By Angela Sucich
The rental market is set to boom, and apartment builders and developers are ramping up for it.
Urban renters — many of them young Gen Y-ers or "Millennials" — are looking at renting an apartment not as a temporary phase before buying a home, but as a long-term lifestyle choice that supports a full, urban experience. Here are several building trends that reveal how developers are responding to these new priorities.
Location, location, location
This Belltown apartment is centrally located
According to a recent webinar panel of industry experts hosted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), location is the most important determining factor for renters in urban areas.
Nathan Manley of Seattle chose his high-rise apartment building in downtown Seattle because it’s centrally located, with "access to just about everything." Just a block away from his doorstep are a light rail station and two cinemas with a Whole Foods only three blocks away.
"It’s important for lifestyle," said Manley, who works at Microsoft. "I deliberately chose to not live near work because lifestyle was more important than having to commute." But the fact that the freeway is right there makes commuting a bit easier, too.
Kenneth Leung chose differently when he and his partner moved from downtown Seattle to be near his partner’s work in neighboring Bellevue, a city they consider to have a more "family-friendly" feel. Their newer building is just one block from the Bellevue Square/Lincoln Square shopping district, and two blocks from the Bellevue bus station.