Builders Turn To Mixed Density Developments To Cater To Young, Aging Millennials
When it comes to Millennial living preferences, developers are scrambling to appease their needs and designers are working hard to satisfy their tastes.
Since the largest living generation continues to drive apartment demand in the country's biggest markets, developers are planning for the future with one glaring question in mind: Where will members of this generation choose to live as they age, form families and, some day, become empty nesters.
Multifamily developers are looking for ways to keep Millennials renting at every life stage.
In addition to focusing on micro-studios and one-bedroom apartments, some builders are developing apartment communities that accommodate both young and maturing tenants, including those who are married and starting families, according to Los Angeles-based Berkadia director Mark Ventre.
More people are opting to live in apartment communities with mixed densities that include apartments and townhomes similar to Wilshire La Brea Apartments and the Brio Apartment Homes in Glendale.
Those who can afford it are eyeing condos. Ventre said the median sales price for condos in Los Angeles as of Jan. 31 was $685K, up 5.5% in three months, according to Polaris Pacific.
Ventre said many Millennials would like to live in single-family homes, but cannot afford them, especially in premier gateway markets like Southern California, New York, Boston, Seattle and Washington, DC.
As a result, Ventre expects the trend of mixed densities will continue. These communities do not always fall within the same complex, some are built near or adjacent to an existing project that serves a different demographic.
"To the extent they can, developers are shifting gears just a little bit," Ventre said. "A few years ago, all we heard about were micro-units and smaller units. Now the conversations I've been having lately are specifically about two- and three-bedroom projects that are still within a close proximity to other projects the developers have and cater toward the younger Millennials that are living in those small efficiencies and micro-units."
In Hollywood, Ventre has seen many mixed-density projects sprouting up by Wiseman Development between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue from Highland Avenue to Vine.
Costa Mesa's Newman Garrison + Partners recently released plans for its new mixed-density project in Woodland Hills, Calif., called Q East and Q West.
The projects aim to cater to the diverse demographic in the Warner Center submarket, including Millennials and other young professionals and international business owners, according to Newman Garrison + Partners architect Kevin Newman.
"The wide range of floor plans and square footages and live/work/play amenities offered allow for renters to transition within the project without ever having to relocate to another development," Newman said.
They cater to Millennials by incorporating hospitality-style lounges, indoor/outdoor movie theaters, resort-level swimming pool/lounge areas, and multiple rooftop terraces with fire pits and dining areas to take advantage of the warm summer nights, according to Newman.
Wherever they choose to live, Millennials are paying a pretty penny for it with the demographic often spending at least 50% of their income on rent.