Real Estate Journal — May 25 - June 7, 2018 — 3A


M id A tlantic

M id A tlantic R eal E state J ournal

By Richard Gacek, Gacek Design Group Design is Transforming


experiences that are authentic and specific to your target au- dience will capture attention and will resonate. The latest research on lifestyle prefer- ences shows the importance of providing social spaces that are flexible, can be used for live- work, and also appeal to the lifestyle of Renters of Choice to build a sense of community. SMART TECHNOLOGY: In the housing industry, tech- nology is no longer just an appliance, it has become a major part of the design. Smart technology enriches the experi- ence and research tells us that

continued on page 18A PERSONALIZATION: As residents use common spaces more often to live, work, and play, they have transformed free or reliable WiFi ranks as the highest preferred feature. Other tech on the radar is as follows: smart thermostats, keyless front entry, high tech door locks, built-in USB charg- ing ports, in-unit motion-de- tection cameras, and motion sensor lighting. Advanced digital capabilities such as online leasing forms, as well as credit card processing are also on the rise.

acek Design Group is laser focused on the transformation we see

spaces, Renters by Choice even have designers looking at apartment layouts differently. With Boomers at a downsizing life stage, they need room to en- tertain, accommodate guests, work at home, and pursue their hobbies. Millennials like what’s new and cool, and will give up apartment space if it means access to hot neighborhoods and conveniences. Adaptable living is the new norm where the apartment’s “physical com- ponents” meet the needs of many different households. Imagine an apartment where flexible spaces are created by

opening and closing walls – Or using lightweight panels that can snap in and out of place to expand or minimize walls. How about an exterior window that is flexible enough to open and transform to a balcony? SOCIAL CONNECTIVITY: The digital age has connected us in so many amazing ways, although has provided less opportunities for in-person interaction. With information at overload capacity, it has become more and more difficult to engage and retain the atten- tion of your target audience. Because of this, spaces and

i n De s i gn , particularly as it relates to our clients in the hous- ing industry. The shifts in demographic trends have positively im-

Richard Gacek

pacted multifamily housing with Millennials continuing to play a prominent role in renting. And as Baby Boomers enter the rental market, it can be challenging to determine the right housing/amenities that resonate with the lifestyles of both target markets. How do you accomplish this? There are many white papers, research, and point of views on how to appeal to this group that we call Renters by Choice . They do have a number of characteris- tics in common. The one thing we know for sure is that this new target market has forced many developers to think out- side the box, and to concentrate on making a connection with their audience in differing ways. Design is transforming and here are trends that we believe are worth exploring: WELLNESS: Consumers today are focused on health and wellbeing. This growing trend has impacted, for example, the amount of square footage allotted to fitness spaces. We see transformation from the typical treadmill/weight lifting center to a wellness experience that highlights the mind, body, and spirit. However, wellness is no longer a place just for the fitness zone. Build environ- ments are now valued by how they support overall health. The WELL Building Stan- dard is gaining popularity by measuring the performance of building features that impact health and wellbeing through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. It is third-party certified by the Green Business Certification Incorporation (GBCI), which administers the LEED cer- tification programs. Healthy homes improve sleep, support healthy eating, improve air quality, and optimize our cog- nitive and emotional health. With improved studies, more data and better adoption, WELL certification will sup- port design transformation. ADAPTABLE SPACES : When it comes to adaptable

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