by Mike Procopio
Throughout Greater Boston, we’ve undoubtedly seen a shift in recent years towards more boutique multifamily properties, offering luxury amenities and an experience that lives like a hotel.
ULI’s 2021 Emerging Trends report notes that within future developments, one will need to consider the renter or buyer’s expectation for “an array of services…that blends working, eating, sleeping, and playing.” It’s clear that in the past decade, more and more multifamily projects, even in the suburbs, are centering around transit-oriented development and locations offering convenience to local shopping and restaurants without the need for a vehicle. The pandemic has also exacerbated desires for improved technology throughout properties, whether for cleaning and safety or improved work from home capabilities.
Touchless technologies and flexible amenities providing a variety of work from home options have become critical. The Procopio Companies’ multifamily properties offer smart locks and touchless entries, so you can call an elevator or open a door from your phone, without touching either. We anticipate an accelerated implementation of technology throughout multifamily developments across the United States, as renters and buyers seek ways to improve their personal safety through touchless tech – especially tech that integrates with their daily lives. Multifamily developments must keep up with the internet of things as residents want to control their living experience from the palm of their hand – from lighting and heat controls, to smart-enabled speaker systems and digital assistants.
As we were already seeing a shift towards the desire for hospitality-style living at multifamily properties, The Procopio Companies’ newest development, Sedna in Beverly, Mass., which opened this year for leasing, has further incorporated the boutique experience we’re seeing requested by residents. With a total of 62 units across two buildings along the Beverly waterfront, open concept units each offer a balcony or patio with waterfront views, and each of the two buildings has a fitness center, roof deck, and sports lounge as well as carefully designed outdoor space, both active and passive, including watersports and outdoor dining. Moving forward, we anticipate additional multifamily developments will adopt a multi-building amenities strategy as the shift to smaller, more intimate amenity spaces and more refined boutique amenity offerings continues.
The resort-style amenities desired by discerning renters and buyers at multifamily developments continues to incorporate everything from fitness classes, rental watersports gear and sommelier-led wine tastings to private shuttles to downtown areas or public transit. As we enter 2021, technology implementation will heavily shift towards tech that enhances the convenience of the lifestyle we promote, and integrates into the daily life of residents, and interoperability and longevity of the technology will be paramount. As more residents are anticipated to work from home long-term, they’ll seek flexible opportunities for both work and play within the development, driving the need not only for the technology to keep pace, but for thoughtfully curated and programed spaces for work and play, both common and private.
Mike Procopio is vice president, development at The Procopio Companies.