Developments with That Hip-Factor

Are developers finally getting hip to what renters want? Today, The New York Times reported on Philadelphia's Piazza at Schmidts (left), a mixed-use rental community with some enviable amenities. Developer Bart Blatstein - who prior to this had been building strip malls - turned a former brewery outside Philly's Center City into an artsy community, with modern-industrial architecture, restaurants, indie shops and most notably an old-style piazza or town square. Anchoring the square, a historic warehouse-turned-office-building's 80-year-old facade is used as a backdrop for live performances and as a spot to project Phillies' games and other televised events. How cool is that?

There's a new wave going on in rental development and it seems that lifestyle amenities are no longer reserved for seniors communities. We found some other forward-thinking rental communities with that urban planners' dream of downtown, historic rehab, mixed-use buildings with hip amenities. Take a look.