Warm Fuzzies
OK, so we all know that close to one-third of the American population—approximately 89 million people—are renters, but there’s a demographic almost twice as large that is impacting multifamily rent fundamentals: the 163 million pets that call America home. Open-door pet policies and pet-friendly apartment amenities are becoming all the rage among property managers looking for the next great leasing prospect. According to Rent.com, a full 80 percent of the Santa Monica, Calif.-based firm's listings of apartment communities with 50 units or more accept cats and/or dogs. As part of a ranking of the top 10 pet-friendly apartment markets in the United States (see below), Rent.com offers up some great best practices for incorporating pets into a community, including the use of pet references, vet references, and even pet interviews in the leasing office.

Top 10 pet-friendly U.S. apartment markets*:
1. New York City
2. Chicago
3. Boston
4. Houston
5. San Francisco
6. Austin
7. Washington, D.C.
8. Portland, Ore.
9. Charleston, S.C.
10. Ann Arbor, Mich.
* Source: Rent.com

Premium Water Views
Leave it to the Dutch to adapt multifamily construction to rising sea levels and recurring flooding. New Water is Rijswijk-based architectural and city planning firm Waterstudio’s latest endeavor: a 1,200-unit, floating master-planned community that will be situated in the middle of a shallow body of water.

Credit: Waterstudio

The first phase is Citadel, one of the community’s apartment complexes designed by architect Koen Olthuis. With the benefit of water-cooling technologies, the Citadel buildings will consume 25 percent less energy than comparable land-loving luxury flats. Ground-breaking... er, water-breaking... on Citadel is slated for 2010. 

Multifamily Mad Men
AMC’s hugely successful series Mad Men kicks off its third season this Sunday, and junior ad execs, PR brokers, '50s-o-philes, and design junkies alike are queuing up their DVRs in anticipation. Not to be outdone, New York City-based ad agency Johannes Leonardo recently launched its campaign for retail discount giant Daffy’s with a contest that will give one lucky winner a $7,000 per month apartment for only $700 in monthly rent. The contest is intended to illustrate Daffy’s typically super deep discounts. According to Johannes Leonardo, more than 1,250 video entries to land the decadent digs have already been received. A grand prize winner will be selected from five finalists on October 1 at the Daffy’s flagship store.  

Editor’s note: Get quirkified and send your offbeat multifamily news leads to cwood@hanleywood.com.