Hotel Meets Housing in Mixed Use Plans
These days, it can be difficult to distinguish a cool, new apartment building from a cool, new hotel. And that’s no accident. More and more, the lines are blurring in the design of multifamily properties and hospitality projects. What it speaks to is an evolution in residential living that embraces the sophisticated and modern conveniences of a hotel.
Here’s one reason why: Millennials, currently the largest demographic in rental property and in the workforce. This is a generation that lives the upscale, fast-casual life (to borrow some restaurant language). Work life and non-work life blur for this crowd, which is less attached to material things and more about social experiences. As a result, a 24/7 live-work-play mentality is being integrated into the design and functionality of both hotels and apartment buildings.
In both, you’ll find that private spaces are getting smaller, public spaces are expanding and better appointed, and there’s a greater focus on amenities and mixed-use programming: yoga studio, teaching kitchen, art gallery, gastropub, clothing boutique, movie theater ... you get the idea.
Also, a focus on technology is leading to more thought and detail in the design of things that support a rich integrated user experience. That’s means not just great Wi-Fi and plentiful outlets, but also mobile apps that connect residents (or hotel guests) with building-specific amenities.
These days, the housing market is adopting the flexible and engaging “hotel lobby” concept as its community hub. Conversely, hotel entrance spaces are less transactional and more destinations in themselves. And for both, the lobby and the amenities are framed around the particular development’s location, ensuring a rich and engaging community connection.
Finally, by moving beyond the roles of “the place you stay on the road” and “the place you call home,” hotels and multifamily projects build a strong design story and brand for the property, one that tells more of a story and helps frame the lifestyle and user experience for guests and residents.