Austin Property Wins NAA Community of the Year Designation

The National Apartment Association tapped Gables Park Plaza in Austin as its Paragon Community of the Year at the NAA Education Conference & Exposition in Boston.

Austin—The National Apartment Association tapped Gables Park Plaza in Austin as its Paragon Community of the Year at the NAA Education Conference & Exposition in Boston recently. According to the association, the awards recognize the multifamily industry’s top communities, executives, employees and affiliate programs.

Gables Residential developed the property. According to the company, it was designed to attract the always-coveted renter-by-choice demographic. One way to do so was to include interior features very like, or even surpassing, those found in upscale single-family houses. Among other designer touches, the units include  granite countertops, iPod docking stations and speaker systems.

Gables Park Plaza was also designed to appeal to environmentally concerned Austinites, which is a large slice of the population. The property is LEED silver and also won the NAA 2012 Paragon Awards Best Green Community. It includes the use of reusable materials, energy-efficient lighting, upgraded recyclable-fiber carpet in the bedrooms, solar shades on all windows, rapidly renewable bamboo flooring and energy-efficient stainless steel appliances.

Other green features include water-conserving showerheads and faucet aerators, CFC-free HVAC refrigerant, water-conserving toilets and an energy efficient light-colored roof. Gables Park comes with Energy Star appliances, a roof system with high SRI (solar reflective index), hybrid car electrical outlets in the parking garage, photo cell-light managers on garages and exterior lighting, and a bicycle storage facility. Low-VOC paint is used in all apartment homes and rain sensors are used on the irrigation system, which doesn’t require the use of city water or the sewer system.

About 25 percent of the community’s building materials were from recycled materials. Management and cleaning staffs use eco-friendly cleaning products, and residents are encouraged to do their part as well, with recycling bins in the pool area and clubroom. Twenty residents and 10 associates also participated in an Earth Day neighborhood cleanup.

“The success of Gables Park Plaza is a team effort—including design, construction, leasing, marketing, maintenance and management,” Gables Residential president and CEO Sue Ansel, said upon receiving the awards. “We are honored by the respect and recognition these awards confer on our community and associates.”