The Most Important Features By Floor Plan for Today’s Class A Renters
September 11, 2019 | By Aaron Galvin

In luxury apartment buildings, each floor plan attracts a different renter. Whether it’s budget, storage space, household size or current living environment, I have found each unit type needs at least one specific feature to maximize rents. Developers who think about the renter’s perspective when designing floor plans will achieve the most success and the highest rents. Here are the essential features by unit type in luxury apartments:

Studio: Closet Space

Studios are typically rented by single individuals who don’t require a lot of living space. However, their need for storage is critical. A walk-in closet in a studio apartment is the key feature that commands rent premiums. The luxury studio renter is likely budget-conscious and aspirational. This often translates to lots of clothes, shoes and storage needs. If a developer is deciding between a larger kitchen or closet in a studio, opt for the closet every time.

Convertible/Junior One-Bedroom: Separation Of Space

A convertible or junior one-bedroom unit has a definitive separation between sleeping and living space. This renter often seeks a one-bedroom home, but the budget does not allow for a true one-bedroom. When developers creatively make the separation, it helps that aspiring one-bedroom renter appreciate the value of a convertible/junior one-bedroom. Some of the more popular convertible/junior one-bedrooms feature sliding barn-style doors or modular space makers that allow for ample natural light during the day but a good sleeping environment at night. This hybrid unit type often commands high price-per-square-foot rents and leases very quickly. It should also be noted that convertibles and junior one-bedrooms are used interchangeably to describe this type of apartment.

One-Bedroom: Design For Couples

According to comprehensive data on over 1,000 Class A renters in downtown Chicago analyzed by my firm, couples lease over 60% of one-bedroom rentals. These are often couples who start their search seeking a two-bedroom but quickly realize a large one-bedroom to be a better value. While willing to sacrifice the extra bedroom, they will not sacrifice living space or closet space. Thoughtful design is key for appealing to couples when it comes to a one-bedroom floor plan. Corner one-bedrooms are most well-received. Typically reserved for two-bedrooms in most high-rise buildings, corner units can command rent premiums.

Another variation of the one-bedroom is the one-bedroom plus den. A large portion of renters are working from home and appreciate a workspace that provides a separate work area and privacy when taking phone calls or working odd hours.

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