The Modern Apartment Scene

It’s no secret as to where upwardly mobile, emerging millennial professionals are looking when they’re seeking out a spot to put down roots. [1] The movement of young, eager people – an entire class seeking apartments instead of homes, for a wide array of reasons – has flowed back into cities.

That desire to live in urban areas – close to their jobs, nightlife, events, and experiences – has had an apparent effect on the modern apartment scene. Movement back into the cities has also caused a severe housing crunch in several American hot spots, sending apartment rates soaring in places like San Francisco, Boston and metro cities including Bayonne, New Jersey, and White Plains,  New York. However, higher rents aren’t the only result of this growing demand. [2] [3]

Smaller Apartments for a Growing Market

What other  effects has the urbanization had on the market? Compact floor plans to keep up with the increased demand. A recent article in BisNow took a look at the issue, detailing that “vacancy rates for the smallest 25% of one-bedroom units have dipped below those for medium and larger units.” [4]

Younger professionals are willingly sacrificing square footage to afford city living, which was, for years, the most appealing factor in apartment shopping. Developers are responding in kind with buildings tailored toward smaller apartments. In New Jersey, as part of the transformative redevelopment plan at NJCU, Circle Squared Alternative Investment LLC’s (“Circle Squared”) Jersey City RIVET and CityLine West luxury apartments offer studios and easy access to Manhattan.

Elsewhere, the “Caesura” mixed-use development in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, for example, features smaller apartments at 384 square feet.[5] Micro-units are growing in Boston in buildings like the Micropolis on Bowdoin Street in the heart of the city; this 20-unit space features several 300 square-foot apartments. [6]

Units like these, feature most of the basics young professionals look for in an apartment – a kitchen area, a closet, a media center – along with space-saving elements like sleek, compact fixtures and Murphy-style beds. However, to attract this generation and other age groups, developers are getting more creative with numerous exceptional amenities.

Adding in Amenities

Developers everywhere are starting to integrate even more enticements into their building plans – a natural development to offset some of the higher rental costs and the increased apartment-dwelling competition. These amenities go far beyond on-site laundry, designated parking spots, and doorman services.

Instead, more and more rentals come with the sort of high-end perks that tenants are looking for. Many of them now offer elements like:

  • Rooftop and garden spaces for gathering, entertaining, and party-throwing.
  • Gyms that go above and beyond the standard two or three treadmills and a few weights and feature elements like yoga spaces and classes, pools, and sports simulators.
  • Wi-Fi cafes and lounge spaces to enable the work-from-anywhere generation.
  • Pet-friendly amenities

In many ways, it’s a natural offshoot of the modern college “amenity race,” in which universities all over the country boosted their bells and whistles to attract enrollment (and tuition) from the discerning college-bound population. [7] Now, with that generation out of school and entering the workforce, they’re looking for the same in their urban living spaces.

Interested in learning more about this rapidly growing asset class? Circle Squared is proud to be a part of these emerging trends with two completed apartment projects in Jersey City that offer the modern design and amenities that many of today’s renters are looking for and two more in development.

Contact us here today!

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[1] (Florida,, 2019)

[2] (McCarny, Business Insider, 2019)

[3] (Schoenberg,, 2019)

[4] (Boerner, BisNow, 2019)

[5] (Nonko, Curbed, 2017)

[6] (Rivera, Boston Magazine, 2019)

[7] (Newton, Forbes, 2017)