By Andie Lowenstein, Associate Editor
This is an exciting time to be involved in multifamily development, as extensive change is facing the industry. There is a lot of pressure to create a product that’s not only unique from the competition, but one which will fulfill resident demands as well. MHN spoke with Scott Leventhal, co-founder and CEO of The Trillist Companies, to take a look into what’s going on in the development world and how Trillist is adapting.
MHN: How have you seen residential development change over the years?
Scott Leventhal: Based on the current overall demographic trend for adult residents of all ages to live in areas where they can connect to their daily activities in proximity to work and play environments, there has been growing demand for urban, high-rise rental communities. As these urban cores continue to attract more residents, the residents have become more discerning, and we are seeing residents demand elevated housing options. In particular, these residents are seeking out finishes typically found in condominiums, and a lifestyle that is more engaging.
MHN: Tell me about the partnership Trillist formed with YOO Studio to develop a platform of innovative luxury residential properties. What unique features does the partnership plan to bring to the market?
SL: We have entered into a partnership with London-based YOO Design Studio for the purposes of delivering signature YOO rental communities throughout the U.S. Through this unique relationship with YOO Studio, we believe that our YOO-branded communities will be distinguished from standard non-branded Class A communities. This is one of the first instances where an international design and marketing brand has participated in development of branded multifamily rental communities in the U.S. We believe that this strategic relationship with YOO Studio is well-suited to our philosophy of The Art of Development and The Art of Living because the YOO Studio property brand aligns with Trillist’s vision of forward-thinking design for flourishing urban areas, capturing the attention of the worldly, sophisticated resident.
The amenity-rich and highly-appointed communities that Trillist and YOO Studio are developing are intended to offer a superior product to competitors in the local marketplace. Examples of the amenities, features and designs found in these Trillist and YOO Studio branded communities include the latest in innovative technology, such as Google Fiber and Nest thermostats, imported Italian cabinetry, imported quartz counter tops and Hansgrohe plumbing fixtures. We are also providing our residents with a living experience that is more akin to the hospitality industry by seeking to cater to their most important needs.
Two such examples of properties we are currently developing are YOO on the Park, which will be a 25-story luxury residential property located directly adjacent to Piedmont Park in the heart of Midtown Atlanta, and YOO at Metropica, which will be a premier 28-story residential property consisting of 263 luxury residences as well as 10 penthouses, set to rise within the highly anticipated Metropica master-planned community in Sunrise, Florida.
MHN: Incorporating green/energy-efficient methods into real estate is becoming popular. Are you incorporating any green methods into your development?
SL: While we always try to incorporate green efficiency into our communities, we are seeing more demand for wellness by our residents. Because of this demand, our communities are focused on providing well-living for our residents which is incorporated in the building design as well as in the services that we provide.
MHN: 2016 is creeping up on us quickly – how are things looking in the development world for the coming year?
SL: I expect that development will continue in urban areas that are benefiting from job formation and population growth. While there has been significant development activity during the current cycle, areas that support the increasing demand from buyers to live in urban cores will continue to be successful.
MHN: What development trends do you see becoming popular over the next few years?
SL: An important trend to watch is the demand for urban housing created by baby boomers seeking to relocate into urban multifamily communities; a trend that is fueling the urban apartment phenomenon as much or more than millennials. Baby boomers cannot relocate into housing that has been designed for millennials, as they require more space. I believe you will see more residential apartment communities being developed with larger units to accommodate these boomers, as well as small-scale condominium projects with larger units to suit their needs. Conversely, with the escalating cost of urban rental housing, I believe you will see more ‘micro’ units being delivered in urban areas to provide a lower-cost option for millennials.
MHN: Which trends do you see fading out?
SL: None at this time.