Must-Have Amenities for Multifamily

Four Must-Have Amenities – Multifamily Bisnow.

Bisnow released an email newsletter (see it at the link above) about the “Four Must-Have Amenities” for multifamily tenants. Not surprisingly, they include dog parks and pools. Kudela & Weinheimer has long known the power of amenities that bring the “WOW factor” and entice renters of multifamily developments. The better the amenities the more premium price you can get for the units as well.

#1 WiFi & #2 Fitness Centers:  It’s obvious K&W doesn’t have anything to do with the WiFi or the fitness centers inside of buildings, however we do design spaces for fitness in the outdoors. Those amenities could include sand volleyball, basketball courts, tennis courts, lap pools, outdoor workout areas, and hike/bike running trails; but really the options are endless. So far we have only had a few requests for these types of outdoor amenities but we do get a lot of requests for more passive entertainment amenities such as putting greens, bocce ball, and movie theaters.

#3 Dog Parks:  “About 60% of residents have pets (with most being dogs), and most have at least two dogs and consider them family” says Christina Natal.Dog parks are a highly demanded amenity for multifamily developments right now. With the increase in high density urban apartment homes, dog parks are being placed in very clever places such as garage rooftops, easements, and flood plain areas. Occasionally multifamily developers will even purchase an adjacent partial of land or devote a section of their current land to design and develop a public dog park which offers improvement amenities not only to residents but also to the community, doing this can sometimes lessen community push-back and complaints on the development itself.

#4 Swimming Pools:  Probably one of the biggest selling features of a multifamily development is it’s pool (even if it goes unsaid). Regardless of whether the tenants use it or not, it’s sort of assumed that when renting an apartment that you get a nice pool, especially when renting a “Luxury Apartment Home”. Nine times out of 10, the pool is visible from the leasing office; that is not an accident! First impressions can make or break a deal whether it’s at an apartment, office building, institution or other! Hint, hint, LANDSCAPE IS IMPORTANT.

When multifamily communities are competing for renters the amenities become one of their most important assets, especially amenities that make a first impression. Admit it, no one wants to invite their friends over to a dumpy looking place.

 Kudela & Weinheimer (K&W) is a professional services landscape architecture firm located in Houston and San Antonio. Founded in 1991 by Thad Kudela and Darin Weinheimer, K&W has grown from a two man shop to a thriving firm that has completed over 3,000 projects as they approach their 25th anniversary. With exemplary work on landmark, award winning projects such as Memorial Hermann Medical District in Memorial City, Town & Country Village and Carruth Plaza at Reliant Stadium, K&W is proud to have become one of Texas’ largest landscape architecture firms. 

Fulton Gardens was a Finalist at ULI Development of Distinction Awards 2013

Fulton Gardens. <<< Watch This Video!

Alongside of Insite Architecture, who created a modern senior living facility, Kudela & Weinheimer was responsible for the landscape design at Fulton Gardens. As mentioned in this video, Fulton Gardens was developed as a place for residents to have a place to “get to know each other.” Kudela & Weinheimer is proud to say that they could be a part of touching these senior residents’ lives by giving them beauty and functionality in their outdoor space.

In the Bisnow Multifamily News

MULTIFAMILY MONDAY – Real Estate Bisnow (HOU).

Kudela & Weinheimer makes the Bisnow news! We are honored to have been mentioned in the Houston Bisnow e-publication as the first article for this June 18th edition.

In fact, even though we weren’t mentioned we are also working with Ziegler Cooper on the 3 projects for Gables also mentioned in this e-publication! Working with Ziegler Cooper Architects is great, and having a good collaboration with the building architect is necessary to create a successful project.



Outdoor Kitchens for Commercial Properties

Sarah Krouskop - Landscape Designer

Since many of our clients are multifamily developers and resort condominium developers, the projects which we work on are often located in warmer climates, where a person can spend a larger part of the year outdoors. Outdoor kitchens are an essential gathering center for residents to have an extended living space.  An outdoor kitchen is no longer just a built-in grill, it’s an extension of living space which can include an extra counter top for preparation, storage, bar top, sink, refrigerator, and stove top burners; many features which are important for outdoor kitchens at multifamily or commercial developments because of the proximity to one’s living quarters.

