Creative Multifamily

PMI, one of the pioneers of creative office, is now focusing its attention on “creative multifamily” properties.  This undertaking targets gentrifying urban areas, focusing on neighborhoods that are near public transit and local amenities (bars, restaurants, shopping, etc.).  By utilizing many of the architectural elements popular in our creative office product, PMI renovates obsolete properties into hip, modern apartments that appeal to Gen Y, knowledge workers, the creative class, and urbanites; hence, the “creative multifamily.”

lofts2The goals of creative multifamily renovation include:

  • Highlight structural building elements wherever possible.  This may involve any of the following: removing drywall ceilings and exposing the natural wood ceilings to achieve volume, restoring the original wood floors or removing carpet to polish concrete slabs, and cutting new windows and sliding doors.
  • Reconfigure and improve the floor plan, layout, and circulation to meet the needs and lifestyles of the Gen Y knowledge worker.  This reconfiguration may combine living, dining, and kitchen into one large room that encourages collaboration.  Kitchens are opened up and dining bars are employed to create a café atmosphere.  Bedrooms are enlarged to efficient sizes.  Interiors are made to feel modern while maintaining the architectural character of the original structure.
  • Create new, centrally located common area patios with tables, chairs, and barbeques in a hotel roof club atmosphere.  This recognizes the collaborative and social nature of the Gen Y knowledge worker.
  • Modernize the bathrooms with contemporary cabinets but maintain the tiles in character with the buildings.  Kitchens have contemporary cabinets and counters with new stainless steel appliances.
  • Recognize the new green initiatives by installing insulation, double pane windows, and skylights.
  • Create indoor/outdoor living by making private outdoor spaces accessed through large interior door openings.
  • Equip units with new HVAC split systems and a washing machine and dryer.

Like their desire for a different office environment, this generation’s knowledge workers desire a different, more relevant and expressive apartment environment with affordable rents.  Creative multifamily provides a more expressive and design oriented dwelling for the young creative knowledge worker.  This resonates with their hip and collaborative nature and will satisfy their desire to live in an urban property that is “not their father’s first apartment.”

More Young American Adults Leaving the Nest

This recent LA Times article provides more evidence that the economy is improving and in turn causing apartment rentals to improve.  The article discusses new research showing that young adults who doubled up with their parents are getting jobs, leaving the nest, and renting apartments.

Other reasons cited for the apartment market’s strength include former foreclosed homeowners converting to rentals, potential new homeowners choosing to rent, and a movement back to the urban centers where renting is more convenient and economical.

However, the article shows that rental housing is strongly connected with the job prospects of young adults who have benefited more statistically from this recovery.  It is a double edged sword.  A reversal of the recovery could upend the rental market’s strength.

Check out the article on the LA Times website here.

The Growth of Kitchens and the Death of Formal Dining in New Urban Housing for Gen Y

In new mutlifamily urban housing in Los Angeles, developers are building bigger kitchens and leaving out formal dining rooms.  In other words, the kitchen, dining room, and living room are morphing into one large room.

The new Archstone Apartments in Venice (Los Angeles, California), feature knockout open kitchens. The kitchen forms the center piece of one great room for living, dining, and food preparation.  A breakfast bar area provides the only place in the apartment for sit down dining.

One bedroom apartments featuring this 1,000 square foot floor plan start at $4,000– a hefty price to pay for the changing layout of urban living.  With the evolution of Gen Y’s preferences regarding living spaces, separate rooms for entertaining, dining, and living are no longer needed.  PMI will feature these designs in their new, creative multifamily projects.

Photo courtesy of Archstone Apartments