Green building and design. Increased pressure on communities and businesses to promote environmentally sound designs has led developers to incorporate green elements into their projects. A plan to develop a parcel of land for retail might include green roofs, rain gardens, or gutter water retention and irrigation systems. LEED-certified environmental experts soon will become “must-have” team members as demand for energy efficient, healthy spaces grows stronger.
Giffels-Webster Engineers, a civil engineering firm in suburban Detroit, identifies five top trends in real estate and development.
The four other trends include:
- Assisted living centers. Assisted living developments are on the rise due to higher life expectancies and the influx of aging baby boomers. By helping seniors lead independent lives in noninstitutionalized environments, these projects are designed to incorporate nature trails, community dining, exercise facilities, music rooms, libraries, salons, and game rooms. Opportunities exist to work with both private developers and public government-funded projects.
- Hospital expansions, education campus additions. The hospital and education expansion trend is fueled by institutional projects being funded privately though corporate gifts and individual endowments. These “recession-proof” resources mean even during economic downturns, the market segment moves forward with plentiful building and capital improvement projects.
- Mixed-use developments. Mixed-use developments are growing popular today because they reduce risk. Retail and residential can adjoin each other, and it’s common to see large, national retailers combined with smaller, boutique-type stores, as well as housing varying by size, budget, and amenities. With this approach, the developer’s investment is spread across the spectrum so it remains viable even if one segment does not perform as expected.
- Urban revitalization. To attract and keep people in their communities, municipalities and townships are working to make their downtowns, retail hubs, and central business districts more inviting and accessible. Streetscape improvements, including attractive landscaping, decorative streetlights, brick sidewalk pavers, and strategically planned parking areas, are examples of how municipalities are proactively transforming their space to appeal to potential and current residents.
Source — REALTOR® Magazine Online