Avalon Willougbhy Square features a classic and sophisticated design sensibility.
Courtesy CetraRuddy Avalon Willougbhy Square features a classic and sophisticated design sensibility.

A trend popular in the hospitality industry is making its way to multifamily development.

The dual-brand concept--in which one hotel offers two or even three brands that cater to different types of travelers--is increasing in popularity as a way to control land and construction costs. Currently, there are more than 40 multi-brand hotel properties around the country, with about 25 more under construction and another 50 or so in the planning stages, according to this National Real Estate Investor article.

When complete, Marriott's Nashville hotel will contain three separate brands, each for a different style of traveler.
Courtesy Marriott International When complete, Marriott's Nashville hotel will contain three separate brands, each for a different style of traveler.

Companies such as Marriott use dual-branding as a way to woo select-service and extended-stay hotel customers with one property. The benefits to the approach have been so numerous that the company recently broke ground on its first three-brand property in Nashville. The 470-room, $137 million hotel that is expected to open mid-year in 2018 will encompass an AC Hotels, SpringHill Suites, and Residence Inn. Though customers will see three brand logos on the outside of the building and have three distinct hospitality experiences inside, the developer has planned to consolidate behind-the-scenes operations and spaces to reduce ongoing expenses.

“Marriott continues to grow its multi-brand portfolio, as these projects offer a myriad of benefits to both our development partners and our guests," says Tony Capuano, Marriott executive vice president. "Developers can target multiple consumer segments while benefitting from significant construction and cost synergies. Hotel guests are offered a wider range of options to serve all of their travel needs."

Now, multifamily real estate developer AvalonBay Communities is trying out the concept with a dual-branded Brooklyn apartment tower designed by architecture firm CetraRuddy. With two lifestyle brands under one roof, units in the 634-foot-tall building have been selling briskly, according to a press release.

At AVA DoBro, common spaces offer a hip, local-themed vibe and provide residents with opportunities for easy interaction.
Courtesy CetraRuddy At AVA DoBro, common spaces offer a hip, local-themed vibe and provide residents with opportunities for easy interaction.

The top levels of the building are made up of the more expensive Avalon Willoughby Square on floors 30 to 58. Downstairs, cost-conscious hipsters enjoy the vibe of AVA DoBro, replete with its own coffee shop and socializing mailroom, on floors to 2 to 29. To make a dual-branded apartment community work, the architects and interior designers "work to create distinct vertical communities and experiences that each connect with the neighborhood, its history and culture," says Nancy Ruddy, founding principal of CetraRuddy. Rather than hiring two design firms, AvalonBay engaged Ruddy and firm partner and director of interior design Ximena Rodriguez to capture both sensibilities.

"Developing unmistakably different designs within the same building is an exciting challenge," says Ruddy. "Yet the approach creates increased value for some developments in established markets like New York City. We think there will be more riffs on this idea in 2017."