Modern Home Builder - Winter 2016 - Volume 2 - 131
"As part of an urban neighborhood,
we want people to get out into the
neighborhood and experience it."
realities of the automobile is also important to the company. People spend so much of their time commuting to and from work
that the luxury of being able to drive up to the level of their apartment and walk the shortest distance from their car to their unit is
a dream come true. If you live in a 15-story building and have to
park on the first level, and then take another elevator to get to the
floor of your apartment, that's precious time wasted.
Collins says the urban mid-rise apartment located in dense urban neighborhoods is a more unique, efficient building type that
has become very popular in Austin, Texas, where the company is
based and other Sunbelt cities in which it works. "What we do isn't
unique, but we tend to do a good job at it and understand the overall reasons people want to move into urban neighborhoods," he
says. "Although it's important to build communities with current
apartments community-wide amenities, it is how these amenities
and, even more importantly, the attributes of the neighborhoods
around those properties that make them unique and desirable."
Collins believes it is more attractive to be able to come home
at night and not have to get your car out again. Living in a neighborhood where you can walk to restaurants, bars, shopping and
markets is becoming an ideal way to live, especially for millennials
and empty nesters.
"As part of an urban neighborhood, we want people to get out
into the neighborhood and experience it," Collins explains. "Twenty years ago, when other apartment developers were bragging
about crown molding or mirrored backsplashes inside units, we
were painstakingly creating a great streetscape and filling in neighborhood retail. People would venture out and experience 'their'
neighborhood. Sure, there are good internal amenities in our units,
but taking the time to create those 'external' amenities makes the
difference between an apartment development and a place."
Centro Development has discovered that customers want not
only bright, natural light, more showers without tubs and a building
that is equipped with fitness centers, business centers for the workat-home residents and a pool, but more importantly, convenience.
Not just the convenience of a vibrant, walkable neighborhood.
Combining the convenience of an urban neighborhood with the
Centro Development is made up of four employees that Collins says
work well as a team. He says the building industry in general ben-
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