For apartment developers vying to incorporate the latest and greatest amenities in their projects, one challenge is that features seen as popular during the planning phase may be obsolete by the time a property is complete. But a recently opened luxury community in Los Angeles County seems designed for today’s realities, with an array of hotel-style amenities that could prove appealing at a time when more people than ever are staying home.
Developed by MBK Rental Living, Evolve South Bay offers 300 apartment units in Carson, Calif., along with amenities such as a two-story clubhouse, outdoor fitness equipment with a running track and a large coworking space open to both residents and the public. The multifamily firm broke ground on the project at 285 E. Del Amo Blvd. in July 2019 and opened the community for virtual and in-person tours this past September.
“(Renters are) looking for very high-end, customer-friendly touchpoints,” Ken McCarren, vice president of asset management at MBK Rental Living, told Multi-Housing News. “They want the contact with the leasing office. They want the benefits of community living.”
The developer teamed up with general contractor Snyder Langston, Summa Architecture, Design-Art and Design Tech Commercial to create the 11.9-acre community south of Los Angeles, near Interstates 110 and 405. The resulting property, a short drive from Redondo Beach and Long Beach, aims to combine the look and feel of coastal living with the functionality of a fast-paced urban lifestyle.
“Our vision was to create an oasis where you really could feel totally at home,” said McCarren. “I know that term is used all the time. But we really tried to look at it and say, what complete package of living environment do people want?”
In Southern California, that would include a good place to park your car, so the property includes private garages for almost every apartment. The units, which come in 11 different floor plans ranging from around 695 to 1,200 square feet, also feature open layouts and gourmet kitchens with prep islands so that young residents would feel proud to invite their friends over, McCarren added.
But it’s the common amenities that most strongly differentiate the property, including a 5,000-square-foot, WeWork-inspired coworking center that spans almost the entire second floor of the leasing center. The flexible space houses nine private furnished offices, two large conference rooms, two social lounge areas with breakout seating, and an outdoor social lounge area overlooking the pool. Residents and non-residents can rent the offices on a monthly basis.
Downstairs, the community also stands out with its leasing office, concierge desk and clubroom. Taking its cues from the hospitality world, the leasing office has an open, lobby-like aesthetic along with an operable glass wall that can be closed to separate the leasing space from the lobby space. The concierge acts as the liaison between people that are using the coworking space upstairs and the residents of the property, explained Grace Machado McClurg, founding principal at Design-Art, who handled the project’s interior design in partnership with Design Tech Commercial.
The residents-only clubroom on the first floor resembles a great room, with a fireplace, catering kitchen element, dining table, and access to the property’s indoor-outdoor “California room” and pool deck. “It’s a more casual, comfortable, cozy club experience,” McClurg noted.
The California room, equipped with a fan to keep the air circulating, features soft seating and counter seating that allows access on both sides of the clubroom space. The fitness center and yoga room are also located on the first floor, but without direct access from the lobby and other amenity spaces. Outside, the resort-style pool area includes cabanas and towel service and the property also provides outdoor fireplaces, gathering spaces and walking trails.
“For this project, we focused on the young professional couple that wants that coastal environment but can’t necessarily afford to live on the beach—but that also likes their proximity to more downtown, city life,” said McClurg.
“The other thing that we did in terms of planning (…) is maintaining this indoor-outdoor lifestyle that you see so often on the coast,” she added.