Thought-Leader Manny Gonzalez of KTGY Speaks on Multifamily Trends at Midwest Conference
September 11, 2015
CHICAGO, IL – National award-winning firm KTGY Architecture+Planning is pleased to announce that Manny Gonzalez, AIA, LEED AP and principal will be a featured speaker at the Midwest Multifamily Conference’s Industry Summit. Gonzalez will deliver his valuable insights on “2020 Vision: A View to Where Multifamily Trends are Heading,” on Tuesday, September 15, 2015, at the Indiana Convention Center located in Downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The event is sponsored by the Indiana Apartment Association.
To expand its services in the Midwest, KTGY recently announced the opening of a new office in downtown Chicago, IL. The new studio will be headed by veteran designers Craig R. Pryde, AIA, LEED AP and David M. Kennedy, AIA, LEED AP, former principals of PPK Architects, as principals of the new studio. Both Pryde and Kennedy will be in attendance at the Midwest Multifamily Conference’s Industry Summit.
“Chicago neighborhood markets are heating up as the dense downtown markets are very competitive and both land costs and an abundance of new product are shifting the focus for some multifamily developers,” said Kennedy. “Inner ring and affluent suburban markets are hot as well for new TOD’s and new rental choices are few and far between in the suburbs. Some well-known Chicago developers are starting on the design of new condo buildings but they are boutique developments with far fewer than 50 units.”
Gonzalez adds, “Easy access to transit and neighborhood amenities like shopping, entertainment, employment and education are big draws. As land in urban areas gets more difficult to come by, smaller, more efficient floor plans that live large allow developers to increase density.”
“Today’s renter is more sophisticated and wants the enhanced amenities being provided in recent apartment communities,” said Pryde. “There is a high demand for social space and with interaction between residents to create community. Unit sizes are smaller with more emphasis on common areas but with high end finishes in the units.”
Successful developers are finding ways to bring in more light into the floor plans through design and orientation in these smaller plans. “Sliding walls and room dividers provide flexibility. High ceilings and floor to ceiling windows are used to create a feeling of spaciousness and a great connection to the outdoors. Zero threshold sliding glass doors to the patio or balcony extend the living and entertaining space,” Gonzalez added.
“There is an ‘amenities arms race’ to attract residents and best the competition, especially in the student housing sector where the amenities keep getting bigger and better. You have to set yourself apart from the competition and give renters something they can’t get anywhere else,” said Gonzalez.
Pryde added, “Renters are staying longer, demanding more services and amenities and they are willing to pay the increased rents.”
Some of the latest apartment community amenities Gonzalez noted include a rock climbing wall, a yoga and Pilates studio, outdoor lounges with a fireplace or fire pit, elaborate outdoor kitchens and dining areas, and huge swimming pools including a lazy river with party cabanas and outdoor big
screen TVs (even those you can view from the pool while you are floating). For pet lovers, there is a dog park, dog run and pet wash. For cyclists, there is bike storage and a repair room, and for golfers, there is indoor golf.
One of Gonzalez’s favorite amenities is “Fitness on Demand,” which makes Pilates, yoga and spinning classes available in a gym environment, is a great amenity. “If you missed a class, you can always make it up whenever it is convenient,” Gonzalez said.
Universal Design is another tend that Gonzalez sees. Gonzalez has been an early advocate for Universal Design and feels that Universal Design is more about easier living for everyone and thriving in place. “Some of the latest faucets, especially those in the kitchen, show that product manufacturers are beginning to understand Universal Design principles. Now you can tap the fixture with dirty hands to start the flow of water or just raise the pot to shut it off. This is truly Universal Design,” Gonzalez said.
Manny Gonzalez is the senior partner in KTGY’s Los Angeles office and is responsible for the design, land planning, and production of residential and mixed-use developments throughout the U.S., including active adult and affordable multi-family communities. In addition to his involvement in a series of award-winning projects, Gonzalez frequently speaks at national industry events and is a critic at numerous colleges and universities.
KTGY Architecture + Planning, established in 1991, is a national award-winning firm providing comprehensive planning and award-winning architectural design services for residential communities, retail, commercial, healthcare, civic, hospitality, mixed-use and related specialty developments. KTGY delivers innovative solutions that reflect clear understanding of development, market trends, consumer research and financial performance. KTGY serves clients worldwide from offices in Chicago, Denver, Irvine, Los Angeles, Oakland, Pune and Tysons. See www.KTGY.com