Case Histories: Multi-Family Residential
Apartment Community Earning 800% Annual Return on $75,000 Investment
Watergrove Apartments is a Memphis-area apartment community of 1,002 one- and two-bedroom units sited on a 142-acre parcel that features 25 acres of lakes. As a result of a $75, 000 investment in higher quality outdoor lighting, Watergrove’s developer, Fogelman Properties, Inc., (FPI) is earning an 800% simple return on investment (SROI).
The system’s designers, Fogel/Byrnes & Doggett worked in concert with Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) staff and determined that the lighting would be used principally for identification, safety, security, environment integration, and beautification. They chose high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting for the streets and walkways because of their long life, energy efficiency, and low maintenance costs. Traditional white lights were determined to be the best choice for areas such as the clubhouse, pool and various bridges. For aesthetic enhancement, FPI installed six floating fountains and illuminated them with quartz lighting.
The lighting makes Watergrove a much more attractive community at night and, during winter, when darkness comes early, the developers kept the rental office open extra hours. This technique showcased the lighting system while also making it much easier for potential renters who work days to inspect the community. The additional rentals achieved as a consequence have an estimated worth of $579,420.
Watergrove’s lighting also enhances safety and security. The increased lighting provides greater area visibility and encourages more tenants to stay out later, eliminating the isolation and darkness that contribute to higher criminal activity. The enhanced lighting also permitted Watergrove to rely on only two night watchmen, compared to the six typically required by communities of similar size. These additional benefits were estimated to have a worth of $620,460 annually.
The lighting enhancement project is credited with creating an average tenancy that is 25% longer than the overall area average. The savings in turnover costs alone (repainting, cleaning, etc.) is worth $28,560 annually.