- September 2020 Topic: Passive House Design; Takeaways: 1) Passive house can help combat climate change; 2) After a few years of implementation, cost can be less expensive than current methods; 3) Will help future proof against increasingly restrictive building codes; 4) Retrofits are possible, but easier to do in single-family than multifamily (with residents in place); 5) Ultimately about the end user/tenant.
- August 2020 Topic: Design Changes to Multifamily Architecture; Takeaways: 1) Changes are coming, but likely dependent on virus path; 2) Push to suburban areas was already happening, but likely to accelerate, though urban living will remain desirable; 3) Some projects will only have exterior unit entry points, rather than hallways; 4) Will likely see more alcoves used in units – also trying to figure out quarantine areas for potential use; 5) Air quality/HVAC systems paramount, supply chains have become a pain point.
- July 2020 Topic: COVID-19 and Its Effects on Our Community; Takeaways: Outlook for vaccine, herd immunity, and reopening.
- June 2020 Topic: State of the Multifamily Capital Markets; Guest speakers: John Morran, NorthMarq and Scott Lamontagne, NorthMarq
- May 2020 Topic: State of the Market Post-COVID; Guest speaker: Sam Tenenbaum, CoStar; Takeaways: 1) Consumer confidence is driving the market decline; 2) Unemployment claims in Texas are at an all-time high, but lower than the national level, primarily temporary losses; 3) 130k job losses in Austin (12% of employment), primarily leisure/hospitality, retail and healthcare; 4) Austin apartment rents down year over year, with newer properties holding up much better; 5) Apartment search volume back up, heavy search from other markets to Austin.
- April 2020 Topic: Quarantine Experiences, Business Change, and State of the Austin Market; Takeaways: 1) We will see more remote working, using consultants, virtual site visits; 2) Unemployment claims have surged; 3) Seeing VRBO/short term rental units converting to longer term rentals; 4) Rents have dipped dramatically – will bounce back by March 2022; 5) Institutional debt/equity have taken a back seat and are buying time – pushing out closings and construction starts – need more certainty in the market.
- February 2020 Topic: Multifamily Project Models from Different US Markets; Takeaways: 1) The townhome model in Boston and Dallas allow for more density and results in more affordable pricing; 2) Co-living projects allow young renters to share common areas/kitchens – provide for more units, more advantageous underwriting; 3) Micro-housing projects in Seattle designed for small, urban lots with zero lot line setbacks – allows for density.
- January 2020 Planning for upcoming discussion topics: 1) Explore different types of multi-family projects across the country; 2) Look at the new development code; 3) Overlay the new code onto existing multi-family projects in Austin to see how density/affordability could be improved.
- December 2019 Topic: Development Code Re-Write
- November 2019 Topic: City of Austin’s Strategic Affordable Housing Plan
- October 2019 Onsite visit at Mueller Development to discuss the incorporation of affordable housing with Greg Weaver of Catellus Development.
- September 2019 Topic: Micro-Housing; Guest Speaker: Ty Puckett, Transwestern