Part 2 of 2

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SAN FRANCISCO—“Everyone needs to start thinking about the babiesof Millennials and how they will impact the communities you arebuilding and developing.” That is the next big trend to watch outfor when looking at amenities for small spaces, according to panelists atPCBC.

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Tim Mustard, a principal at TCAArchitects, noted that “urban families don't want to moveout of the city.” One thing he is seeing in these urban multifamilyproperty is that the urban families are joining together andforming communities. “You have start thinking about how you planfor that in a building profile.”

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Brian Fritz, SVP of development atAvalon Bay Communities Inc., explained that asrenting is becoming more and more of a viable and preferableoption, more and more Millenials who are getting married arestarting to have babies and don't want to leave. “In some areas,where there have been larger populations of young kids, we havecreated a kid room at the property,” explained Fritz. “It wasn'tparticularly a pre-thought amenity, but was more a reaction… togive them a place to gather; give them something to climb on; somevideo that keeps them busy if need be; and a place for the parentsto congregate.”

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He explained that the kids' room has “absolutely been a sellingpoint,” adding that the sales team has actually sealed more leasesbecause of that kids room than any other amenity at that particularproperty.

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According to moderator Kimberly Byrum, SVP ofadvisory at Meyer Research, as spaces inside theunits have gotten smaller, pushing residents outside the unit,developers have really had to up their outside amenities.

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The key, according to Mustard, is all the spaces in betweentheir unit and outside. “The amenity spaces have become more than apark bench and some grass… We have seen amenities take an emphasison quality and function.”

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Fritz pointed out that one of the things in their product isthat “the days of your traditional manager office is gone...oncethe day is done, the space goes back to the residents.”

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The question Ben Broussau, VP of real estateinvestments at Camden Property Trust, isaddressing a lot these days is “how to bring the building alive andmake it more than brick and mortar.”

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He said it must be vibrant. And one of the ways to do that is bynailing the common area amenity space. “One of the common amenitiesresidents want most is hosted events. You can't have it feel like astuffy apartment complex…It is about all of the soft things, theintangible things…building off of the common space amenities.”

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The other piece of the puzzle, Fritz added, is technology. “Ifyou aren't with the latest integration of WiFi and you aren'tproviding the latest and greatest, you might as well just shut yourdoors.”

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When looking at the exterior of a building, Mustard noted thatthe architecture has changed a lot. “It is more dynamic, bolder,and rich,” he said. “It attracts the 'I want' generation as opposedto the 'I need' generation.”

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Natalie Dolce

Natalie Dolce, editor-in-chief of GlobeSt.com and GlobeSt. Real Estate Forum, is responsible for working with editorial staff, freelancers and senior management to help plan the overarching vision that encompasses GlobeSt.com, including short-term and long-term goals for the website, how content integrates through the company’s other product lines and the overall quality of content. Previously she served as national executive editor and editor of the West Coast region for GlobeSt.com and Real Estate Forum, and was responsible for coverage of news and information pertaining to that vital real estate region. Prior to moving out to the Southern California office, she was Northeast bureau chief, covering New York City for GlobeSt.com. Her background includes a stint at InStyle Magazine, and as managing editor with New York Press, an alternative weekly New York City paper. In her career, she has also covered a variety of beats for M magazine, Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, FashionLedge.com, and Co-Ed magazine. Dolce has also freelanced for a number of publications, including MSNBC.com and Museums New York magazine.