Dear ConsultantConsumer and Home Design Trends

Dear Consultant: What are some innovative ways to rethink new home communities?

Chelsea Scott photo

Kaylin Czajkowski

Chelsea Scott

March 20, 2024

Your questions, our expertise.

What are some innovative ways to rethink new home communities?

Housing developers are innovating in communities nationwide, from themed planned communities like Latitudes Margaritaville by Minto to walkable, infill, mixed-use developments such as Culdesac Tempe.

Along with these high-profile examples, there are hidden gems that deserve recognition. Here are two communities worth checking out.

Wellness Way in Lake County, Florida (Orlando MSA) is an example of a local government getting creative with development standards. Encompassing 15,000 acres, Wellness Way will feature a mix of residential neighborhoods intertwined with commercial, industrial, agricultural, and green spaces.

The 243-acre Olympus master development anchors Wellness Way. True to its motto—Epic. Every Day—Olympus is a sports-themed community offering training facilities, competition venues, wellness and medical centers, and health and fitness amenities for various athletic pursuits. A vibrant town center with hotels, restaurants, and retail options will complement the mix of single-family and multifamily residences.

Wellness Way imparts the following lessons:

  1. Honor local legacy. The community celebrates the area’s history as a training ground for Olympians.
  2. Diversify with a thematic appeal. By pioneering and embracing the wellness theme, the community diversifies Central Florida’s residential and economic landscape, mainly known for theme parks and tourist attractions.
  3. Vision shapes success. Visionary planning, foresight, and understanding your buyers’ needs help create a lasting framework that will shape the community for decades by going beyond current trends and deeply understanding the residents’ current and future needs.
olympus - wellness way | lake county, FL

The Eddy and Camp Eddy in Grand Junction, Colorado, are examples of inventive rental solutions. These two developments attract long-term and short-term renters to the same community. 

The Eddy is a 96-unit, garden-style apartment building situated on the Colorado River. Camp Eddy (opposite a shared amenity center) is a short-term/vacation rental with furnished tiny homes, airstreams, full RV hookups, and parking spaces for camper vans. Residents come together at shared amenity spaces, including a riverside patio with fire pits, a camp store, and a clubhouse.

The Eddy apartments opened in 2022 and leased up in 60 days. Camp Eddy has high occupancy rates during peak season. This shared concept builds a robust community of outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure.

This model works because:

  1. Shared amenities allow for offset costs by having the two halves of the project share one amenity.
  2. Targeting renters feeds an undersupplied need. There were no new multifamily developments or rental homes in this area for decades. The riverfront location gives it an extra edge.
  3. The model includes an alternative revenue source. Short-term rentals create additional revenue to support the growing community by bringing new people to the area and the development.
Camp Eddy | Grand Junction, CO

We receive many great Dear Consultant questions. Keep submitting them here, and we’ll continue to provide insight from our nationwide consulting team.

Innovation is one of our favorite topics. Expect more Dear Consultant emails covering innovation in future editions! 

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About The Author

Kaylin Czajkowski
Senior Manager, Consulting
Kaylin provides clients with rigorous research and on the ground insights to help them make informed investment decisions in Florida and the Southeast.
Chelsea Scott photo
Chelsea Scott
Senior Manager, Consulting
Chelsea is part of the consulting team that writes housing market feasibility and research reports helping executives make informed housing industry investment decisions.

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