The multifamily sector is in the midst of a new construction boom, with $116.4 billion in new project volume started in 2021 — up 25% from 2020, according to Dodge Construction Group. This boom corresponds with spike in demand for market-rate apartments, as well as rapidly rising rents.
Nearly half of these new projects were built in the country's 10 largest metropolitan areas for commercial and multifamily starts. Many of these cities are also home to the largest and most expensive projects to break ground last year, although that balance is beginning to shift, according to Richard Branch, chief economist at Dodge Construction Group.
Last year's 10 largest apartment starts exemplify this shift, with two projects in Atlanta, one in Alexandria, Virginia, and one in Winter Garden, Florida.
"The top end of the list is always going to be dominated by megaprojects in Miami and New York City," Branch said. "What we saw in 2021 is that this spread out a little bit more. You're still seeing Miami and Chicago and Boston, but it's not as concentrated in New York City as as we saw prior to the pandemic."
Below are the 10 largest new apartment projects that broke ground last year, as tabulated by Dodge:
1 Southside Park
Started: December 2021
Cost: $1 billion
Developed by JDS Development Group with SHoP Architects and James Corner Field Operations, the 64-story mixed-use tower at 1 Southside Park will feature a mix of facade structures divided into sections, with landscaping across the exterior. "If you look at the architectural renderings of this, it actually looks a little bit like a tree house," said Branch.
Fittingly, the property will include the first U.S. location of Starwood Capital Group founder and CEO Barry Sternlicht's Treehouse Hotel, 1,200 residential units, office space, commercial and event spaces and a variety of green spaces, including the redevelopment of the nearby Southside Park. The ground level will also offer new facilities for Miami's Fire Station No. 4.
"I don't think in my 12 years at Dodge I've ever seen, in a high-end project like that, especially in a place like Miami, a fire station built into the ground floor," Branch said.
625 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, New York
Started: May 2021
Cost: $500 million
Following some years of inactivity, excavation work began in May at the future site of 625 Fulton Street, developed by the Rabsky Group.
The 79-story mixed-use tower is set to offer 739,000 square feet of office space, 60,547 square feet of retail space, an elementary school, a quarter-acre public plaza and 902 residential units, of which 25% will be designated as affordable.
Flamingo Crossings Village - Phase 2
Winter Garden, Florida
Started: August 2021
Cost: $485 million
Flamingo Crossings Village, developed, owned and operated by American Campus Communities, is a purpose-built development exclusively for students in Disney Internships & Programs. The first phase of Flamingo Crossings Village opened for students in the summer of 2021. It currently offers 1,600 beds across two- and four-bedroom apartments, as well as a fitness center, community center, swimming pools and a fitness center.
The second phase is set to be completed in 2023, bringing the property's total occupancy up to 10,400 beds. The community will also include meeting spaces, study rooms and a 25,000 square foot education center.
1018 West Peachtree Apartments
Started: August 2021
Cost: $350 million
1018 West Peachtree, developed by Toll Brothers, will consist of two separate high-rises: a 35-story tower with 264 student apartments and a 37-story tower with 376 market rate rental units. Both towers will sit on a shared parking deck with space for 664 cars.
The property is located within commuting distance of Georgia Tech and Georgia State University. The first phase of construction, currently underway, includes the 37-story market-rate rental tower as well as site landscaping, underground utilities and approximately 5,000 square feet of street-facing retail space.
Started: August 2021
Cost: $341 million
Victoria Place will mark the latest residential addition to The Howard Hughes Corporation's Ward Village, a 60-acre master-planned community in Honolulu. The 40-story tower will be located on the Pacific oceanfront, and will offer 350 residential units and two levels of residential amenities.
Ward Village includes seven other residential developments — five complete and two in development or under construction — as well as existing shopping, dining and entertainment venues.
High Street Atlanta - Phase 1
Started: November 2021
Cost: $300 million
The first phase of GID Development Group's High Street Atlanta master-plan, known as the Green District, will situate 600 luxury residential units, 150,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, 90,000 square feet of new office space and 225,000 square feet of existing office space around a new, ¾-acre public park.
At full buildout, High Street Atlanta will cover 8 million square feet of development across 36 acres, with 3,000 residential units, 400,000 square feet of retail, 672,000 square feet of office space and 400 hotel rooms. The projected cost for the project is over $2 billion, according to a press release.
Islablue Apartments and Condominiums
Long Beach, New York
Started: September 2021
Cost: $300 million
The start of construction on Engel Burman Group's Islablue Apartments and Condominiums marks the end of over 40 years of stalled development projects at the six-acre parcel known as the "Long Beach Superblock."
The site's development plan includes a total of 438 residential units and 6,500 square feet of retail space. The 238 rental units will make up a 10-story building known as The Breeze, and the remaining 200 condo units will be split across two nine-story buildings known as Isla Blu.
1629 Market Street Mixed-Use
Started: March 2021
Cost: $284 million
The mixed-use development at 1629 Market Street will consist of five new structures across a two-acre parcel in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood. Kennerly Architecture and David Baker Architects are responsible for the site's design, while Strada Investment Group will serve as the owner and operator.
The development plan calls for:
- A new residential addition to an existing retail structure, adding 198 residential units and 6,600 square feet of retail space
- Two new market-rate residential structures with a total of 214 residential units
- An affordable housing community with up to 107 units
- The demolition and redevelopment of the UA Local 38 building currently located on the site
- The rehabilitation of the existing Civic Center Hotel into 65 residential units.
Archer Towers - Phase I
Jamaica, New York
Started: October 2021
Cost: $274 million
Archer Towers, designed by Studio V Architecture and developed by BRP Companies, is set to be the tallest structure in Queens upon its completion, according to Sebastian Morris of New York YIMBY. The development will offer 605 mixed-income apartment units — 424 market rate and 181 income-restricted — as well as 20,000 square feet of amenity space and 14,000 square feet of retail space.
The building will be located within walking distance of the Jamaica Terminal transit hub, and is slated for completion in 2024.
1900 Crystal/1851 S Bell Apts
Started: June 2021
Cost: $267 million
The upcoming 1900 Crystal/1851 S Bell Apts will be built within walking distance of another active construction site for developer JBG Smith — the first phase of Amazon's HQ2.
The development's 808 units will be split between its two towers — the South Tower, with 471 units across 27 stories, and the North Tower, with 337 units across 26 stories. The site will also support approximately 40,000 square feet of retail and over 1,500 parking spaces.
The story was updated to include new units counts for the 1900 Crystal Drive project, as well as an updated community count and status for Ward Village.