May 16, 2017
Connect San Francisco brought hundreds of CRE professionals to the SPUR Urban Center for an afternoon of panels and an evening of networking and cocktails. The discussions covered such topics as major mega developments shaping the skyline, investment in the Bay Area, and the creation of communities. Here are the highlights of Creating Communities in Active Neighborhoods panel.
Alexander Pugh of Lubin Olson & Niewiadomski led a discussion on what types of amenities and services tenants demand today, as well as the factors driving the trend toward live, work and play developments.
- Airbnb’s Jaja Jackson says, “developers will need to define what is the character of that building and define the amenities that really appeal to your tenants.” He suggests designing space to be programmable since “amenities are not a mystery. Look at what your residents are doing.” That could include huddling outside waiting for an Uber ride or taxi, or planting gardens.
- MVE + Partners’ Darin Schoolmeester says there’s quite a lot of similarities between what Millennials and Baby Boomers seek today. They are attracted to urban sites that offer access to walkable communities, and convenience to services and employment opportunities. Where they differ is Boomers require storage to accommodate their accumulation of possessions, as well as parking.
- Bentall Kennedy’s Lydia Tan noted boomers typically require bigger units and more services, such as concierges and dog walking, and they have more disposable income to afford those upgrades. But to be successful, developers in urban environments need to find the best mix of amenities. Often today, that involves curating the retail in a building because that’s “super important to create the play component of the live/work/play” environment.
- Trumark Urban’s Arden Hearing said a couple of features have become popular, including a modern day business center and a hospitality suite. Since many buyers are empty nesters and downsizing into condos, they need a suite downstairs where their kids can stay.
- Colliers International’s Ryan Wagner notes that institutional investors are looking at secondary or tertiary sites, as well as creating a unique product rather than something simple, since the rents generated can be higher.
- Airbnb’s Jackson says more than 40% of Millennials want to share their homes for supplemental income, while the number drops to less than half of that for Boomers. However, when properties offer a “central host” – someone to manage and share the space for a resident, and to meet guests – Airbnb finds roughly 50% of the Boomer group wants to home share.