Whether renting by choice or out of necessity, young professional status seekers and thriving urban baby boomers seek more than just a place to live; they want a home that ups the ante on convenience and lets them focus their time and energy on what they love.

At the heart of good design is a commitment to the needs of the end user. In the case of a multifamily building, that means needs are multigenerational and design should cater to everyone from retirees to Gen Alpha.


BORN 1946-1964

Baby Boomers have been breaking new ground since the 1960s and they’re not done yet. The youngest of the group are still working and the oldest are in their early 70s, but they’re not rushing to move into senior living facilities; many are opting to stay put even in urban centers, where plentiful entertainment and conveniences within walking distance make it easier to be independent longer. Senior villages are on the rise as well, giving residents access to services, transportation, culture and educational opportunities.

Susan, 53

Susan and her husband recently joined the empty nest club and are looking to downsize their living space. Retirement isn’t in sight quite yet, so she needs to maintain a comfortable commute and on-site parking for her car. While she enjoys the perks of city life, Susan is also an avid gardener, so a plot to call her own and a nearby grocery store to supplement her homegrown produce are high priorities. With their millennial children visiting occasionally, they will also need a guest room.


Low Maintenance Living, Green Space, Walkability/Accessibility, Convenience Amenities and Services, High-Quality Furnishings and Design


BORN 1965-1980

Generation X suffered through the housing bust more than any other group. Many Gen Xers have upsized to accommodate multigenerational living, either with their parents or their millennial and gen z kids, and people with both have been dubbed “the sandwich generation” because they’re stuck in the middle of providing care for older and younger family members, even as big ticket costs like college tuition pile up. Life can be challenging for this generation, but their entrepreneurial spirit is seeing them through.


Affordability, Aging in Place, Multifamily Living Options, Convenience and Accessibility, Co-Working Space, Location (Proximity to Schools)

Christopher, 49

Chris’s family is moving to a nearby suburb to be closer to his mother. He and his wife are debating whether to invite her to come live with them, but they are concerned about space since they are raising their two pre-adolescent kids. Chris owns his own business and has a home office filled with the latest tech, but he also enjoys working off-site at cafes and co-working spaces. He and his wife stay busy shuttling their kids to and from school and activities and crave a convenient, family-friendly neighborhood with plentiful amenities.


BORN 1980 – 1996

“Kids” these days aren’t living according to the traditional timelines we associate with their parents and grandparents. They’re starting families later, in more diverse circumstances, or opting out completely. On one end of the spectrum, crippling student debt often means that millennials live with parents a little longer; for those who move out on their own, the dream of home ownership is still alive, but skyrocketing house prices and stagnant wages in most sectors make a down payment out of reach. And even with children in the picture, there’s an inclination to forego marriage as changing gender dynamics redefine household and family roles. Millennials thrive in urban centers that cater to a life without cars, a minimized commute and maximized convenience.

Sarah, 26

Sarah is relocating from a small town in Texas where she has lived with her parents since college graduation. Her new job is in digital advertising and entails occasional local travel for client meetings, but she prefers to take public transit or rideshare rather than own a car. She relies on her smartphone to stay connected with family and friends, and while she doesn’t have a ton of disposable income, she likes to splurge on shopping and dining since she doesn’t cook much at home. Sarah’s style straddles the line between affordable and upscale.


Location, Transit, Affordability, Convenience, High-Tech Amenities, Sustainability, Wellness, Experience


BORN 1996 – 2010

Generation Z, also known as Post-Millennials, the iGeneration and the Plurals, is still coming of age, but they’re already facing plenty of challenges. Many are growing up in a post-recession climate marked by fragile family finances and the looming cost of college in their future. Like millennials, they are digital natives, but, if it’s possible, they like mobile technology and devices even more. At the same time that they’re glued to their phones and tablets, they also value privacy. Nomadic by nature, they prefer new experiences to material goods. If current data is any indication, they will work 17 jobs, have five different careers and live in 15 homes over the course of their lifetimes.


Privacy, Integrated Technology and High-Tech Integration, Flexible Spaces and Leases, Affordability, Access to Transit, Co-Working Space

William, 15

William is a high school sophomore working on developing his own smartphone app with a couple of students from his computer science class. He is also interested in environmental science, so he’ll probably take a year off between high school and college to travel and focus on what he wants to do with his life. When he’s not reading BuzzFeed or Snapchatting with his friends, he’s playing soccer or Halo Wars 2.


BORN 2011 – 2025

Gen Alpha will truly be living in the home of the future. What will they want? How will their needs be different? These kids are just starting school, but they will be the most formally educated generation ever, not to mention the most technology-enabled and, globally, the wealthiest and most diverse. With the rise of driverless cars, drones and other inventions of hyper-convenience, everything will be within reach, resulting in less of a focus on having everything in one building—most things will come to them. Instead, we predict the focus will shift to protecting resources, living with less and making everything smarter.

Emma, 3

Bright-eyed and full of life, Emma enjoys coloring, watching cartoons and playing outside. Her parents take her along on frequent hikes and she’s daddy’s little helper in the backyard vegetable garden where they use harvested rainwater to water their plants. Emma is enthralled by technology and likes to draw on the screen of her mom’s iPad every chance she gets. Emma’s millennial parents are heavily focused on education, so they are always reading books with her and playing with STEM toys to help satiate her growing curiosity.


Smart Home Technology, Modest or Minimalistic Design, Less Space but Higher Quality Materials and Finishes, Security, Wellness, Monitoring and Protecting Resources, Self-Sustaining Communities

Coming up Next: Amenities