Multifamily Amenity Wars : defining their current state in luxury urban markets and determining impacts of COVID-19
Author(s)Dubuque, Elise(Elsie S.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Real Estate. Program in Real Estate Development.
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This paper examines the historic, current and future state of luxury residential amenities and the popularly-called "Amenity Wars" in luxury multifamily housing. The research is based on U.S. urban markets with a special focus on Boston, Massachusetts, where the recent building boom and overall healthy economy have created an active and competitive multifamily development environment. It also aims to answer the question: how has/will COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) impact the thinking behind and programming of residential building amenities? The discussion of recent Amenity Wars trends incorporates themes such as catering to resident needs on a lifestyle level; the draw of physical amenities vs. service-oriented amenities; and demographic and market conditions that have resulted in the current state of multifamily demand.Following is an exploration of how, as of summer 2020, the coronavirus's rapid person-to-person spread has proved particularly disruptive to the way multifamily housing operates, and how it has challenged existing perceptions about what makes for a desirable multifamily housing experience. The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic will represent a profound moment in collective memory with the power to alter not only the planning and programming of multifamily features and amenities, but luxury urban residential demand in general. As such, it is now time to rethink what the future of the Amenity Wars will look like in both the evolving new normal and long-term new normal. This paper demonstrates how, during the pandemic, innovative designs and other creative solutions have already begun to infiltrate multifamily design and construction.It also establishes that a healthy demand for luxury urban multifamily housing is poised to remain in the long term, along with which additional notable shifts in multifamily feature and amenity programming will occur. Going forward, we should expect to see changes to physical space in the form of more spatially-adaptable buildouts that enable flexibility of use in addition to more private areas and less community focus, as well as a shift toward service over some physical amenities. Additionally, some of the most lasting effects of the pandemic will be in regard to how multifamily buildings are designed to accommodate new demands of teleworking.
Thesis: S.M. in Real Estate Development, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Program in Real Estate Development in conjunction with the Center for Real Estate, September, 2020Pagination: 1-123, 142-146, 124-141. Cataloged from student-submitted PDF of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 144-146).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Real Estate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Center for Real Estate. Program in Real Estate Development.