16 February 2016

Rob Steinberg, panelist at Connect Media conference for Silicon Valley multi-family housing

Last Tuesday, Chairman Rob Steinberg participated in a panel discussion for Connect Media’s Silicon Valley conference on multi-family, affordable, and workforce housing. The conference was held at the Glass House in Downtown San Jose.

He referenced a few of our current Silicon Valley projects such as The Pierce, a 232-unit multi-family housing complex that sits on the site where our previous Steinberg office was located, low-rise apartments in San Pedro Square, a high-rise tower behind the Tech Museum, and a 300 ft. office tower across from City Hall with a twin for-sale housing building adjacent to it. Rob feels that having more for-sale apartments available for those who want to be home owners is the direction the housing market is opening up to.

Moderated by Joshua Howard of the California Apartment Association, the panelists addressed their standpoints on Silicon Valley’s housing demands.

Discussion included:

The effect of investment and development activity due to high multifamily rental rates in the valley

  • Extreme increase in cost on land pricing
  • Prime sites are not available anymore
  • Rental rates have increased about 35% in the last 3 years

The kind of products that are in high demand right now

  • High demand for qualified laborers which directly affect high-rises due to the need of skilled laborers on these projects
  • Demand from young renters to see personality in their apartment buildings
  • Demand to have more for-sale apartments
  • The idea of making apartments more customizable

The types of amenities tenants are looking for in Silicon Valley

  • High speed internet/cell service
  • Spaces to drop in and work/socialize
  • Fitness centers with more involvement (yoga, spin classes, personal training, etc.)
  • Hosted events (DJ’s at the pool, Super Bowl parties, entertainment, etc.)
  • Extra electrical outlets near the toilet to accommodate bidets
  • Safes in apartments
  • Balconies for smokers
  • Package services and concierge

The panelists discussed the push for the development to help adjust the demand for housing which will help lower rental rates. Rob ended with his idea that developers need help to build a better “mouse trap.” To do this they need help through the process to brand the product and make it unique and positive, all while figuring out how to fit more units and use land more densely.

Other panelists include:

  • Mike Kim, Simeon Properties
  • Don Mackenzie, UDR, Inc.
  • Annette Thurman, Alliance Residential

More information can be found here.





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