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Multi Unit Developments

Developing a property into a multi-unit development can be a profitable decision but the process of taking the project from concept to execution is complex and multifaceted. Multi-unit developments require meticulous planning and a careful evaluation of all factors related to the development’s construction, maintenance and overall impact on the surrounding area.

The first step in planning a residential or commercial multi-unit development is performing a comprehensive assessment of the property’s suitability for the project.

A professional development planning firm can provide a land owner tremendous assistance in navigating the complex path to multi-unit development, offering guidance on the best ways to ensure a speedy approval the first time. Planning consultants use their experience in the field to craft detailed applications that make the benefits of development and construction clear to a community to achieve approvals much more quickly.

The preparation of your proposal and scope of your project can also affect the number of units that can be built on a property. Considerations include the orientation of the site relative to the sun, parking solutions, sustainability measures and land slope. Only a professional can properly evaluate these aspects of a property to fine-tune a development plan for the best and most profitable outcome.

Planning a multi-unit development is an extremely technical affair and failure to account for all the factors involved is sure to cripple a project before it ever gets off the ground. Large-scale development requires large-scale planning and the painstaking nature of the process makes it a formidable challenge for even the most experienced developers.

Developers are constantly searching for the key to building a successful community. There are many design factors that aide in the success of a community and our residential team created our top ten design tips we encourage you to consider when developing a modern multifamily community.

Understand Building Codes and Accessibility Laws
Ensuring your building follows current accessibility laws and buildings codes is crucial to your development. This may sound straightforward, but it is not. Each multifamily project must adhere to localstate and federal requirements. These requirements are often in conflict with each other. An experienced design team will research all of the these conflicting requirements and determine which codes and laws would prevail.  This critical decision-making will provide a logical code-path for the local permit reviewers that may not be fully aware of these overlapping requirements.
Determine Your Unit Mix
Your community’s unit mix is an important factor for your bottom line and even your financing process. Conducting a market study provides input on the unit mix and net retention areas to be targeted. Market studies will include quantitative information of projects that are still in design or construction, which is extremely relevant information to have. Many lenders will require a market study for financing so it’s best to complete one early on and use the study to strategize. Aligning your community’s offerings with the needs of the market is the only true way to realize the project’s proforma.
Plan for Your Community Amenities
In the past, amenities were considered a luxury but today, they’re requirements. Available amenities will play a strong role in renter’s decision process. Popular amenities include on-site wellness centers, courtyards with pools tailored for entertainment and business centers with shared workspace and meeting areas. It’s also important to select amenities specifically for your target demographic.
Secure Your Building

Security in the exterior and interior of your building as well as resident units should be considered early in design. Security is not limited to technology systems. Security also includes design considerations such as parking garages and number of entrances. For example, separating resident and visitor parking will make it easier to restrict access to certain spaces.

Arrange Resident Space’s

We’ve all heard kitchens and bathrooms are the most important rooms for residents. Kitchens and bathrooms should be approached as a wow factor. In addition to these areas, in-unit utility rooms are rising in importance to renters and many developers should also decide whether to include washers and dryers in the units.

Wire For High-Speed Internet

From the growing number of streaming services to smart technology included in units, it should be a no brainer that a strong internet connection is essential to the modern renter. In one of our recent projects, we have incorporated a fiber network that runs through each resident unit, ensuring residents have the fastest connection available.

Install Smart Technology

The market is swarming with smart products that add convenience to residents. Features like app-controlled thermostats, smart-key access and capabilities for voice-controlled devices create a wow factor.

Arrange Pet-Friendly Accommodations 

Pets now outnumber children in the multifamily market. A Real Page Analytics study found that in 2017, there were 18 kids and 22 pets per every 100 apartment households. Providing an on-site dog park or pet spa may be more important to your residents than you think.

Provide Designated Spaces for Ride-Sharing Services 

Ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, are hugely popular for urbanites. Remember the term “motor courts”? This nostalgic term is being re-used for pick-up/drop-off areas and within parking garages or circular turn arounds with small adjacent lobbies that residents use to access these ride-sharing services. Including designated areas or parking spaces ride-sharing spaces could reduce traffic backup as well as provide convenience for residents. There are similar needs in rural developments also with autonomous vehicles.

While this list of design elements is standard to all new multifamily developments, every property will consider some of these factors more essential than others. For instance, a development centered in a major city may require more security than a development in a suburban area. Each developer should personalize their community and building site with the help of an experienced design team.

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