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Sat ,01/12/2018

The Multifamily “Amenities War”: Choosing Apartment Amenities that Deliver ROI

Among KC multifamily residential developers, an “Amenities War” is being waged. It’s a race to see who can offer the best leisure, lifestyle, and geared-to-family experiences that will attract quality renters and keep them over the long-term. 

The problem is, residents are demanding more, though they are not necessarily willing to pay extra for it. 

In response, developers and designers are providing more, to the point where there is a veritable explosion of amenities to be had at just about every level and standard of living. 

  • Balconies, views, central air, on-site parking, and laundry rooms aside, some of the amenities we are seeing include:
  • Smart home technology and security systems
  • Upgraded appliances and finishes
  • On-site childcare or playrooms
  • Green space
  • Dedicated rideshare waiting areas
  • Splash pads and outdoor Jacuzzi spas
  • Pet accommodations

In other cases, you might see a focus on work amenities, like an on-site business center or coworking space. 

Any emphasis on wellness is also highly desirable, with amenities such as outdoor or rooftop green space, secure bicycle storage or yoga lessons featuring high on renter’s wish-lists. 

Striking a balance between the basics and the “nice-to-haves”

There’s a need among property owners and designers to deliver the right balance of amenities. 

You want to be catchy, as the right types of amenities will attract a certain type and quality of person, but simply following trends isn’t necessarily the best way to go. Trending amenities may initially bring interest, but in the long run, they won’t deliver ROI. But how do you know what will bring you and your future tenants the most value? 

Amenities, like any other business decision, should be evaluated to determine whether or not they are the right fit for the property and the desired demographic. Finding the right balance can be like the proverbial game of whack-a-mole. Deciding what will provide lasting value is key, but how do you answer the consumer call for modern convenience in a way that future-proofs your investment?  

Amenities: the millennial perspective

Changing generational preferences are also prompting multifamily developers to re-strategize what amenities should be included. Millennials, in particular, are looking for a greener experience, so for them, having a highly energy-efficient building is important. Other enticements could include a community garden, green space, storage for bicycles, and shared spaces for socializing. 

The boomer generation, on the other hand, is more concerned with comfort and convenience. Noise levels are a concern, electric car charging stations are nice, and access to extra space for visiting family is a bonus. 

Highlights of the latest data in “The Amenities War”

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Multifamily amenities: by the numbers

Commissioned by Building Design + Construction Magazine, the following survey data was compiled from a cross-section of architects, developers, property owners, construction professionals, contractors, and other stakeholders to show which amenities represent the areas of greatest concern for today’s builders. 

Outdoor amenities

Storage areas, rooftop lounges, gardens, firepits, Jacuzzi spas, and barbeque areas all figure highly into an active and social lifestyle. 

Indoor amenities

Indoor lounges, party rooms, screening rooms, music rooms, and libraries offer family-friendly leisure options. 


Recreation amenities

Game rooms, fitness centers, jogging areas, access to trails, tennis or basketball courts provide a wellness value-added. 



Bicycle storage, bicycle repair, concierge services, and car sharing services offer convenience and support a busy, on-the-go lifestyle.


Health and wellness

Access to wellness amenities is becoming more important to potential tenants, and fitness studios, as well as yoga or Pilates classes are just part of the equation. Energy efficient buildings, electric car chargers, and green space also figure high in this regard. 


Business services

With a significant trend towards entrepreneurship, freelancing, and remote working, coworking facilities and other business amenities offer attractive value for the working professional. 


Services for pets

Dog wash stations, off-leash areas, and on-site grooming and boarding services are becoming more popular in today’s dog-friendly society. 


Children’s services

While fewer survey respondents allowed for dedicated children’s spaces, it was likely due to adult buildings or senior residences that do not allow children. 


Security services

With a veritable 007-worthy repertoire of security services available, building owners can offer a wide range of high-security systems from valuables storage to keyless entry and more. 


View Full Presentation Here >>

Data Source: Multifamily Design+Construction’s Multifamily Amenities 2017 survey


Plan ahead as much as possible

Planning ahead as much as possible is the key to success in multifamily development. We try to make spaces as flexible as possible in order to provide appeal for the targeted audience as well as giving enough leeway to pivot when needed. 


To learn more, connect with B+A Architecture today at 816-753-6100.