Thinking outside the development square

For anyone who has lived in a residential apartment complex, or has lived through the experience of moving from one such complex to another, you will have quite possibly thought to yourself that the developers behind these buildings have a bit of an aversion to customisation. Most of the apartments I have seen in my time indicate that developers have had a one size fits all approach, and just like with most things in life, that concept is pretty far from reality.

  

I’ve said numerous times that real estate is personal – personal choice and taste dictate where and how people want to live, so it’s interesting that developers haven’t taken this consideration on board to a great extent.

  

I recently became aware of a developer who is embracing the idea that customized developments could be a bit of a hit in the marketplace. This developer is Nectar Efkarpidis of Canberra, and they have been talking to the media about their thoughts on moving away only catering for the "homogenous lowest common denominator” and instead building communities with "niche" appeal.

  

Ideas flowing from the company include student levels with broadband access, single-parent floors with crèches, and pet exercise areas. The basic idea behind this, as you can probably tell, is to attract a certain type of people to a building. Despite the positives of creating living spaces that cater for particular wants and needs, there are some people who oppose these ideas of niche developments, such as the  University of Sydney urban-planning academic who believes such developments will ultimately “socially [screen] people.”

Personally I don’t see the problem. Surely to a certain degree that already takes place by developing in a certain location, at a certain price? And when it is often incredibly difficult to remove a problem tenant, maybe the best idea would be for those opposed to the niche developments actually spend some time living in the alternatives themselves!. 

Posted by Charles Tarbey on 15/07/2009 at 8:52 AM | Categories:

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