Kudela & Weinheimer designs kitchens with all the amenities the “grill master” or “event planner” could want.  Every kitchen is designed to extend the outdoor season and have as many accessible options as possible.  While each kitchen is uniquely devised, many of them have bar-like counters with long trough sinks or in-set coolers ideal to keep your drinks cold and an outdoor televisions for “tailgating.”  Others include lounge-like seating with a large slow-moving fan for a tropical island breeze feeling.  Outdoor kitchens can be as simple or deluxe as desired by the client. Fancy options such as pizza ovens, trash compactors, drawers, and television cabinets are all viable options for an outdoor kitchen.

See some examples of Kudela & Weinheimer commercial outdoor kitchens below. And visit our website

3D Modeling for Real Life Results

Amanda Jaloway

It’s often difficult to envision what a 2D landscape plan will actually look like in the built environment3D modeling is a handy tool in the world of design to help our clients envision the true sense of place and we’ve found a great program to aid us in this endeavor. SketchUp is a 3D modeling program that, unlike many of its competitors, is simple to use and easily self-taught. One of the best features is that a free version is available for download through their website [] making it widely available – always a plus when trying to coordinate with clients, contractors, etc.

2D Rendering: Onstructure Amenities Deck for Multifamily High-rise

We have been able to utilize this product in many facets of our work.  Frequently the only tool we have to present a design is a rendered plan; though very useful, sometimes plans can be difficult to read, or more so, difficult to interpret how it will look in real life. This is where SketchUp comes into play. We can build a 3D model of our design to show the clients exactly how a design will look in reality.

Once the base model has been created we can then work out design details, such as material selections, furniture design and placement, planting design and selections, in the model. For example, if a client is torn between two materials for a certain area, we can easily import these materials into the model for a side by side comparison, greatly simplifying the selection process.

We have also been able to use SketchUp to work out the mechanics of certain design elements. In one such instance, we were designing a fountain and having a difficult time detailing exactly how all the elements would work together. We decided to model it in SketchUp and were then able to work out the fine details in a 3D environment, much more cohesive with real life.

All-in-all, we have found SketchUp to be a highly beneficial tool in the visualization and evolution of our designs in the built environment.

3D Rendering: Onstructure Amenities Deck for Multifamily High-rise

Written by Amanda Jaloway

Amanda designs and prepares most of our 3D renderings on Kudela & Weinheimers’ projects. Having 3D renderings is a valuable tool for helping our clients experience their space before it’s built.

Development Magazine Shows Off KW Design


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We are proud to say, several projects that Kudela & Weinheimer designed the landscaping for were featured in the July/August 2011 Urban Land Magazine! Most importantly, the feature picture of the article shows the pool area of The Broadway Condominiums in … Continue reading

Cool Off: 8 Sexy Pools

Sapphire Resort Condominiums

Houston has broken it’s record for 100 degree days this year, according to the National Weather Service, Houston has had 33 days at or above 100 degrees this year. With that in mind, wouldn’t it be nice to be lounging by a refreshing pool?

It’s no secret that K&W is known for their multifamily landscape architecture design. In fact, designing pools and amenity areas that deliver the “WOW” factor, which appeals to renters and buyers, has helped Kudela & Weinheimer build a reputation for being the “go-to” firm for multi-family developments’ landscape design. Working along-side some of the great Houston multifamily residential architects such as Wallace Garcia Wilson Architects, Ziegler Cooper Architects, and Meeks Partners, K&W has been able to design some highly attractive pools for high-end communities.

Diamond Beach Lazy River and Slide

Kudela & Weinheimer designs with the resident and their guests in mind. What will put that sparkle in their eye when looking at a new apartment to rent? Private cabanas, infinity edge pools with sun decks, outdoor kitchens, fire pits, palm trees and exciting amenities that create an outdoor resort-like paradise, in an otherwise urban setting, are part of the recipe that Kudela & Weinheimer uses to entice buyers.

Tour the One Park Place pool in downtown Houston as if you are standing right in the middle of it!

Developments with sexy pools : One Park Place, Sapphire Resort Condos, Diamond Beach Resort Condos, Alexan Upper Kirby, The Broadway Condominiums, San Luis Resort, 2727 Kirby and West Ave Mixed Use.

Check out more pools at Kudela & Weinheimer’s website!