High-rise living is increasingly attractive to young professionals and empty nesters, and residential towers are popping up all over the United States. Developers are designing their projects to appeal to these residents, who prefer buildings that offer edgy, contemporary architecture and unique amenities.
"Young professionals and empty nesters are choosing homes that let people know they're young and trendy," says Mark Humphreys, CEO of Humphreys & Partners Architects, a Dallas-based firm that is working on about $2.5 billion worth of multifamily development.
The popularity of high-rise condominiums also continues to influence the high-rise rental market, according to industry experts. "We're after the renter-by-choice, so we have to be architecturally
competitive with condos when it comes to the percentage of glass, ceiling heights, and size of the units," says John Chappelear, senior vice president for Vienna, Va.-based KSI Services, which manages more than 8,000 units in the Washington metropolitan area and has another 5,000 units in development there. In fact, the condo market is forcing rental developers to provide a higher level of design and to use higher-quality materials, according to Ed Hamilton, managing partner with the Houston-based Hanover Co., which has developed more than 25,000 apartment units since its inception in 1982. "An apartment that is condo-quality is more competitive against condos," he explains.
As a prolific developer of high-rise residential projects, Hanover strives to build rental towers that incorporate the newest design trends. In Dallas, for example, Hanover recently broke ground on The Cirque, a 28-story apartment tower in Victory near American Airlines Center. Designed by Gromatzky Dupree & Associates, The Cirque will sit on a six-story base and will feature a curved glass faÇade wrapped with pre-cast concrete panels. The 530,000-square-foot tower includes 252 apartments and 10,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.