmark president Ken Kahan, Lend Lease general manager Mike Concannon, CIM Group first VP Sondra Wenger, Suffolk Construction COO Min Zavarella and Colliers SVP Kitty Wallace, who moderated.
Despite all the concern over rising rental rates, Kitty says there's still room for growth—partially thanks to the continuously improving job numbers. She's concerned, however, about rising interest rates. She says a rate hike could dampen the market.
Others, like Ken, think we're a lot farther along in the cycle—mostly because of the prices. "I get emails all day with people wanting $500/SF for properties. When everyone's a seller, it feels like we're near the top," he tells us. Ken has several properties in development on the West Coast, and recently sold a Brentwood apartment complex for a whopping $1M/unit.
Our all-day extravaganza was concluded with CBRE vice chairman Brian Eisendrath interviewing Mosaic Real Estate Investors managing partner Ethan Penner, also known as "The Father of CMBS." Chat with Ethan and foreign capital quickly comes up. He sees the market remaining hot for some time, as international investors will continue to plant their money in the much safer and more stable US economy.