Creating a sense of community is a key trend emerging in multifamily developments. If common spaces are well-planned and utilized, a development can become a vibrant neighborhood unto itself. The key lies in creating spaces that allow relationships to form and organizing community events to nurture new friendships. A community that is closely connected creates a sense of belonging and caring that extends beyond a resident’s own front door and results in happier residents, safer communities, and pride in belonging to something special. How can developers create such communities?
Maximize Crossing Spaces
When designing a space, consider the flow of foot traffic in the building. Where are residents most likely to bump into each other and strike up a conversation? The mailboxes? The lobby? The elevator? Create spaces where residents can strike up a conversation without blocking circulation or feeling cramped. Open, airy lobbies with intimate seating areas enable residents to greet each other from a distance yet provide space for quiet conversation.
Create Reasons to Meet
While happenstance meetings do occur, communities can nurture budding relationships by creating reasons to meet. Connection spaces such as a game room, clubhouse, community library, or a courtyard with a play area provide residents with spaces and activities that will bring them into contact with other residents.
Community sponsored events have also proven to be a dynamic method of drawing residents together. Ice cream socials, community barbecues, and picnics are the standard fare of community life and can come to feel commonplace and dull. As a result, staff members of multifamily developments are stepping up their games and adding some local flavor to the usual community night.
How about a stepping out event where the community gathers at a local restaurant to sample the drinks and appetizers? Or a community-wide evening where the residents get into the spirit of the fall season with a masquerade party or a Halloween costume contest – for the adults only. These types of events draw residents in with novelty and fun and create opportunities for neighbors to meet and build relationships.
Extend an Open Invitation to the Neighborhood
Ground-floor retail space in a mixed-use developments also brings the entire street to life, not just the building. By leasing the retail space to businesses that are communally minded (coffee houses, restaurants, bakeries, etc.), multifamily developers can gain community support for their projects and create a vibrant atmosphere with increased foot traffic and visitors. Meanwhile residents can enjoy the convenience of meeting friends for coffee or dinner in their very own building while also enjoying the sense of community generated by the local cafe and corner store.
Live Oak Contracting is a leader in mixed-use, affordable multifamily developments. Call us today to see how our experience can bring life to your development plans.