Whether it’s residential, urban, or some kind of mixed use project, one common theme rings true across all projects: Creative Design of Landscape Architecture amenities increase property value and attract the right people. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone that disagrees with that statement. But how much?
There are so many variables that go into property value increase based on outdoor amenities and exterior space design, but when examined as a whole, it’s clear that simply having well-planned spaces with outdoor amenities that fit the targeted demographic is a key component to getting the job done impactfully.
Creative Design of Landscape Architecture Increases Property Value
Creative Design of Landscape architecture differentiates properties and developments from others, and often times will take the energy of a space to a completely different level. If you hire a creative LA vs. someone who simply “fills in the blanks”, you will reap the reward from the start. This is in reference to a design group that understands the psychology of how people think, what they want, and why they might use and be attracted to certain outdoor amenity spaces. If you get this part right, they will understand what amenities, plantings, and features will attract your targeted buyers, renters, visitors, or others that will use the space.
Likewise, an LA should be selected that will bring the entire concept of the property together in a way that makes the development standout and receive recognition in the end result. Ultimately, to increase property value, design, alone, doesn’t matter if the team doesn’t collaborate with developers, stakeholders, and users of the space to help them achieve their goals.
Two of our most successful projects in the last few years saw a 100% increase in property value. Cityscape started with a $20mil investment and later sold for $40mil two years later. Encore began with a $25mil investment and sold for $50mil shortly thereafter. The rooftop amenity spaces played an influential role in the increase and ROI of these development investments.
The Most Fruitful Amenities For Increasing Value
It’s hard to say what amenities are the most fruitful across the board. In reality, every development is different, which means it should be treated unique to who you want to attract to you developments. In our experience, we’re seeing that it’s heavily dependent on who the target demographic of the project is.
For student housing, hot tubs and sun deck spaces are go-to design elements given the social nature and can and will be used year round. The users of these spaces search out and desire outdoor experiences like this. What’s the biggest difference between hot tubs and pools for this demographic? They are used by many more people, for longer periods throughout the year. Every student housing project should definitely have a pool simply for the sales and marketing aspect of bringing people to the space - but don’t be fooled - the hot tub is where you’ll find your guests and tenants spending their time throughout the year.
BBQ Grills and Outdoor Kitchen with Bar and Table Seating are a great and pivotal outdoor amenities, along with firepits and colorful lounge seating. This helps people come outside at various times throughout the day and find use, from a functional standpoint, as well as a “mental checkout” standpoint.
Another go-to is some kind of “flex space” which can be used for things like gaming, ping pong, cornhole, bocce, or specified outdoor courts with seat walls and plantings to green up and soften the surroundings. Defining and innovatively laying out spaces are a priority, but if the planting is overlooked and fails as an overall feeling and composition, the landscape and exterior spaces will fail, or bare minimum, fall flat and you’ll be left wondering why without a real answer from anyone. Then you’ll remember….I should have listened to my landscape architect when he told me how important these elements were together.
In multifamily housing, pools are a must-have amenity and visual feature but not so much for the swimming as you might imagine. The magic really happens when you design a pool amenity space with ample chaise loungers, comfortable seating, shade structures, cabanas, fire pits, bbq areas, plantings and trees within the pool space, and even some flex space for outdoor gaming such as corn hole, ping pong, etc. Think of the pool as the anchor but not the core use. The secret is designing other uses, giving people plenty of patio space allow people to use these spaces and amenities year round. Hot tubs integrated into pools or on their own are great as well for year round uses and socializing.
Also important in these types of developments and away from pool amenity spaces are some kind of shelter or pavilion with TVs and bar/table style seating. Fire pits and fireplaces are great for colder climates and livening up a space at night.
Probably the most important aspect of designing outdoor amenities for multifamily housing is to make sure the space can accommodate large groups of people with a diverse age range and interest. That doesn’t mean your space has to be “everything to everyone,” but it does mean you should create clearly defined areas for people to find comfort as well as function, and be able to do all this in ways that allow many user groups to be within the same overall amenity areas but feel as though they are in their own spaces without imposing on those around them.
What Has Been Done, Historically, To Increase Property Value?
Simply having an outdoor space has been one of the largest drivers for increasing property value. To take it a step further, having the most cutting edge and creative outdoor amenity spaces targeted specifically to your demographic so you differentiate more than your competitor is the biggest factor in increasing your value and attracting the right end users (note! This should not be overlooked!).
It should be a goal of any development to have the most creative and original landscapes and exterior spaces with appropriately designed and separated outdoor amenities to attract and appeal to the target demographic of the space. Make sure when selecting a design focused and creative landscape architect to work with, they care about and understand the goals of the outdoor spaces you want, and the end result will be...you will destroy your competition in the amenities race and make the gains you hoped for.