Currently Reading

Multifamily Embraces Community: The Case for Connection

Advertisement

Multifamily Embraces Community: The Case for Connection

In new multifamily projects, forging a sense of community helps attract renters and buyers


October 3, 2017
Mulitfamily housing_The Beacon_South Market District_New Orleans_Eskew+Dumez+Ripple_Photo: Timothy Hursley
This article first appeared in the October 2017 issue of Pro Builder.

Though single-family starts outran multifamily last year, the demand for multifamily rentals continues to best supply. It’s a nationwide occurrence: Low vacancy rates and high rents are keeping that market strong, according to “The State of the Nation’s Housing,” the report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University that comes out every June. 

This month’s design feature charts the resulting new wave of multifamily housing. To investigate the design trends that matter most, Professional Builder contributor Stacey Freed spoke to architects, developers, and builders. 

Freed is no stranger to multifamily (or multigenerational) living: She grew up in the Georgetown section of Brooklyn, next to Canarsie, which was then solidly blue-collar. The family lived in a triplex: Her grandmother was on the ground floor, Freed and her brother lived with their parents on the middle floor, and her aunt, uncle, and cousins lived upstairs. An internal staircase and doors on each floor offered a balance of privacy and access. As a result, the building and the households were connected.  The whole street was connected, too. 

The street was a gathering place, and “everybody knew everybody,” Freed says. “My whole life was on that block. You can’t imagine the number of people, the number of kids. We played punchball in the street and parents would sit out front, radios on, listening to the Mets game.”

As you’ll read, there’s a notable effort among builders and developers to create community in their projects. Multifamily developments nationwide are attracting interest with amenities and a sense of belonging. At The Scott at Brush Park, in Detroit, residents enjoy a long list of perks and are greeted by name. The Beacon at South Market District, in New Orleans, shown above, has meeting rooms and bike storage, is near transit, and its courtyard gathering spaces are open to the surrounding community. Park Van Ness, on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C., boasts its desirable neighborhood as an amenity, plus an in-house market and restaurant. As John Torti, principal of Torti Gallas + Partners, designers of Park Van Ness, says, “People want to live in a place that is a place.” 

Freed agrees and is heartened by a renewed interest in placemaking. Yet she couldn’t deny being bemused. “I find it funny that this is considered a new way of living,” Freed says. “It’s not new at all. It’s what everyone has always wanted.” 

Written By
editor-in-chief

Amy Albert is editor-in-chief of Professional Builder magazine. Previously, she worked as chief editor of Custom Home and design editor at Builder. Amy came to writing about building by way of food journalism, as kitchen design editor at Bon Appetit and before that, at Fine Cooking, where she shot, edited, and wrote stories on kitchen design. She studied art history with an emphasis on architecture and urban design at the University of Pennsylvania, has served on several design juries, and is a recipient of the 2017 Jesse H. Neal Award for excellence in journalism. 

Related Stories

Labor + Trade Relations

A Career in Construction?

Refilling the skilled construction labor pool requires a rethink about how we treat workers

Opinion

Builders Should Use Their Influence to Get More Construction Workers Vaccinated

Because builders play a role as influencers in the construction industry, they should be promoting the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to their employees and subcontractor network

Design

What Happened to These Home Features?

Tim Carter of AsktheBuilder.com says today’s builders and architects are forgetting a handful of home features that can greatly improve life for…

Advertisement
Advertisement

More in Category




Advertisement
Advertisement

Create an account

By creating an account, you agree to Pro Builder's terms of service and privacy policy.


Daily Feed Newsletter

Get Pro Builder in your inbox

Each day, Pro Builder's editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Save the stories you care about

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

The bookmark icon allows you to save any story to your account to read it later
Tap it once to save, and tap it again to unsave

It looks like you’re using an ad-blocker!

Pro Builder is an advertisting supported site and we noticed you have ad-blocking enabled in your browser. There are two ways you can keep reading:

Disable your ad-blocker
Disable now
Subscribe to Pro Builder
Subscribe
Already a member? Sign in
Become a Member

Subscribe to Pro Builder for unlimited access

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.