The impact of COVID-19 on the multifamily sector may not have been as severe as its effect on the retail or office asset classes, but there are still many ways that those professionals active in the multifamily space adapted to pandemic-driven changes. Some of these adjustments, such as virtual apartment tours, are likely permanent.

Here are four pandemic-related trends expected to influence the multifamily sector in 2021, according to a roundup of Midwest-based real estate experts.

Incorporating biophilic design

With the COVID-19 pandemic encouraging Americans to stay outdoors for gatherings in effort to reduce transmission of the virus, there is a greater emphasis on the outdoors and nature. Expect multifamily developers to focus more on bringing the outdoors in via building designs, floor plans and amenities. Large outdoor terraces and rooftop amenity areas are becoming increasingly prevalent in new projects, particularly those in urban environments.

At Optima Lakeview, a Chicago-area multifamily project currently under construction, developer Optima Inc. incorporated a landscaped interior atrium that will run through the building’s core and bring in natural light.

“Green spaces not only improve the air quality for our residents but also those living near our buildings because vertical gardens filter pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air,” says David Hovey Jr., president of Optima.

Read the full feature on RE Business Online

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