Amenity-rich, high rise purpose-built rentals are an evolving breed of properties popularized in the US and only now starting to emerge in Calgary. With a handful ready to call home or, like JEMM Properties’ The Bridge in Bridgeland nearing the end of construction, they are set to bring innovation and refreshing creativity to Calgary’s rental market.
What’s to love about purpose-built rental properties? Let’s count the ways:
- Long Term Stability
Many renters have been burned by fickle landlords, making rental life feel risky, chaotic or transient. Who wants to get a mid-vacation text from a landlord saying he wants you out so he can move back in? Or what happens when the rental you’re in decides to flip to condos or worse, reverses a longstanding pet policy? In purpose-built rentals, the long-term stability is baked in and lets people settle in and live life – no gut punches.
Market research supports Canadian’s growing interest in PBRs, with PWC issuing a report signaling that demographic and economic trends are “moving the dial in favour of purpose-built rental housing in Canada”. The model is continuing to gain ground in major Canadian markets and it’s no surprise that heads are turning in Calgary, where condos have traditionally dominated the field.
- Less Conflict
Trying to get a drippy tap dealt with by an absentee landlord or self-managed condo-board can be full of friction and wasted time. In PBRs, a philosophy of tenant care is part of the operating model which creates happy tenants and an additional upside of longer-term tenancies. With that in mind, PBRs are typically run by highly responsive management teams. Often, maintenance requests are received through digital portals, dedicated tenant-only Apps or by on-site managers who can quickly resolve maintenance issues by mobilizing a team of professional on-call service providers.
- (Way) More Fun
With lifestyle being king for young professionals and downsizers alike, renting in a purpose-built building is a gateway to fun and freedom. PBRs, like The Bridge in Bridgeland, are well located in vibrant urban communities and weave in an engaging amenity plan within the design concept. Tenants, and often their pets, have indoor and outdoor space to meet and socialize. Many PBRs go a step farther with curated monthly calendars of on-site social events that bring in the best of the surrounding neighborhood with events like drop-in fitness classes, tasting parties or bike repair clinics.
PWC’s report further confirms that renters are looking for robust lifestyle as part of the rental experience, stating that “Amenities and services are also increasingly important in the rental market. While people may be willing to sacrifice size and home ownership, many want units that meet their lifestyle needs and preferences, such as more community-focused rental housing that offer opportunities for tenants to meet and interact with each other.”
- Quality Finishes Make It Home
Professional property managers Mayfield Management Group Ltd provides on-site management for purpose-built rental properties and says that quality finishes are table stakes for today’s renters. “Look and feel matter,” says President AJ Silvinski. “Young renters want the same stainless steel and stone finishes they grew up with and downsizers want to keep up the quality they’ve earned and enjoyed over time.” Understanding these expectations means that purpose-built rentals are designed and finished with high quality materials that put the emphasis on durability and successfully hold their appeal over the long term.
Unlike condo developments, in purpose-built rentals the developer has an ownership mentality and that means they are thinking about owning this building for the long-haul. This motivates careful decisions during the design process to ensure the best quality construction, systems, efficiency, security, and overall quality for the life-cycle of the building to make people who live in these buildings happy for decades to come.
Because PBR’s are human-centred, experiential living environments the opportunity for innovation is huge. Property developers work closely with designers, technology providers and property managers from the concept stage to ensure that the dedicated spaces and systems required to deliver forward-thinking amenities are in place.
When crafting an experience plan for The Bridge, JEMM and the project team looked for innovative solutions for day-to-day tenant needs like bike storage. The result was the design of totally custom secure storage system that conveniently accommodates two bikes per unit . They doubled-down on innovation by creating secure parcel delivery with refrigerated spaces for boxed food deliveries, wired every living space with smart-building technology and ensured tenants can link to security and control temperature remotely by using their smart phones. Tenants can take their pooch to the dog run on the 8th floor roof-top when nature calls, without having to leave their secured building.
With these stable, hassle-free and fun rental options becoming available, purpose-built rentals are setting a brisk pace toward a more diverse and exciting rental landscape for Calgarians.
JEMM Properties’ newest development, The Bridge, is purpose-built rental development under construction in the heart of Bridgeland. The Bridge will offer residents cutting edge convenience that keeps the fun going, with electronic parcel delivery and smart building technology. Sign up to receive FACET, our bi-monthly newsletter and get more info sent right to your inbox.