Jim Andersen, President of NMS Properties, Inc. in his address to NAIOP-U in Santa Monica provided a sharp contrast on apartment renovation versus Jerry Fink of the Bascom Group in a previous presentation. Bascom does mostly suburban apartments,while NMS specializes in urban apartments primarily in Santa Monica. When renovating a suburban apartment building, Jerry Fink of Bascom advocates focusing on exterior improvements first (curb appeal) and installing common area amenities. Paint the building, improve the landscape, upgrade the signage. Then put in the amenities: tot lot, movie theater, gym, club room, roof deck, pool, spa, fire pit. In urban areas, we call these apartment buildings: Mc W Apartments. Bascom’s concept is that apartment dwellers do not want to leave the building at night and on weekends. The apartment complex becomes a self contained fortress city where all the residents needs are met.
NMS designs apartments for the young urban dweller,
who especially wants to enjoy the amenties of the city and surrounding neighborhood. These dwellers are less likely to have a car and want to work and play near where they live. NMS spends most of its time thinking about designing the interiors for efficiency, quality, and style and less time on exteriors. NMS provides higher interior finishes and does not provide nearly as many common area amenities as Bascom. Where Bascom provides a vinyl wood looking floor, NMS would provide an engineered wood floor or high quality wood like laminate floor. NMS’s client appreciates style and quality. Other finishes include stainless steel appliances, in-suite washer dryers, stone counter-tops, custom designer solid wood, cabinets, and high end lighting.
NMS reviews every inch of space with excruciating deal to make sure no space is wasted and to produce smaller unit sizes than its suburban counterparts. A hallways may house the kitchen, dining table, and desk. To reduce the impact of its smaller size spaces, NMS tries to provide a higher ceiling.
Young urban dwellers use their apartments as crash pads and spend more time at work or utilizing urban amenities. When they eat at home, it is likely to be prepared food and in front of the television. NMS urban tenants work close by and have less furniture.
The new growing young urban dweller has different preferences than its suburban counterpart This demographic group demands a different apartment development and renovation strategy.