The demands on modern neighborhood developments are becoming ever more sophisticated. Upscale neighborhoods, such as Europacity in Berlin, Europaviertel in Frankfurt and Hafencity in Hamburg, are no longer just residential areas. In these chic neighborhoods, developers are creating a harmonious balance of housing, work and leisure. For developers, it is therefore more important than ever before to have a detailed understanding of the requirements of their target groups.
Just 20 to 30 years ago, construction was almost exclusively targeted at local buyers and users. Today, developers are also increasingly designing new neighborhoods to cater to the needs of supra-regional and foreign target groups. Sophisticated modern buyers want upmarket fixtures, fittings and finishes. They want their homes, and their surroundings, to radiate quality of life.
In the German residential market, developers are increasingly recognizing that their developments need to integrate attractive amenities, such as community rooms and special services. Growing numbers of buyers and tenants appreciate the benefits of having a concierge on hand to accept packages, an exclusive in-house fitness studio or wellness center, a roof terrace that can be hired to stage events, and a whole host of other services that both save time and make life more comfortable.
What’s more, there has been a noticeable return to planning the ground floor areas of new developments to house commercial units. The trend for developing purely residential buildings finally seems to be over. Residents in modern, metropolitan neighborhoods recognize the advantages of a lovingly designed boutique or fine restaurant right on their doorsteps. In the latest neighborhood developments, it is also clear that residents want to live in the midst of attractive surroundings. Rather than packing as many buildings into an area as possible, architects and developers are creating green oases – open spaces that invite people to stroll and relax.
Lots of new neighborhoods are also being designed to create the perfect balance between residential and office buildings. As they strive for the ideal mix, neighborhood developers are devoting more and more attention to a location’s micro and macro qualities. How good are the connections to public transport, motorways and airports? How many major employers are there in the immediate area? Do residents even want to live closer to their offices?
Developers also need to know how many of their quarter’s residents will only be living in the neighborhood on a temporary basis, i.e. for the duration of projects they are working on in the area. For this specific (and potentially sizable) target group, it can make a lot of sense to offer furnished and serviced apartments. After all, compact, furnished apartments are the perfect way to combine the luxurious amenities of a hotel with the freedom and privacy of a more traditional rental apartment.
When it comes to creating appealing neighborhoods to attract sophisticated residents and companies, developers know that they need to invest time and resources in detailed location analysis. They also know precisely which apartments are going to appeal more to families, and which are better suited to commuters who only spend their weekdays in the city.
But all this does not only apply to the development of entire urban districts, but also to smaller residential areas, such as the Luisenpark in Berlin-Mitte: In this case, too, it was ensured that living and working can be combined in the best possible way: In the neighbourhood's own kindergarten, children can be looked after while working, and there is space for an office or similar in the commercial units on the ground floor.