AMELIA ISLAND, FL - As apartment development has exploded recently (up 70 percent this year to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 413,000 units) so has the marketing of out-of-this-world community amenities. Pools, fire pits, roof top sky lounges, electric car charging stations, “teaching kitchens” and dog parks seem to be all the rage amongst Gen Y rental prospects, but are those amenities really paying off for multifamily real estate investors, operators and asset mangers?
With 10,000 units currently under development in a $2 billion pipeline, AMLI Residential is doing all these things, but also placing amenity dollars into sustainable building design, green community features and resident-friendly operational systems.
“We’re looking into the things that result in customer satisfaction so once a building is complete we can reduce the headaches of the day-to-day operations and asset management,” says AMLI senior vice president of asset management Ken Veltri, who will speak on the Cutting Edge Amenities in New Developments: Gold or Pixie Dust? panel at the Maximize: 2014 Multifamily Asset Management Conference, October 13-15 at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island, Fla.
To that end, Veltri says each of AMLI’s 32 communities under development will be built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver Certification level or better, a spend that will be about one percent of total development cost to go the extra mile to be green. “From lighting to bio swales to herb gardens and low flow toilets and showers, we are doing all of those things,” Veltri says. “We sell it hard and it is great from a marketing standpoint.”
One crossover amenity that could be worth the investment from both a wow-factor and a green stand-point is the electric car-charging station. Depending on the level of ancillary revenue generated by parking fees, charging stations seem to have Gen Y marketability.
“Apart from car charging stations or other green initiatives, the bells and whistles don’t necessarily connect with residents in all markets,” Veltri says. “Technology has come a long way, but 90 percent of our time in multifamily operations is still spent on people-driven issues.”
Take a deeper dive into best in class multifamily asset management strategies, trends and tactics by registering to attend Maximize: 2014 Multifamily Asset Management Conference.