The Residence of the Future
With the economy, the Millennial generation, and New York development in full swing, the world is changing fast—including the way we live. That's why Bisnow is thrilled to present our Residence of the Future event in just two weeks at The Roosevelt Hotel. Here's a peek at the new order:
1) Smart Homes
Yesterday, Town Residential managing director of new development Shlomi Reuveni told us smart home tech is in almost every condo project he’s working on, and high-end apartment developers are considering it, too. Why? Wealthy buyers take it as a given, so without it, you’ll lose in a competitive market. Residents with less money consider it a huge plus, making your project more competitive. And it’s a lot cheaper to put in the infrastructure now, even if you start with just simple technology.
HFZ Capital COO and general counsel Laurie Golub says her firm is installing a "backbone" in all new condo units. It's an empty conduit system that leads to almost every room and allows the owner to put in whatever tech desired, from a basic dimming system to deluxe smart home tech.
2) Jazzy Amenities
Laurie says gyms (as big as possible, including room for personal training sessions and yoga) and kids playrooms are the two most important amenities for today's buyers. Most high-end condos also offer as much concierge service through their doormen as they can, and space permitting, communal lounge, such as a well-designed library. Other winning offerings: media rooms, storage space (even refrigerated), and if space allows, an indoor pool, as at HFZ’s 123-unit Halcyon Condominium at 305 E 51st St.
3) Smart & Sophisticated Residents
Thanks to tech, buyers and renters are incredibly well informed. You don’t have to be a broker to know who’s building what, prices, and comps, Shlomi says. They expect quality construction, interior design, finishes, and infrastructure. And, Laurie adds, world-renowned architecture (like SLCE's work on Halcyon, rendered above), efficient floor plans, top-of-the-line appliances, and grand ceiling heights. Considering all the choices out there and robust pricing, she says, buyers have the right to demand them.
4) Product Diversity
Land prices are high and demand allows developers to get premium prices for large units—$2,500 to $4,000/SF for smart interior design and quality amenities—Shlomi tells us. But while it seems the buyer pool for that product is thriving, developers should consider the strong demand from single, first-time, and foreign buyers, as well, for high design at lower price points. Smaller units can help differentiate a project and achieve high absorption rates, he says.
As hot as New York’s resi market is, it’s flattened over the past month, Laurie says, which makes HFZ's December acquisition of Westbrook Partners' four apartment buildings for $610M a prescient diversification play. The 750 units vary by price point, finishes, and geography: The Astor on West 75th (above), The Metro at 53rd and Eighth, and 88 Lex and 90 Lex in the upper 20s. She adds that HFZ plans to market the units at more approachable price points.