Apartment Renovations: Thoughtful Improvements for Newfound Profits

Landmark Loft Apartments designed by KGA Studio Architects

Not everything is about new, ground-up construction in Colorado’s apartment market. In fact, plenty of apartment owners and developers are taking older apartment buildings and making renovations that attract today’s renters. The investments are paying off by providing the opportunity to bring rents up to current market rates, without having to build an entirely new building.

As the owner of an apartment building in need of a refresh, there are ample opportunities to make the property more appealing to the marketplace. Today we are going to look at ideas for renovating amenities and updating unit interiors.

Renovating Existing Amenities

Creating new and improved amenities for your existing apartment building is a great way to make the property more attractive to renters. The great thing about renovating amenity spaces is it generally requires a smaller investment than unit renovations and the logistics are much simpler, since it does not require entering individual units. Some of our favorite ideas include:

  • Create comfortable, open community spaces that give residents a place to meet their neighbors in an inviting, open area. This might include adapting an existing space to become a lounge area focused around a tap room, coffee stations, pool table or other forms of entertainment. Reconfiguring existing, compartmentalized spaces to be more open is another way to achieve this goal.
  • Create a unique character for the property that attracts renters. This can include artwork, colorful exterior paint, memorable signage, or a signature thank you that lets perspective renters know you want them to live in your community.
  • Provide wi-fi access and technology-driven areas, creating a flexible and comfortable setting for people who want a dependable place to work from their laptop. This area can also serve as a co-working space, with private meeting areas and multimedia capabilities.
  • Renovate the building so that there is plenty of storage. Renters are looking for secure on-site storage areas, especially as unit footprints get smaller.
  • Optimize outdoor roof top decks, giving residents of multi-story apartment buildings comfortable areas to grill and relax while enjoying the views. This will enable residents to have bigger groups over to entertain, and show-off their new place. 
  • Adding upgraded outdoor patio furniture to an existing pool can bring new value to the pool. A bright and lively color palette reinforces that the pool is a fun, active amenity.
  • Upgrade existing parking garages and parking areas to include an electric charging station for hybrid or electric vehicles and a dedicated area for secure bike storage. In dog-friendly buildings, consider making room for a dog grooming station for pet owners.

Updating Apartment Units

Beyond upgrades to the apartment community’s amenities and amenity spaces, owners should consider viable renovations that can be done to each apartment unit. As a first step, define the renter’s expectations, and balance those against the cost and the overall return on investment. Put together an upgrade package that makes the most sense to your bottom line, but pays attention to the renters’ wish lists. Some examples include:

  • Quartz countertops, upgraded cabinetry, new energy efficient appliances and higher end finishes will get potential renters in the door, and make them want to stay. A clean, contemporary look creates perceived value and says to the renter that this place is worth a little more in rent each month.
  • Simple color palettes in apartment units that include subdued grey color schemes with complementary pops of contrast will be an eye catcher, as will natural wood tones and metal finishes that bring life to a space.
  • Take care when selecting new floor finishes. The selection of certain types of materials can introduce unwanted sound mitigation issues and be a major problem for renters.
  • Special attention to lighting can make a tremendous difference when renting an apartment. For example, simple color corrections and fixture locations can translate into a more comfortable feel in each unit.
  • Part of a building renovation might include mechanical and plumbing systems, so it is critical to select equipment that helps to prevent noise transmission. Renters want a quiet place to call home, making it imperative to keep noise levels caused by equipment to a minimum.

Smart and cost-effective renovation solutions are available to the owners of existing apartment properties who want to find ways to modernize their buildings, make their tenants feel happier and more satisfied, and improve their bottom line. With a little research, the right team, and a creative eye, the opportunity to achieve all of these things is at your doorstep.

KGA has moved to York Street Yards in Denver! Please note our new address: 3833 Steele St, Ste 1331, Denver, CO 80205

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