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What do Millennials, Rain Water Harvesting and Outdoor Space Have in Common?

23 Jan 2015 0

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Did you know that millennials don’t want to own homes, going green in multi-family has gone mainstream and outside space is the number one demand of office tenants?All that and more was shared at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Fall Meeting in New York City. Curry Real Estate Services President Ellen Todd recently attended where she learned about these and other emerging industry changes.

The ULI conference is always popular, boasting thousands of attendees, and this year was no exception. Each day a different topic was featured, such as leadership, industry trends and the post-recession environment. Keynote speakers included Vincent Stanley, co-editor of Patagonia’s Footprint Chronicles,the company’s corporate social responsibility website,and Scott Heiferman, founder and chief executive officer of Meetup, the world’s largest network of local groups.

Todd toured two properties in the Bronx and, being located in an up-and-coming part of New York City, the properties revealed interesting improvementsemerging in real estate and urban land use.

  • Properties are mixing it up. Increasingly, owners and rentersco-exist in the same property.Likewise, properties contain a mix ofresident incomes.
  • Properties have more programming and amenities such as a business center, fitness room with stationary bikes that incorporate video games, group fitness classes, a community garden, a Christmas tree lighting, and anamphitheater for community movie nights.
  • Healthy living is the new “Green.” Residents want options that support a healthy lifestyle.
  • Environmentally friendly properties are no longer optional. Residents expect the property to offer eco-friendly products and services such as rental bikes and recycling.

Over the four-day conference many sessions were offered on a range of industry-related issues and, as with the Bronx tour, recurring themes again emerged.

For example, check out these trends in the residential market:

  • Millennials don’t want to own a house. They viewed first-hand what their home-owning parents faced in the economic downturn and don’t want to experience the same thing.
  • Residential developments are including apartments and condos together, as well as market-rate and affordable options.
  • Green alternatives such as community gardens and rain water harvesting are becoming common-place, and costs associated with being environmentally conscious have decreased.
  • Healthy living options are in demand – trails and retail within walking distance are vital.
  • Developments are incorporatingevents that provide a sense of community among tenants.

Office and retail space is undergoing changes as well:

  • Office tenants have evolving requirements for their buildings, i.e., more natural light and higher ceilings in buildings and being located in walkable areas that are near public transit. Outside space is the No. 1 thing workers want.
  • Work spaces are changing as well. Individual offices are getting smaller, but there are common areas that provide opportunities for collaborative working and amenities such as exercise equipment.
  • Companies are trying to provide a more home-like, fun environment for their workers. Employees want to socialize before, during and after work so offices increasingly contain on-site amenities such as coffee shops, beer taps and automated vending areas where workers can pay for items with a phone app. And some companies are allowing workers to bring their dogs to work for a fee.
  • Commercial tenants also want development-wide events to draw the community together.

Always a must-attend conference, the2014 Urban Land Institute Fall Meetingdid not disappoint. From the interesting speakers and valuable industry lessons to the insight into emerging trends in the real estate and land use industry, the conference provided timely and relevant information that can immediately be put to use for Curry clients.