The Nova Residences in Quincy is a modular, multi-family building under construction in Quincy Center.

Boston’s rapidly rising population is spurring an apartment boom of discerning renters who expect more in apartment amenities, and the developers and owners who respond to these market demands are reaping the reward of premium rents.

Double-income Millennials and Baby Boomers, who could own a home but opt to rent instead, are attracted to the urban and luxury lifestyle these apartments or condominiums provide. As a result, new developments throughout the city are offering unique amenities to stand out in this blazing rental market.

Laundry appliances, hardwood floors and high-end kitchen appliances are popular in-unit amenities, and many developments are offering premium finishes such as quartz countertops as upgrade options. Fitness centers, clubhouses, common areas and pet concierge services are hot building amenities in Boston.

Sustainability features and programs are on the rise too, thanks in part to the influx of Millennial renters. According to the 2017 National Multifamily Housing Council/Kingsley Renter Preferences report, 80 percent of survey respondents said they are interested or very interested in rental communities that offer recycling, and would pay extra for the service. Likewise, 73 percent of respondents said they prefer, and would pay more for, a community with green certifications.

LBC Boston’s Nova Residences at 1505 Commonwealth Ave. in Brighton offers 80 residential units. Designed to achieve LEED certification, the 6-story, 68,000-square-foot building features spacious studios, lofts, one- and two-bedroom apartments with energy efficient stainless steel appliances, modern cabinetry and laundry appliances in each unit

Built on the highest point in Brighton, many apartments offer spectacular views of the Boston skyline. Building amenities include a fitness center, community/game room, dog grooming station and on-site management office with package receiving service. Nova Residences sets itself apart from other high-end rental properties by providing 10 affordable units and reasonable rents for market-rate units, ranging from $1,850 to $3,250 per month.

Roof Decks Are in, Tennis Courts Are out

Rental developments in Greater Boston’s urban renewal neighborhoods are increasingly leveraging outdoor amenities such as landscaped patios, rooftop terraces, fire pits and bike storage. Instead of tennis courts and pools, urban renters want easy access to shopping, dining, entertainment, public transportation and highways.

At Nova Residences in Brighton, community space extends outdoors with landscaped patios, an 80-car parking lot and on-site bike storage. Located in what has been deemed “Boston’s next ‘it’ neighborhood” and anchored by St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Nova is within walking distance of shopping and dining establishments, cultural and sporting events at nearby Boston College and Boston University,and easy access to the MBTA Green Line, Mass Pike and Routes 9 and 20.

Similar in-unit and outdoor features are slated for LBC’s Nova Residences of Quincy. The 7-story, 153,000-square-foot apartment building located in the 1500 block of Hancock Street is expected to open in 2019. The design, a nod to the past as well as the future, features a glass industrial-inspired atrium to connect the apartment building with Hancock Street, a new public garden and a parking garage.

The public atrium will provide an all-weather space with seating, art, a coffee bar and a full-service restaurant, as well as offer spectacular views and 24-hour access to Quincy’s vibrant city life. A patio for the restaurant, as well as extended sidewalks and seating areas, will enhance the streetscape. Building amenities include a fitness center, resident lounge with kitchen, dog washing station and refrigerated package lockers. In addition, a doorman will be stationed on the premises.

Luxury apartment trends will likely stick around, but apartment living will change again based on resident demand. Savvy developers and owners who listen to the market, remain flexible and plan for the future will stay competitive.

Jonathan Miller is vice president of development and acquisitions at LBC Boston.

Luxury Amenities Influence New Multifamily Designs

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 2 min