David Senden – What are Millennials Looking for Today?


May 1, 2015

There is definitely an amenity arms race going on. More, bigger, better, newer… Here are four areas to consider:

1) Technology

If you can’t stream movies, play video games, and upload videos at the busiest time of day, Millennials will leave. It’s about bandwidth and internet speed.

2) Social

If units are getting smaller, there has to be more spaces outside of the unit to entertain friends. This could be by the swimming pool, soft seating lounge areas, dining rooms to reserve, sports bar type spaces. We’re seeing more of a trend toward flexible, convertible spaces. We’re also seeing more emphasis on programming with a resident life director similar to that in student housing.

3) Pets 

Last year, Americans spent $370 million on Halloween Costumes…for their pets. With this generation’s average marrying age being six years later than 50 years ago, and children coming even later, the pet is the transition. People will do anything for their pets and their accommodation is chief among their priorities when searching for a place to call home. Dog runs and pet washes are becoming common.

4) Fitness

This is a pretty healthy generation and they’re coming from universities that had huge blown-out recreation facilities. Not to mention, this goes along with the income discussion. This generation of renter wants to eliminate an outside gym membership. So, if you are going to provide a fitness facility, it needs to feel like a real gym, like a 24 Hour Fitness, or Gold’s Gym. It needs to have more than just a few treadmills in an unused corner of the building. There should be studios for yoga or spin, and a wide variety of machines and free weights. Our rule of thumb is something like 10-15 square feet per unit, but nothing smaller than around 1,500 square feet.

Join David’s panel in the multifamily trends education track when he presents the session “Multifamily Design: Hottest Trends of the Latest Boom Cycle,” on Thursday, June 25, 2015 at 9:45 am.

David Senden, design principal with KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture + Planning in Irvine with other offices in Los Angeles, Oakland, Denver, Tysons and Pune. He can be reached at (949) 221-6287 or dsenden@ktgy.com .