16A — November 23 - December 13, 2018 — Professional Services — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal

By Richard Gacek, Gacek Design Group The Importance of Lifestyle Preferences I nterior D esign


s commercial inte- rior designers, we are constantly looking

to provide a cost effective amenity design that offers a gym and a lounge. It’s about being strategic from a mar- keting perspective; getting into the minds and lives of the consumer to understand how they want to live and what is memorable. It’s about creating an experience that will resonate. It’s about de- livering cutting-edge design to a targeted audience. And who do we define as the tar- get audience for multifamily developments? We call them Renters by Choice. They are young adults and empty nest-

ers. They are savvy, demand- ing, diverse, and have many living options to choose from. They are active, interested in convenience and maintenance free living, who crave walk- able amenities steps away. They own a bike. And let’s not forget that they do have pets. Predicting future trends and consumer needs is critically important. Let’s drill down to a few of the lifestyle prefer- ences to watch. The Live-Work-Play life- style is redefining the func- tionality of our environments. With the introduction of We-

Work and similar sharing facilities, spaces are beginning to look like “home”. Many of today’s office buildings are offering amenities that are more commonly found in a residential setting. Lounges are transformed to Living Rooms; Break rooms to high- er-end home kitchens. We see active gaming rooms with ping pong tables and video gaming. In addition, nap rooms are becoming more popular as a place to re-charge during a busy workday. Smart-home technology is here to stay. Of course, de- pendable and free WiFi con- nectivity as well as furnish- ings with built in USB charg- ing ports is typical. Keyless electronic front entry is going to be the new norm in mul- tifamily. Alex Samoylovich, CEO, Cedar Street Company in Chicago, IL, said he’s work- ing toward keyless entry via tenants’ cellphones across his company’s properties. “Seven- ty-five percent of our tenants have given us permission for keyless entry into their units to deliver packages,” he said. Keyless technology can even be a revenue stream, he said. “We did $85,000 last year in lockouts.” Swimming pools and fitness centers are expected in all situations. In the future, they are larger and more elaborate. The Urban Land Institute recently released their report, Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2019, which touts how multifamily developers are going well beyond the fitness center and recreational areas to include what they call, “amenities gone wild”. These amenities include child care, pet spa, bike rental, and even a curated garden that grows fresh fruit and vegetables for residents. Not only are apart- ment units getting larger, (to accommodate the needs of the empty nester consumer), out- door amenities are in vogue. Rooftop decks and terraces in- clude sound systems, kitchens with pizza ovens, and private cabanas. Outdoor seating venues welcome concerts, food trucks, basketball, as well as a wine and cheese courtyard. So many choices, how do you determine the right amenities to offer? Know your target au- dience’s lifestyle preferences. Richard Gacek is the principal des igner of Gacek Design Group. 

to physically experience the spaces. This intelligence helps to guide our design as well as support our recommendations for future projects. This has always been the practice of Gacek Design Group, and no doubt is what differentiates us from other designers. Recently, we’ve recognized some substantial changes. Our client partners are laser focused on this marketing intelligence as a common practice. Exciting news for the marketers and visionar- ies in the room! In today’s marketplace, it’s not enough

for ways to r each new a u d i e n c e s and deliver t h e WOW f a c t o r i n our interior hospitality and amenity spaces. We

Richard Gacek

carefully follow research on industry trends and buyer behavior. We pay attention to lifestyle preferences, and we visit competitive projects

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