Development Group Pioneers New Multifamily Community Social Living Concept

By Erin Brereton, Contributing Editor Charlotte, N.C.–Group projects. Environmentally oriented activities. “Happy hours” in the building where your dog can mingle with other residents’ pets. They’re all part of Crescent Multifamily Development Group’s new Circle concept–designed to encourage social interactivity in multifamily buildings. After reviewing and analyzing current industry trends and marketplace needs, Crescent created the concept, which involves creating apartment complexes that encourage neighbors to connect. Circle communities are under construction in North Carolina and Florida featuring upscale amenities and environmentally friendly design that focuses on enriching social experiences. “Circle promises to be a distinct choice for apartment living,” said Todd Farrell, president of Crescent Multifamily Development Group. “With the sense of community infused into our communities and our commitment to the environment, Circle is a new concept for the industry.” By April 2008, Crescent expects to have 1,300 Circle residences under construction; construction is planned later this year for communities in North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Crescent is also currently exploring other high-growth markets for Circle, including Dallas and Washington D.C. Circle residents will be able to choose a suburban garden apartment community or an urban mid- to high-rise apartment setting. While some communities will follow the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, all Circle communities will involve environmentally conscious design to reduce waste and save energy. Circle complexes will feature community spaces and programming that encourages residents to share interests and experiences ranging from volunteering and pet happy hours to recycling programs. Circle at South End in Charlotte, N.C. (pictured) is the first urban community being developed. Construction began in November 2007 on the four-story, 360-apartment home community, which features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes ranging from 550 to 1,650 square feet. Circle at South End will seek LEED certification upon completion. Crescent also broke ground on two suburban Circle communities this month in Florida: Circle at Crosstown in Tampa and Circle at Bartram Park in Jacksonville. The three-story communities feature one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging from 780 to more than 1,300 square feet. A total of 300 residences are planned for Circle at Crosstown; 336 residences are planned for Circle at Bartram Park. Leasing for both is set to begin in fall 2008. In addition, Circle plans to build several suburban and mid- to high-rise apartment communities in Texas and the Southeast this year. The planned properties include Circle at University Marketplace in Durham, N.C., which is part of a mixed-use project featuring a retail center; Circle at Cool Springs in Nashville, Tenn., and Circle at Stonelake in Austin, Texas. Crescent Multifamily Development Group is a division of Crescent Resources, LLC, a land management and real estate development company with interests in 10 states in the southeastern and southwestern United States. Established in 1969, Charlotte-based Crescent Resources is a joint venture between Duke Energy and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund.