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From the Ground Up: New Construction is Coming Back

by Nichole Odijk DeMario

Unique Touches

Today’s new construction buyers are a much more specialized group than in years past, and builders have adjusted their products to accommodate those interests. Bailey, for instance, says his company has focused on buyers who have relocated to the city. His company recognized a need for new construction in developing areas such as the South Loop. Its projects in the South Loop’s expanding marketplace include its three South Loop Luxury by Related condominiums. In December, the company started sales at Adler Place.

Related Midwest has also gone a step further with their amenities in an effort to “impact specific aspects of residents’ lives,” Bailey says. Rather than only offering things that buyers have come to expect, like a fitness center or pool, they’ve added amenities such as a pet care center, bike maintenance room and children’s playroom. They also keep their entertainment and community spaces open when not reserved for an event, so that they can be utilized as an extension of residents’ private living spaces.

Related Midwest is certainly not alone in its specialized offerings. Along with a desire for certain amenities, Benach says in a post-recession market, new construction buyers have come to expect certain finishes, including wood floors and granite countertops, whereas in years past, those would be considered upgrades.

Lexington Homes is adding smart home features and additional options for smaller touches, such as a choice in light switches, in an effort to meet buyer demand.

Like Lexington Homes, William Ryan Homes has focused on tech savvy features like home automation and the ability for a home to connect to a smartphone device.

Gustafson says her company’s condominiums at 1345 S. Wabash focus on eye-catching, high-end finishes with products like sleek cabinets by Archisesto and quartz countertops.

“Buyers are coming in with ideas from magazines,” she says. “They’re more design savvy. They want something unique that doesn’t look like all the other condos out there.”

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