The national housing shortage has developers in the driver’s seat in terms of almost guaranteed multi-family occupancy rates. But the new normal of working from home has created competition for high-earning renters who want increased outdoor lifestyle amenities. Things like grills for apartments/condos are essential value-added items that round out common areas, as well as individual patios. It appears that community living investors will need to install outdoor grills to attract the best-paying occupants.
A wave of forward-thinking developers managed to cash in on the impending housing crisis. In 2022, multi-family construction reportedly reached 529,000 housing units. That figure represents a 14 percent increase over the previous year and was the most construction starts in 36 years. All sold, multi-family builds stood at 34 percent of all housing units in 2022, the largest share since 2015.
These eye-raising statistics, coupled with a national housing shortage, may lead developers to believe there’s easy money to be made. Nothing could be further from the truth.
People earning high salaries want complete leisure amenities, such as fitness centers, pools, tennis courts, and common areas outfitted with patio grills. Simply put, renters and condominium residents desire a next-level leisure experience. That’s why outdoor propane and natural gas grills are fast becoming an expectation.
Multi-Family Housing Planners Re-Imagine Outdoor Living Spaces
For developers to maximize their return on investment, it’s imperative to go back to the drawing board and rethink outdoor living spaces. Once considered a secondary item that required only manicured lawns, flower beds, and hardscapes, residents who work from home desire more. The high-salaried live-work crowd, in particular, sees the landscape outside their patio door as an asset.
The notion of having to now travel to a park for fresh air and a picnic is counterintuitive to the lifestyle. This presents an opportunity for property investors, moving forward, because many of the 2022 construction starts did not necessarily go the extra mile. By integrating natural gas or propane grills in the following ways, property owners can charge higher rents and sell condos at a premium.
Personal Patio Grills
Condominium, duplex, and apartment complex layouts have an opportunity to take advantage of ground-level patios and decks. Using a slim pedestal grill mount and connecting the BBQ to an existing natural gas line provides the occupants with their own outdoor cooking station. The fuel cost would be assumed through their utility bill, and a profit can be generated on patio grills through higher rent or fees. The work-from-home crowd will be champing at the bit to live in an environment where they can grill breakfast, lunch, or dinner on their outdoor grills.
Upgrade Common Areas with Outdoor Grills
When common areas are outfitted with outdoor grills, they provide an opportunity for residents to hold family BBQs and get-togethers with friends. Many of the more than half-million multi-family builds in 2022 include natural gas or propane grills in these spaces. Developers in 2023 may see including patio grills as a way to keep pace with the competition.
But high-quality stainless steel and hard cast-aluminum patio grills with accessories can provide an edge. Common area upgrades can include desirable accessories such as side burners, beverage centers, side shelves, warming racks, and even infrared rotisserie burners.
Create Outdoor Kitchens in Large Communal Spaces
It’s crucial that large gathering spaces have the grilling bandwidth to accommodate birthday parties, graduations, and holiday celebrations. By installing an industry-leading stainless steel outdoor grill with side burners, a beverage center, a rotisserie burner, storage drawers, and other extras, the property management firm overseeing the community living facility can charge higher rents, HOA fees, and enjoy a waitlist.
Industry Leading Grills for Apartments/Condos
In the past, multi-family unit designers have not typically been tasked with integrating patio grills or completing outdoor kitchen areas. Rather than have to circle back and make post-construction alterations, it may be prudent to schedule a consultation with an expert in outdoor grills and layouts. That being said, PGS Grills continue to lead the industry. These outdoor natural gas and propane grills are ideal for apartments, duplexes, condos, and large community living landscapes.
PGS T-Series Stainless Steel Outdoor Grills
The PGS T-Series comes in three different stainless steel sizes and is considered top-of-the-line commercial patio grills. Depending on the model, they can serve as personal patio grills, upgrade a common area, or be the centerpiece of a complete outdoor kitchen design. These are T-Series patio grills that deliver sought-after lifestyle enhancements.
This expansive stainless steel model can be installed directly into a masonry enclosure to serve as the focus point of a complete outdoor kitchen. With 540 square inches of direct grilling space over a pair of burners, it generates upwards of 45,000 BTUs of evenly distributed heat. It can also be powered by a liquid propane tank or connected to a natural gas line.
With 720 square inches of direct grilling space over 67,000 BTUs of masterfully disbursed heat, this stainless steel grill is a darling for gathering spaces. It comes with a side-mounted heat indicator designed for safety and grilling perfection. It can be outfitted with a warming rack for off-grate cooking and meal timing. Also available in natural gas or liquid propane, it can be deftly accessorized.
This 51-inch stainless steel commercial grill possesses 960 square inches of grate bandwidth and generates 90,000 BTUs. Considered an ideal option for large communal spaces, this top-of-the-line model comes with a 5-year parts replacement warranty.
All of the T-Series patio grills come with anti-theft knobs, 60-minute shutoff timers, matchless ignition, laser-etched control panels, and self-cleaning 304 stainless steel cooking grids. Each of these models can be installed into a countertop, a prefabricated grill island, or cart mounted with a propane tank inside.
PGS Cast Aluminum Patio Grills
AEI Corp offers two types of cast aluminum outdoor grills that are perfect for personalized patios. Each model enjoys a natural gas and liquid propane option. The T30 and T40 streamlined models are often installed using a space-saving pedestal grill mount. Ranging from 330 to 434 square inches and producing a refined 30,000 to 40,000 BTUs, these natural gas and liquid propane grills have the capacity to handle modestly sized gatherings.
But their ideal usage may reside in serving families who want to enjoy deliciously grilled meals in the fresh air. That’s generally why developers invest in multiple cast aluminum patio grills and strategically distribute them throughout the grounds. Like the larger stainless steel PGS commercial grills, they enjoy secure safety features and installation flexibility.
Using Prefabricated Islands with Outdoor Grills
Planning and constructing a complete outdoor kitchen may not always be feasible. In an effort to accommodate unique spaces and reduce costs, AEI offers a pair of prefabricated grill islands. These BBQ islands can be assembled without hiring a contractor and greatly reduce the cost of labor and hardscape materials. They can be erected on any secure flat surface and the 57- and 67-inch grill islands provide ample food preparation space, drawers, and the ability to run a PGS grill on natural gas or store a liquid propane tank inside.
New construction apartments, condos, and other multi-family living communities can greatly benefit from including outdoor grills. Whether deployed as personal patio grills or expansive outdoor kitchens, this value-added amenity is quickly becoming a standard expectation among the work-from-home crowd.