Two experts weigh in on one of the hottest trends in the multifamily building boom—retail.
Judging by the number of construction cranes populating the skyline from Washington to Virginia, the multifamily building trend isn’t slowing down anytime soon. The corresponding construction competition is fueling new trends like bigger, better and more creative retail amenities. These amenity-packed powercondos and rentals are blurring the line between residential and hospitality.
“In addition to better amenities and top-notch appliances, retail is a huge trend,” states Kai Reynolds, chief development officer of JBG Smith. “We are seeing a lot more of mixed-use developments attracting more people. Everything they need is walkable in their neighborhood—they can walk to work or the metro and bars; restaurants and shops are right there in the base of their building.”
JBG Smith’s latest properties are adding to that trend: 1221 Van (1221van.com) in Navy Yard is right outside centerfield gate by Nationals Park adjacent to a variety of shops and restaurants, and 901 W St. (jbgsmith.com), set to deliver Q1 2020, will add 20,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and entertainment to the Shaw neighborhood.
Principal and founder of RCP Development Steve Etminani agrees that retail is a major movement. At new residential apartment tower Novel South Capitol (novelsouthcapitol.com), they encourage residents from the neighborhood to congregate there in order to create a feeling of community. There is also a plan to add a cafe that blends into the lobby. “Buildings are becoming a place where people can live, work and have fun all in the same environment,” Etminani says. Novel has two residential apartment towers, the second of which will deliver this fall. Etminani believes the DC metro area is a solid market currently, and that with Amazon creating an entirely new area at National Landing in Virginia, the region will grow as a core market even more. In the meantime, we’ll be watching for the next trends as the building barrage booms on.